MAP: Where in France do people drink the most?

MAP: Where in France do people drink the most?
Photo: AFP
People living in the south west of France are among the heaviest drinkers in the country, according to new statistics from the public health authority.

The study published by French public health body Santé publique France lists the regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie in south west France as the regions with the highest daily alcohol consumption.

In Occitanie – which covers cities including Toulouse and Carcassonne – 12.6 percent of adults drink every day, while in Nouvelle-Aquitaine which covers Charente and Dordogne 12.3 percent of adults drink every day.


The regions of France. Map: Depositphotos

In third place is the northern Hauts-de-France region, where the people of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardie labour under the stereotype of being hopeless drunks, but where in fact only 11.5 percent of adults drink daily, just over the national average of 10 percent.

READ ALSO French regional stereotypes – drunks in the north, trashy in the south and grumpy Parisians

Adults in Normandy and Pays-de-la-Loire drink less than the national average while the lowest level of daily drinking in mainland France is the greater Paris Île-de-France regin, where only 7.1 percent of adults drink daily.

The overseas French regions of Guadeloupe (6.9 percent), French Guiana (5.2 percent), Martinique (7 percent) and Reunion Island (5.8 percent) have averages that are significantly lower than the average for mainland France.

Alcohol is one of the main causes of avoidable death in France, with 41,000 deaths per year linked directly to drinking, according to Santé publique France.

The agency recommends adults drink no more than 10 small glasses of wine or 10 beers per week (which gives you three more glasses of wine than the UK, where the recommended limit is seven glasses per week).


Overall almost a quarter – 23.6 percent – of French people drink more than the recommended amount.

The data also found that in the north and east of France people were more likely to drink beer, in the south wine was more common while spirits were preferred in the west.

The report also shows that what French media refers to as 'Anglo Saxon binge drinking' is on the rise in France.

Binge drinking – defined as drinking more than six units on a single occasion – has been rising in France since 2005 and now 16.2 percent of adults have at least one session per month.

The biggest number of binge drinkers are in Brittany, where 20.5 percent of adults binge drink at least once a month, while the lowest level is in Île-de-France.

Despite being labelled as an 'Anglo Saxon' habit, binge drinking has now become so commonplace in France that the Acadmie française has even come up with a French term for it – beuverie express – although you will still frequently see and hear the English version bandied about.

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