Bottoms up! These Dutch cities are where you’ll find the heaviest drinkers

Bottoms up! These Dutch cities are where you’ll find the heaviest drinkers

Many people enjoy a beer or a glass of wine after a long day at work, or treat themselves to a couple of drinks on a terrace at the weekend when meeting up with friends. The Dutch are known for enjoying a cold beer or a glass of jenever, but research conducted by the GGD, National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has unveiled where in the Netherlands you’ll find the heaviest drinkers. 

Effect of coronavirus on Dutch drinking culture

The study highlights the difference between heavy drinkers and excessive drinkers, defining the former as someone who drinks a fair amount of alcohol at least one day a week, whereas the latter describes someone who drinks more in total but spreads their alcohol consumption out throughout the week. To be classified as an excessive drinker, one would have to consume at least 14 (women) or 21 (men) units a week. 

The GGD, RIVM, and CBS found that drinking habits differ significantly per region. Across the Netherlands, around 8 percent of the population can be classified as heavy drinkers. Interestingly, figures from the GGD show that around 11 percent of the population admitted to drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic, while 20 percent drank less throughout the crisis.

Heavy and excessive drinkers in the Netherlands

Proportionally, Amsterdam and Twente (Enschede) are home to the most heavy drinkers; 10,5 and 10,4 percent of the local population fall into this category. Twente is also where a high number of excessive drinkers can be found (7,8 percent), as well as in Het Gooi (between Amsterdam and Utrecht) and Friesland (both 7,3 percent).

The driest region is Flevoland (Almere) where only 5,9 percent of the local population falls into the heavy drinkers category and only 4,2 percent are excessive drinkers.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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