Health Officials Concerned about Alcohol Consumption in Taiwan

beer in Taiwan

Ministry of Economy statistics from 2014 show that Taiwan is now consuming more 700 million liters of alcohol per year, enough to fill 282 swimming pools, according to a UDN article.

National Taiwan University School of Public Health Dean Chen W.J. (陳為堅) noted that alcohol was the fifth highest cause for reduced life expectancy, beating out illegal drug use. Dr. Chen added that underage drinking is on the rise with 36% of 10- to 12-year-olds saying that they have drunk alcohol. 2% of those who responded said that they were able to purchase the alcohol on their own.

Annual per capita alcohol consumption in 1981 was 25.2 liters and rose to 37.2 liters in 1999, according to Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Board statistics. According to a 2008 China Post article, per capita consumption of beer averaged 22.5 liters. According to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Taiwan, beer consumption per capita averaged 22 liters in 2014, compared to 43.5 liters in Japan. The report notes that beer accounts for 74% of the alcoholic beverage market in Taiwan.

Based on the government’s total June population statistics and the total volume of alcohol consumed in 2014, per capita alcohol consumption in Taiwan averaged 29.78 liters. However, excluding those under the age of 18, based on 2010 population statistics, raises the consumption to 37.65 liters per person, which is only slightly higher than it was in 1999. With the number of underage drinkers allegedly increasing, alcohol consumption per capita may be lower than reported.

Note: The WHO does not provide statistics on alcohol consumption for Taiwan as it is combined with China.

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