Key statistics: Alcohol consumption in provinces and territories

Access data on alcohol consumption in provinces and territories across Canada

NewUpdated alcohol policies report published in June 2021

NewWebinar on Policy action to reduce alcohol-related harms on June 22, 2021.

Key statistics

  • Approximately 80 per cent of Canadian adults, aged 18 and older, consumed alcohol in the past yeara.
  • Provincial and territorial rates of alcohol consumption range from 64 per cent in Nunavut to 84 per cent in Québecb.

Alcohol sales and consumption of alcohol above cancer guidelines by province and territory from 2015 and 2016

Map of Canadian provinces and territories indicating total dollars per capita sales of alcohol

Data on alcohol consumption should be interpreted with caution, as data currently available does not distinguish between “never” and “former” drinkers in alcohol abstinence rates. As such, rates of alcohol consumption and consumption above cancer guidelines may be higher than rates reported.

Annual and per-capita sales of alcohol, and the percentage of adults exceeding cancer guidelines

Province or territory Dollar value for total sales Dollar value for total per capita sales Percentage of adults, 18 years and older who reported exceeding cancer guidelines for alcohol consumption
Canada 22,081,961 733.8
Newfoundland and Labrador 452,293 997.2 8.6
Prince Edward Island 73,490 593.6 7.3E
Nova Scotia 608,016 750 7.9
New Brunswick 410,390 636.6 6E
Québec 5,336,962 764.6 9.8
Ontario 7,926,079 683.4 7.4
Manitoba 752,882 714.8 8.5
Saskatchewan 641,069 699.4 7.7
Alberta 2,634,256 771.9 8.6
British Columbia 3,155,568 787.1 8.1
Yukon 36,149 1 162.3 11.7
Northwest Territories 49,239 1 419 16.2
Nunavut 5,568 220.6 8E

E: Interpret with caution due to large variability in the estimates.
“—”: Data not available.

1. Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines for cancer recommends no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women.
2. Due to the feasibility of survey questionnaire on alcohol consumption, a daily average consumption was calculated using total number of weekly drinks the respondent reported consuming in the week prior to the CCHS interview, divided by 7 days.
3. Per capita sales by value are based on the population of inhabitants of 15 years of age and over. This allows comparability with other countries, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organization.
4. The population estimates are based on CANSIM table 051-0001 Estimates of Population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces, and territories, annual (persons).
5. Sales and per capita sales exclude quantities derived from import permits.
6. Data sources: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), 2015 reporting year; Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 183-0023 (accessed: January 25, 2018); Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 051-0001.
a- Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2016). The 2016 Cancer System Performance Report. Retrieved from:
b- Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2016). The 2016 Cancer System Performance Report. Retrieved from: