Mapping the world's drunkest countries

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Can American beer drinkers best the Germans?
Wonder how your beer consumption compares to those of your counterparts in Belgium or Burkina Faso? The World Heath Organization recently released its comprehensive Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health (2011), which revealed some interesting statistics about drinking habits and their consequences.

Check out this map to see how America stacks up:

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World Health Organization
This map shows per capita alcohol consumption in 2005. Moldova is the world's drunkest country, where each resident downs nearly five gallons of alcohol a year.

The report also maps who drinks what, where: Beer reigns supreme in the Americas and Australia, wine in Italy and France, spirits in the Russian Federation and China.

Alcohol abuse is a major concern for the WHO as it is the leading cause of death worldwide for men 15 to 59, so the report also measures the riskiness of drinking patterns (Western Europe unsurprisingly has the least risky behavior, the Russian Federation has the worst). The report attempts to measure the consequences of alcohol abuse and reviews some of the global policies and interventions. Interestingly, it notes that only four countries have a dedicated line item in their national budgets for alcohol treatment: Croatia, Israel, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine.

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