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An Informative Chart: Legal Drinking Ages Around the World

Legal Drinking Ages around the World
What is that you look forward to more - your graduation day, or the day you are legally allowed to drink? If you've chosen the second option, then you are with the majority. With intoxication being the key issue, concerned authorities of nations across the world have issued a legal age for drinking.
OpinionFront Staff
Last Updated: May 6, 2018
WHO says...
320,000 young people between the age of 15 and 29 die from alcohol-related causes per year, resulting in 9% of all deaths in that age group.
What is the one thing most of us turn to in order to cope with increasing stress levels and mental tiredness? Fill my glass, will you please? Blame it on the declining alcohol rates or the easy availability, it isn't surprising to read about underage drinking problems these days. Depending on where you are, the legal drinking age varies from 16 to 25. By legal drinking age we mean the minimum age when an individual can either purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.

While most countries have a legal age for both purchasing and drinking alcohol, there are some others which impose a strict ban. Countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, and Togo do not have a legal age for either. These laws are applicable to drinking in public places, and have their own applicable terms and conditions. Like, in Burundi, though the official drinking age is set at 16, a minor can consume alcohol if accompanied by his/her parents. Then the minimum age for consuming wine or beer differs from the age of consuming spirits - like in Belgium, Germany, and Portugal. Egypt makes an exception in this case, where you have to be 18 to consume beer and 21 to have wine and spirits.

In countries like Gambia, and Pakistan, consuming any kind of spirit is not permitted, and hence is deemed illegal. The only exception to this rule is for the non-Muslim population, that can consume alcohol at the age of 18 and 21 respectively. In Brunei too, drinking is illegal, however non-Muslims who have completed 17 years of age are permitted to import 2 bottles of liquor once in 48 hours, to be consumed strictly at their residence. Libya is the only country where consuming alcohol is illegal even if you are a non-Muslim resident.
Happy friends taking drinks
Legal Drinking Age
Country Drinking Age
Albania 18
Algeria 18
Argentina 18
Armenia 18
Australia 18
Austria 16/18*
Azerbaijan 18
Bahamas 18
Bangladesh None
Belarus 18
Belgium 16/18*
Belize 18
Bolivia 18
Botswana 18
Brazil 18
Brunei Illegal1
Bulgaria 18
Burundi  16
Cambodia None
Cameroon 18
Canada 18/19*
Cape Verde 18
CAR 18
Chile 18
China 18
Colombia 18
Comoros None
Costa Rica 18
Croatia 18
Cyprus 17
Czech Republic 18
Denmark 18
Dominican Republic 18
Ecuador 18
Egypt 18 /21*
El Salvador 18
Equatorial Guinea None
Eritrea 18
Estonia 18
Ethiopia 18
Fiji 21
Finland 18
France 18
Gabon None
Gambia Illegal2
Georgia 16
Germany 16/18*
Ghana None
Greece 18
Guam 21
Guatemala 18
Guinea-Bissau None
Guyana 18
Hungary 18
Iceland 20
India 18-25
Indonesia 21
Ireland 18
Israel 18
Italy 16
Jamaica None
Japan 20
Kazakhstan 18
Kenya 18
Kyrgyzstan None
Lao PDR 18
Latvia 18
Lesotho 18
Libya Illegal
Lithuania 18
Luxembourg 17/18*
Malawi 18
Malta 17
Mauritius 18
Mexico 18
Micronesia 21
Moldova 18
Morocco None
Mozambique 18
Namibia 18
Netherlands 16/18*
New Zealand 18
Nicaragua 19
Niger 18
Nigeria 18
Norway 18/20*
Pakistan Illegal3
Palau 21
Panama 18
Papua New Guinea 18
Paraguay 20
Peru 18
Philippines 18
Portugal 16/18*
Republic of Congo 18
Russia 18
Samoa 18
Seychelles 18
Singapore 18
Slovenia 18
Solomon Islands 21
South Africa 18
South Korea 19
Spain 18
Sri Lanka 21
Swaziland 18
Sweden 18
Switzerland 16/18*
Thailand 20
Togo None
Tonga 18
Trinidad & Tobago 18
Turkey 18
Turkmenistan 18
Uganda 18
Ukraine 18
United Kingdom 18
United States 21
Uruguay 18
Uzbekistan None
Vanuatu 18
Venezuela 18
Vietnam None
Zambia 18
Zimbabwe 18
*Legal age for Hard Liquor | 1Legal for Non-Muslims above 17 years. | 2Legal for Non-Muslims above 18 years. | 3Legal for Non-Muslims above 21 years. | Central African Republic
United Kingdom is the only country that has a legal drinking age to be followed when drinking at home. The age for the same is set at 6. Always remember the fact that alcohol goes directly to the bloodstream, which is why we experience a noticeable change. Last but not the least, be responsible about drinking.