A study by the Economist magazine says Ireland has the lowest rate of marriage in the world, and spends substantially more per capita on alcoholic drinks than all other countries.

The study shows that over €1,100 per year is spent on alcoholic drinks for every man, woman and child in Ireland. This figure is more than France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined.

It is also 48% more than the second highest country, which is the UK.

The publication also finds that Ireland has the fourth highest rate of heart attack in the world after Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

The findings of the 'Pocket World in Figures 2004' will be published in the Economist tomorrow.

The study analyses economic, social, and other statistics for a total of 177 countries.

The international comparisons also show that Ireland has the third highest rate of cigarette consumption in the European Union, with an average of 4.9 cigarettes being consumed per day per person.

Only Greece and Spain smoke more in the EU.

When all countries are included in the comparison Ireland has the 20th highest rate of cigarette consumption in the world.