In 2016, households in the European Union (EU) spent 1.6 per cent of their total consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages. In Cyprus it was 2 per cent, up 0.4 per cent on the bloc’s average in ten years, and the biggest rise in the EU along with the Czech Republic.
This represents a total expenditure of almost €130 billion, equivalent to 0.9 per cent of EU GDP or over €250 per EU inhabitant, according to Eurostat.
Households` annual expenditure on alcoholic beverages is roughly equivalent to their expenditure on medical products, appliances and equipment, and slightly higher than what they spent on social protection or education in 2016.
In 2016, across EU Member States for which data are available, households in the three Baltic States devoted the largest share of their total expenditure to alcoholic beverages: Estonia (5.6 per cent), Latvia (4.8 per cent) and Lithuania (4.2 per cent).
They were followed by the Czech Republic and Poland (both 3.6 per cent), Hungary and Finland (both 2.9 per cent). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest proportions of household spending on alcoholic beverages were recorded in Spain (0.8 per cent) and Italy (0.9 per cent), ahead of Austria (1.3 per cent), Portugal (1.4 per cent) and Germany (1.5 per cent).
Between 2006 and 2016, the share of alcoholic beverages in total household expenditure remained roughly stable in the vast majority of Member States. The highest increases over this 10-year period were recorded in Cyprus (from 1.6 per cent of total household expenditure in 2006 to 2.0 per cent in 2016, or a rise of 0.4 percentage points – pp) and the Czech Republic (also + 0.4 pp, from 3.2 per cent to 3.6 per cent). In contrast, the share of alcoholic beverages in total household expenditure fell significantly between 2006 and 2016 in Lithuania (from 5.2 per cent in 2006 to 4.2 per cent in 2016, or a decrease of 1.0 pp), Bulgaria, Latvia and Finland (all -0.5 pp).