In 2007-08, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Britons each bought an average of 11.53 litres of pure alcohol. That equates to 3.1 units a day.
Government guidelines recommend a maximum of three to four units a day for men and two to three units a day for women.
The 2007-8 figure is lower than the totals recorded between 2003-04 and 2005-06. In those years, alcohol purchasing stood at 11.7 litres, 11.78 litres and 11.54 litres respectively.
The data was produced by HM Revenue & Customs and quoted this week by the Department of Health in response to a Parliamentary question.