Max Fisher points to a study by UNICEF debunking some assumptions about which Europeans start drinking at a young age:
Despite the strong wine cultures in Italy, France and Spain – or maybe because of them, given the degree to which it cultivates drinking “to enjoy,” as I’ve heard many French say – children in those countries are among the least likely to get drunk.
Kids appear to be much more likely to get drunk in former Soviet states, particularly the Baltic states and Finland, the latter of which might be a surprise given that its kids otherwise score among the highest well-being in the Western world. That may be a partial legacy of Soviet bloc drinking culture, which have the highest alcohol consumption rates in the world and tend to be plagued by alcoholism.
The US ranks last in the surveyed countries.