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Legal Drinking Ages Around The World

Legal Drinking Age

All Around The World

Minium Legal Drinking Age

The MLDA (Minimum Legal Drinking Age) is the minimum age at which a person is legally allowed to handle or consume alcoholic drinks.

The MLDA laws vary from country to country, plus cover a wide range of issues including when and where alcohol can be consumed.

Most countries set MLDA at 18 or 19 years. But there are over 20 countries that have higher MLDA laws including, The United States that is set at 21 years old. 

In some Muslim countries, MLDA laws are not applicable, as alcohol is completely banned, with an exception sometimes made for non-Muslims.

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What is the lowest drinking age in Europe?

Italy has the lowest legal drinking age in the Europ at 16 years, making it one of the lowest MLDA in the world.

In Germany and Austria you are also allowed to buy and drink alcoholic beverages at 16 years old, but there are exclusions, like no spirits or drinking on school grounds.

No MLDA

Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kosovo, Laos, Mali, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Togo

10-15 MLDA

Antigua and Barbuda, Central African Republic

16-17 MLDA

Austria, Belgium, Congo, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland

18-19 MLDA

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

20 MLDA

Iceland, Japan, Paraguay, Thailand, Uzbekistan

21 MLDA

Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Kiribati, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Samoa, Sri Lanka, United States

Illegal to drink alcohol at any age

Some exceptions for non-Muslims may apply.

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Tell Us What You Think

Should you be able to drink at a lower age group in your country?

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