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15% fall in drinking over the past decade

Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare THL reports that alcohol consumption in the country has declined by 15% since 2007. While it describes this finding as an exceptional, positive long-term development, THL says the Finns are still a long way from changing their drinking culture.

Punaviiniä viinilasissa.
Image: Sergei Ilnitsky / EPA

According to the THL report, alcohol consumption has fallen in all age groups, and there has been a decline in consumption by both light and heavy drinkers.

Even though less spirits are being consumed, the Finns have yet to adopt what the THL calls a "southern European" drinking culture where people drink often, but in moderation. THL points out that regardless of changes in total annual consumption, the level of drinking aimed at inebriation has remained the same.

This latest survey shows that last year in Finland 37% of men reported consuming 13 or more servings of alcohol (each equivalent to 4 cl of spirits) during a single day at least once a year. For women that figure was 9%.

The highest rate of binge drinking was found in the 15-29 year-old age group.

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