We probably don’t have to tell you that different countries have vastly different approaches to alcohol. Different tastes, different styles and, perhaps most immediately obvious, different laws. Depending where you go in the world, the drinking age could be 15, 18, 20 or 21. In some countries, a legal drinking age could be nonexistent.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 65 percent of countries allow people 18 years or older to consume alcohol at a bar or restaurant. More than 55 percent of countries allow 18 year olds to buy alcohol at stores to consume off-premise. In the U.S., the drinking age is 21, a law the country shares with only five other countries (although some states like Illinois, Wisconsin and New Hampshire are trying to change that).
To find out how old you have to be to drink everywhere in the world, we looked at the drinking age in every country covered by the WHO’s 2014 global alcohol report. When the WHO didn’t have data, ages reported by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking were used. When we came across countries that differentiated between drinking on-premise and drinking off-premise, we opted for the lower number and added a note about the age difference.
Note: Some countries have multiple differing accounts on what the legal drinking age is. In those cases, the age listed by WHO is used.