Alcohol Consumption Shows Slight Decline ({{commentsTotal}})

An annual study by the Institute of Economic Research shows the average Estonian drank 10 liters of absolute alcohol last year, 0.3 liters less than in 2012.

Beer and wine became more popular, increasing slightly to 76 liters and 15.5 liters drunk per person per year, respectively, the institute said on Monday. Consumption of cider and spirits decreased a little, to 11 and nine liters respectively.

The state raked in 209 million euros in alcohol excise tax, 7 percent more than in 2012. The institute said that is mostly due to increased tax rates and more tourists buying alcohol in the country.

Tourists, whose consumption is not counted toward  the average consumption figures calculated by the institute, bought 34 million liters of beer and 39 million liters of wine, spirits and other alcoholic drinks in 2013.

Bootleg liquor continues to be a large problem, despite tax and customs officials recently cracking down on illegal exports from Russia. The institute said 23 percent of all vodka drunk in Estonia was sold illegally, although that figure continues to decrease.

Average prices of alcoholic drinks increased by 4.5 percent in 2013. In comparison, the average monthly salary increased by 7.6 percent.