Nineteen per cent of the state’s population consume liquor (50.40 lakh to be precise) , according to a survey on alcohol consumption available with the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment. However, the number of tipplers in the state is more that the national average, 17.3%.
In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, over 65 lakh (65,09,000) people, 17.3% of the total population, consume alcohol. No wonder the liquor sales graph never sees a downward trend in the two Telugu states.
The survey revealed that 17.3% of the country’s population consume alcohol. In other words, there were about 15.5 crore tipplers in the country. Only a handful of big states have logged more than the country’s average.
Apart from AP and Telangana, Chhattisgarh (43.5%), Uttar Pradesh (29.5%), Punjab (25.2%), Delhi (25%) Uttarakhand (23.2%) , Goa (28%), Madhya Pradesh (21.4%), Odisha (18.9%), West Bengal (18.2%) recorded above the country’s liquor consumption average. Among the big states, Bihar had the lowest alcohol consumption rates with only 1% population consuming alcohol.
Other than the two Telugu states, remaining southern states have less number of liquor consumers. Tamil Nadu’s 15.5% population drinks, while Kerala (13.5%) and Karnataka (7. 2%) were less than the national average. The survey had taken people in the age group of 18-75 years into consideration.
Interestingly, the latest National Family Health Survey–5 shows that men in Telangana drink more alcohol than their counterparts in any other state in the country. About 43.3% men in Telangana above 15 years drink alcohol, while the northeastern state of Sikkim stood at second place with 41.1%.