A new study by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development takes a look at global drinking trends. According to the report, people with higher levels of education as well as socioeconomic status — mainly white men — tend to drink the most. The research further indicates that poor men and rich women are more likely to engage in "risky drinking" — such as binge drinking alone — than other subsets of the population.
There are other bothersome findings in the detailed study. While "per-capita alcohol consumption [around the world] has declined overall," the number of minors who drink has increased. Teenagers under the age of 15 are drinking more than they used to. Between 2001 and 2010, CNN writes that the "number of girls under 15 who have been drunk rose from 26% to 41%." The number of boys jumped from 30% to 43%. Plus, a fifth of American high school seniors admitted to binge drinking, when surveyed.
The report also takes a look at the economic impact of drinking. Alcohol can have many harmful impacts such as medical expenses and an increase on crime. Last year alone, alcohol's negative impacts are estimated to have cost the American economy nearly $6.5 billion dollars.
Binge drinking has become a growing problem for many countries, not just America. Last fall, French lawmakers announced they are considering a proposal that would make "inciting binge drinking" punishable. Those found guilty would have to pay a hefty fine and could even spent a year in jail. The lawmakers say that the bill is aimed at "combatting alcoholism among the young."