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Old 03-13-2012, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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That thread on disliking alcohol leads me to this curious question. I'm sure there are stats but I'd be curious to know about perceptions in most common social circles (there might be social circles that don't drink completely but are restricted to smaller religious communities).

Maybe it's just me, but I almost rarely encounter anyone in my generation (maybe some immigrants who are Muslims but even so, I know some who say they are and still do it! ) who doesn't drink, period, probably because of my age; most 20-30 year olds drink to party. The population of people, in a country like the US, probably makes up a sizable majority and likewise in Canada, Australia, the UK and most of the west.

I'm interested in the general trends as well across the regions of the United States. Do some areas drink more than others? Though even if you're not American, it'd be interesting to get an answer too, for roughly in your social circle or region etc.

The population of people who don't really drink though aren't going to be the same as the population of people who don't like alcoholic drinks (because some people do drink, but do it for social reasons but wouldn't otherwise and some non-drinkers might like to do so, but abstain for health or moral reasons).

I'd be interested if there were even any stats on % of folks who drink only socially but wouldn't otherwise (but that's really hard to get).
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Not quite what you're asking but this would give some indicator:

List of countries by alcohol consumption - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The US, Australia etc are actually some way down the list, surprisingly.

In many parts of the world alcohol isn't really regularly drunk in a social setting. India sticks out, it's rate is as low as many Muslim nations.

Personally, from my experience, non-drinkers my age are definitely the minority. Couldn't really put a percentage on it. I can tell you that there's not really a movement where very religious people refrain from alcohol. Most evangelical Christians I know have no problem with alcohol, and I know Muslims who drink as well.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I guess it was roughly % of the population who drink (as well as your perception in the area you live), and maybe (though this is hard to get) % of population who drink for social reasons (though that's not part of my title).

The figures on alcohol consumption though provides a somewhat useful proxy or correlation for number of people who drink or social acceptability/expectedness of drinking, though not completely the same as number/percentage of total people who drink.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
I guess it was roughly % of the population who drink (as well as your perception in the area you live), and maybe (though this is hard to get) % of population who drink for social reasons (though that's not part of my title).

The figures on alcohol consumption though provides a somewhat useful proxy or correlation for number of people who drink or social acceptability/expectedness of drinking, though not completely the same as number/percentage of total people who drink.
I think it's largely related to how big a part of the culture alcohol is. One that interested me was South Korea being so high on the list (the highest Asian nation). Having known some Koreans this doesn't surprise me, they really DO enjoy drinking. I tried Soju, which is like a Korean rice wine, it's pretty strong, more like rice spirit. There's more of a drinking culture in Korea and Japan vs other Asian countries. In SE Asia, I saw mostly tourists drinking. Locals do, but it's not as big in their culture. Food rather than drink is the more important way in which people come together.

Uganda is an interesting outlier.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post

Uganda is an interesting outlier.
I wonder if there is any European influence or if it is "native" beverages accounting for the alcohol consumption (looking at a few hits that come up on Google seem to suggest there are distilled beverages made of local types of crop or grain such as sugar cane or millet.

I usually associate drinking more with northerly, cold climate cultures, like the Germanic cultures, or the Russians, the Finns etc. but tropical cultures have their own traditional drinks too be they palm wine or drinks from fermented tropical products (alcoholic beverages have been discovered or invented all over the world independently anyhow, using whatever local grains, fruits etc. they have).
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:15 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
I wonder if there is any European influence or if it is "native" beverages accounting for the alcohol consumption (looking at a few hits that come up on Google seem to suggest there are distilled beverages made of local types of crop or grain such as sugar cane or millet.

I usually associate drinking more with northerly, cold climate cultures, like the Germanic cultures, or the Russians, the Finns etc. but tropical cultures have their own traditional drinks too be they palm wine or drinks from fermented tropical products (alcoholic beverages have been discovered or invented all over the world independently anyhow, using whatever local grains, fruits etc. they have).
Yes, it's just interesting no other African nation even comes close to it. Almost every culture has it's own alcohol, but it seems how much alcohol is actually consumed varies by culture.

Btw I had some pineapple wine in Malaysia recently. Not half bad, actually.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Drinking culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This might also be of interest.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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In Britain if feels like less than 10%. I have hardly ever met anyone in 23 years in the Uk who does not drink. And a vast percentage of the 90% get drunk on a regular basis in my experience too. It is a huge social problem.

At least I suppose nowadays you can ask for a Coke or Sparkling Water in a Pub without being stared at but I remember when it was considered to be really very odd for an adult not to drink. I still get a lot of "What do you do with your life/for fun if you don't drink?". Pathetic.

Last edited by Mooseketeer; 03-14-2012 at 07:13 AM..
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:55 AM
 
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I don't really know what percentage are non-drinkers vs. drinkers. I think it's impossible to tell unless the person actually says that they are an abstainer.

I know that I sometimes drink alcohol during social occasions and sometimes I don't. Depends on whether I have to drive somewhere afterwards, how tired I'm feeling, if I'm dieting and avoiding carbs, etc.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
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From my experience it is the location, availability and beliefs.


Where I live in TN, I don't know anyone who drinks even socially. I am also in a dry county.

When I visit friends in FL, all of them drink socially and sometimes more.

I also come from a family of non drinkers. I'm not sure why but that's just the way it is.
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