Eurostat: Czech households spend record-high sums on alcohol  

Photo: blue2finger, Pixabay / CC0

Czech households spent a record high sum on alcohol in 2019, over CZK 90 billion, suggest newly released data by the European statistical office, Eurostat. The share of total consumption expenditure spent on alcoholic beverages amounted to 3.4 percent, which was one of the highest figures in the European Union. 

According to the Eurostat data, Czechs spent CZK 93.4 billion on alcoholic beverages in 2019, which was twice as much as in the mid-1990s, when the figure stood at around CZK 45 billion. In 2018, the sum spent on alcohol reached CZK 89.2 billion and in the previous year, CZK 78.7 billion.

Despite the growing numbers, the share of family budget spent on alcohol in the Czech Republic has dropped over the past 25 years. While in 1995 it amounted to 5.4 percent, in 2019 it stood at 3.4 percent.

Nevertheless, it is still the fourth highest figure among EU member states. According to Eurostat, the share of total consumption expenditure spent on alcoholic beverages was the highest in three Baltic States: Latvia (4.8%), Estonia (4.7%) and Lithuania (3.7%). The Czech Republic shares the fourth spot with Poland.

In contrast, Greece and Italy, the figure was below 1% (both 0.9%). On average, the share of alcohol on the total consumption expenditure of EU households stands at 1.6 percent.

Lukáš Kovanda,  photo: Radko Kubičko / Czech Radio

According to Lukáš Kovanda, chief analyst of Trinity Bank, the drop in the share of total consumption expenditure spent on alcoholic beverages can be partly attributed to the fact that Czechs tend to eat out much more frequently than in the 1990s.

"According to Eurostat data, Czechs spent nearly CZK 180 billion in restaurants, pubs and cafes last year, roughly 100 billion more than in the year 2000. Their expenses restaurants, pubs and cafes are growing much faster than expenses for alcoholic beverages in shops."
The data of the Czech Statistics Office suggest consumption of alcohol in the Czech Republic has been quite stable over the past few years. While in 2016, the annual consumption of spirits was 173.5 litres per capita, in 2017 it was 170.6 litres and in 2018 it reached 172.8 litres.
Meanwhile back in 1948, the average Czech drank only 84.4 litres of alcohol a year.