Alcohol consumption in Sweden last year rose again, according to recent figures. The country is still well behind the European Union average, however.

A study conducted by Stockholm University and published in Svenska Dagbladet yesterday (12 January) revealed that, in 2004, each Swede over the age of 15 drank on average 10.5 litres of pure alcohol. In 2003, the average was 10.2 litres per capita. The European average currently stands at around 13 litres.

Only 33% of all the alcohol consumed in Sweden was purchased through Systembolaget, the study showed. This was a fall of 44% year-on-year for the state-run retail monopoly.

A huge number of Swedes are crossing the border into neighbouring countries where alcohol is cheaper.