Alcohol Statistics, England | from The Missing Graph
Alcohol Statistics, England | from The Missing Graph

What works

Leading up to the World Cup I am going to try to focus on World Cup related issues. It isn’t that much of a stretch to think about the relationship between sport and the larger category recreation, which often includes drinking. I found this graphic at The Missing Graph by Antiforma Design. The point here was to look at drinking in England – when is it happening? who is doing it? and who is dying? As you can see, men drink more and die more from drinking. Most drinking happens on the weekend and on holidays (there are more Monday and Friday holidays than other weekday holidays in England). Most alarming is that drinking deaths are increasing, not decreasing. Hard to blame it on the recession since the collection period ended in 2008 and increased the most rapidly from 2005 to 2006, a period of relative prosperity and optimism.

What needs work

I would have loved to see a couple more points of information about drinking in England. First, I assume that the information that generated the size of the bottles for each drinking day was somehow related to gallons consumed. I want to know those gallon figures per capita. Then we would be able to compare England’s data to some other country’s data, assuming we ever had a similar set of information about some other country (like, say, South Africa).

I would also have liked some information on what it is that these folks are drinking. Wine? Whiskey? Beer? Absinthe? Something from the bathtub? Perhaps the drinking culture of the country supports more beer drinking but the death-drinkers are drinking something else. Or maybe they just drink too much of the standard fare. Again, since I’m thinking about cross-national comparisons, I’m interested in things that might contribute to a deadly or less deadly drinking culture.

One other consideration: a friend of mine has long been interested in the relationship between drinking and HIV transmission. You’d think someone would have done extensive research on this because it’s rather obvious – drunk folks may have less in the way of cognition and patience when it comes to reaching for a condom. But it has not been well explored. Out of that existing curiousity of mine, I wouldn’t have minded seeing some trend lines for HIV transmission, serious auto accidents, and other sorts of ill-planned behavior that we might associate with drunkenness.

Overall, I love the notion that there is a blog out there dedicated to making infographics out of an intrinsic interest in presenting information for public consumption.


Primentas, George. (May 28, 2010) “Alcohol-related deaths in England” at The Missing Graph.