National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) is the place to get consumption data is India. The NSSO has some well-documented drawbacks, and most credible underestimates consumption at the higher end of the income spectrum. But it is still the most economically and geographically representative dataset present in the country.
The NSSO’s 2011-2012 consumption data divides per capita weekly consumption of alcohol into four major categories – country liquor, toddy, beer and foreign/ refined liquor or wine. The average rural Indian drinks 220 ml across those 4 types of alcohol in a week, or 11.4 litres in a year. Toddy is the most famous drink for rural India followed by country liquor. The average urban Indian, meanwhile, drinks 96 ml per week or 5 litres in a year, country liquor being most famous drink.
So how do the states compare in terms of consumption? The biggest toddy and country liquor drinking states are Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Arunachal Pradesh. Small states and Union Territories are most likely to have sampling errors, so let us look at the bigger states in India. Andhra Pradesh tops among the bigger states, followed by Jharkhand, Assam and Bihar.
The biggest beer, wine and refined/ foreign liquor drinking states and Union territories are Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Puducherry. Next come Andhra Pradesh, Goa and then Karnataka and Kerala come in third place.
In fact, Andhra Pradesh is by far India’s biggest drinking state, consuming whopping 665 ml per capita per week on average, or nearly 34.5 litres per year, across those four types of alcohol. Kerala is far behind with consumption of alcohol at 196 ml per week or just 10.2 litres per year.
Income surprisingly affects alcohol consumption. In rural areas of India, toddy and country liquor consumption rises with class and falls only in the richest 5%, while beer and refined liquor rises with class. For urban areas, country liquor consumption falls among rich people, while beer and refined liquor consumption rises exponentially.
State / UT alcohol consumption per capita per week
|State / UT||Toddy & Country |
Liquor (in ml)
|Beer, Foreign |
Liquor & Wine
|Daman & Diu||252||1,079||4.3||0.3|
|Dadra & Nagar Haveli||2,533||498||29.5||0.6|
|Andaman & Nicobar Island||656||532||12.1||3.3|
|Jammu & Kashmir||32||7||14.3||4.7|