Remko Tanis • 06 November 2018

Something random.

Drinkers in Madagascar really don’t know how to quit once they get going. Not those in Australia, Ireland, Finland or even Russia… nope: it’s the barflies in Madagascar who rank #1 worldwide in binge drinking.

I ran into this stat browsing Our World in Data. Based on 2010 numbers from the World Health Organization, over the past month almost 2 out of 3 drinkers in Madagascar didn’t settle for just 1 or 2 glasses of Three Horses beer, trembo (palm wine), ranovolo (rice water) or betsa-betsa (fermented sugar-cane juice). They went all out, drinking ‘til the fridge’s shelves laid bare.

Even though the African island nation ranks #1 worldwide in binge drinking (defined as six or more standard glasses per session), the overall share of Madagascans who drink alcohol is relatively low.

This is the drinking game where the usual suspects grab the crown: the Aussies, Kiwis, Russians and other Europeans (#1: the French, with 94.8% of those over 15 having had at least one taste of alcohol in the last year).

Meanwhile, only little over 14 percent of Madagascar’s 13.6 million people aged 15 and over had any alcohol at all over the past year. That means 1.9 million people drink, and out of that group 1.2 million binge at least once a month.

I wonder what their reasoning is. Nothing sober, for sure.



  • Alcohol ads are twice as likely to be found around schools, compared to other places.

  • Alcohol retailers and bars frequently break the law by placing their establishment within a 150 meter radius of religious buildings, educational institutions and hospitals.

  • In outdoor areas on average 48.4 alcohol ads were identified per 0,25 km2.

Source: Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance

To wrap things up, here’s a Madagascar drinking game.