The European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) suggests that people in Iceland drink less frequently than people in the other Nordic countries.

The UK has the highest proportion of people drinking at least once a week
Iceland has the seventh lowest proportion of people that drink at least once per week, just over 20%. The United Kingdom has the highest proportion of such frequent drinkers, 52.5%. Of the Nordic countries Denmark had the highest proportion of people consuming alcohol this often, just over 51%, which is the third highest rate in this wave of the EHIS. Sweden trails behind, with the eight highest proportion overall, or just under 40%. Finland is close behind with just over 39%. Norway ranks 15th with 33% of it’s population drinking every day or every week.

Figure 1 shows the distribution of responses for the countries that participated in the EHIS. The countries are ordered by the cumulative frequency of people drinking every week or every day.

Iceland 4th lowest proportion of heavy episodic drinking
The EHIS also contains information on the frequency of heavy episodic drinking, i.e. consuming 60 grams of ethanol on a single occasion in the previous 12 months. The countries are ordered according to the proportion that did not engage in heavy episodic drinking. Iceland had the fourth lowest proportion of people that did not consume the aforementioned amount of alcohol over the 12 months preceding the interview, or just over 42%. The proportion was lowest in Denmark, 27.5%. The proportion in Finland and Germany was between that of Iceland and Denmark, with around 37% and 40% respectively.

Figures for within population differences in Iceland can be found in tables on the Statistics Iceland’s web.

About the European Health Interview Survey
Health interview surveys offer comprehensive data on the health status of a population and health-related topics based on answers by respondents of a representative sample of the population. The Icelandic survey was collected in autumn 2015. The sample consisted of 5,700 individuals drawn randomly from the population registry. This yielded responses from 4,001 persons, a response rate of 70.2%.