ICAP has gathered information from over 100 countries around the world on the minimum ages to legally purchase and consume alcohol.
The table below records the minimum legal purchase ages both on- and off-premise and by beverage type (beer, wine and sprits). The World Health Organization defines on- and off-premise as follows:
On-premise retail sale refers to the selling of alcoholic beverages for consumption at the site of the sale, generally in pubs, bars, cafes or restaurants.
Off-premise retail sale refers to the selling of alcoholic beverages for consumption elsewhere and not on the site of sale. Off-premise sale takes place, for example, in state monopoly stores, wine shops, supermarkets, and petrol stations or kiosks, depending on the regulations of the country. (World Health Organization, 2004, p. 15)
This table is continually monitored and updated as international laws change. The data have been confirmed by sources in each country. If you have information about a country not listed here or if you find any of the information outdated, please email us.
Reference: World Health Organization (WHO). (2004). Global status report: Alcohol policy. Geneva: Author.
PDF of table also available here.
Open the Policy Table: Minimum Age Laws Worldwide