Booze, Enjoyment

Legal Drinking Age Around the World

8 Comments 02 September 2010

Many young people around the world look forward to the day when they can legally have a drink. Of course the ‘Nannies’ in some countries are more restrictive than others. The United States has one of the highest minimum drinking ages in the entire world. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 states that revenue will be withheld from states that allow the purchase of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21. The paradox is that prior to reaching the legal drinking age, you can legally die for your country. The minimum age for enlistment in the United States Military is 17 (with parental consent) and 18 (without parental consent).

Another interesting note about the inconsistency in the USA is 0nly 30% of U.S. adults believe that drinking can form part of a healthy, balanced life in spite of the fact that it is now proven that drinking is associated with better health & greater longevity than is absence. Furthermore, more people in the USA abstain from drinking alcohol than in any other Western country.

This is a comparison of legal drinking ages around the world, followed by a world map that illustrates the data.

World Drinking Ages

No Minimum Drinking Age

Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Togo, Tonga, Vietnam

Minimum Drinking Age – 16

Antigua, Barbados, Belgium, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain (16 in Asturias)

Minimum Drinking – Age 17


Minimum Drinking Age – 18

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada (in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, & Quebec), Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Columbia, Congo, Republic of, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesoto, Lithuania, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain (16 in Asturias), St. Maarten, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom (age 5 with parents), Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Minimum Drinking Age – 19

Canada (in all provinces except Alberta, Manitoba, & Quebec), Nicaragua, South Korea

Minimum Drinking Age – 20

Iceland, Japan, Paraguay

Minimum Drinking Age – 21

Fiji, Pakistan (for non-Muslims, prohibited for Muslims), Palau, Sri Lanka, United States

Minimum Drinking Age – 24



The legal drinking age in India varies between 18 and 25 from state to state.

Many Middle Eastern countries have a ban on alcohol under Muslim law, though the country permits certain establishments to sell to tourists upon obtaining a proper license.

Legal Drinking Age Map

(Click to enlarge legal drinking age map)


Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Paul says:

    People can drink at sixteen in Luxembourg? No wonder the country is such a shambles.

  2. Naden says:

    Paul, can you please specify how and why you consider Luxemburg to be “a shambles”?? It has one of the highest living standards in the world you clown.

  3. Randy says:

    The legal drinking age in the US is actually NOT 21. It varies greatly based on the state, and the situation that is occuring.

    Laws from onme state to another vary as to it being illegal to purchase, possess, consume, in public, in private, with parental or guardian consent…

    If you want a better understanding state by state, go to

    Many folks will be surprised.

    BTW I’m from Canada (Quebec) where the drinking age is mearly a suggestion.

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