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Mapped: The Most Common Illicit Drugs in the World

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Mapped: The Most Common Illicit Drugs in the World

Despite strict prohibitory laws around much of the world, many common illicit drugs still see widespread use.

Humans have a storied and complicated relationship with drugs. Defined as chemical substances that cause a change in our physiology or psychology, many drugs are taken medicinally or accepted culturally, like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

But many drugs—including medicines and non-medicinal substances taken as drugs—are taken recreationally and can be abused. Each country and people have their own relationship to drugs, with some embracing the use of specific substances while others shun them outright.

What are the most common drugs that are considered generally illicit in different parts of the world? Today’s graphics use data from the UN’s World Drug Report 2021 to highlight the most prevalent drug used in each country.

What Types of Common Drugs Are Tracked?

The World Drug Report looks explicitly at the supply and demand of the international illegal drug market, not including commonly legal substances like caffeine and alcohol.

Drugs are grouped by class and type, with six main types of drugs found as the most prevalent drugs worldwide.

  • Cannabis*: Drugs derived from cannabis, including hemp. This category includes marijuana (dried flowers), hashish (resin), and other for various other parts of the plant or derived oils.
  • Cocaine: Drugs derived from the leaves of coca plants. Labeled as either cocaine salts for powder form or crack for cocaine processed with baking soda and water into rock form.
  • Opioids: Includes opiates which are derived directly from the opium poppy plant, including morphine, codeine, and heroin, as well as synthetic alkaloids.
  • Amphetamine-type Stimulants (ATS): Amphetamine and drugs derived from amphetamine, including meth (also known as speed), MDMA, and ecstasy.
  • Sedatives and Tranquilizers: Includes other drugs whose main purpose is to reduce energy, excitement, or anxiety, as well as drugs used primarily to initiate or help with sleep (also called hypnotics).
  • Solvents and Inhalants: Gases or chemicals that can cause intoxication but are not intended to be drugs, including fuels, glues, and other industrial substances.

The report also tracked the prevalence of hallucinogens—psychoactive drugs which strongly affect the mind and cause a “trip”—but no hallucinogens ranked as the most prevalent drug in any one country.

*Editor’s note: Recreational cannabis is legal in five countries, and some non-federal jurisdictions (i.e. states). However, in the context of this report, it was included because it is still widely illicit in most countries globally.

The Most Prevalent Drug in Each Country

According to the report, 275 million people used drugs worldwide in 2020. Between the ages of 15–64, around 5.5% of the global population used drugs at least once.

Many countries grouped different types of the same drug class together, and a few like Saudi Arabia and North Macedonia had multiple different drug types listed as the most prevalent.

But across the board, cannabis was the most commonly prevalent drug used in 107 listed countries and territories:

Country or territoryMost Prevalent Drug(s)
AfghanistanHeroin, opium
AlbaniaSedatives and tranquillizers (general)
AlgeriaCannabis (general)
ArgentinaCannabis (herb)
AustraliaCannabis (general)
AzerbaijanHeroin
BahamasCannabis (herb)
BahrainCannabis (general)
BangladeshAmphetamine
BelarusOpium
BelgiumCannabis (herb)
BoliviaCannabis (herb)
BruneiCannabis (herb)
BulgariaCannabis (herb)
Burkina FasoCannabis (general)
CanadaCannabis (herb)
Central African RepublicCannabis (herb)
ChileCannabis (herb)
ChinaMethamphetamine
Costa RicaCannabis (herb)
Côte d'IvoireCannabis (herb)
CroatiaHeroin
CyprusCannabis (general)
Czech RepublicBenzodiazepines
Dominican RepublicCocaine (powder)
EcuadorCannabis (herb)
El SalvadorCannabis (herb)
EstoniaCannabis (herb)
FinlandCannabis (herb)
FranceCannabis (hashish)
GeorgiaCannabis (herb)
GermanyCannabis (herb)
GibraltarCannabis (hashish)
GreeceSolvents and inhalants (general)
GuatemalaCannabis (herb)
HondurasCannabis (herb)
Hong KongHeroin, opium, opioids
HungaryCannabis (herb)
IcelandCannabis (general)
IndiaHeroin
IndonesiaCannabis (herb)
IranOpium
IrelandCannabis (herb)
IsraelCannabis (herb)
ItalyCannabis (general)
JapanMethamphetamine
JordanCannabis (hashish)
KenyaCannabis (herb)
LatviaCannabis (herb)
LebanonCannabis (hashish)
LiechtensteinCannabis (hashish)
LithuaniaSedatives and tranquillizers (general)
LuxembourgCannabis (general)
MacaoMethamphetamine
MadagascarCannabis (herb)
MalaysiaMethamphetamine
MaltaHeroin
MexicoCannabis (herb)
MoldovaCannabis (herb)
MongoliaMethamphetamine
MozambiqueCannabis (herb)
MyanmarHeroin
NetherlandsBenzodiazepines
New ZealandMethamphetamine, solvent and inhalants
NicaraguaCannabis (herb)
NigeriaCannabis (herb)
North MacedoniaMultiple types
NorwayCannabis (general)
OmanOpium
PakistanCannabis (hashish)
PanamaCannabis (herb)
PeruCannabis (herb)
PhilippinesCannabis (herb)
PolandCannabis (herb)
PortugalCannabis (general)
QatarCannabis (hashish)
RomaniaCannabis (general)
Saudi ArabiaMultiple types
SenegalCannabis (herb)
SerbiaBenzodiazepines
SingaporeMethamphetamine
SloveniaCannabis (general)
South AfricaCannabis (general)
South KoreaMethamphetamine
SpainCannabis (herb)
Sri LankaCannabis (herb)
SudanCannabis (herb)
SurinameCannabis (herb)
SwedenCannabis (general)
SwitzerlandCannabis (herb)
Syrian Arab RepublicCannabis (hashish)
TajikistanHeroin, opium
TanzaniaCannabis (herb)
ThailandMethamphetamine
TogoCannabis (herb)
Trinidad and TobagoCocaine (crack)
TunisiaCannabis (general)
TurkeyCannabis (herb)
TurkmenistanOpium
U.S.Cannabis (herb)
UKCannabis (herb)
UkraineOpioids
UruguayCannabis (herb)
UzbekistanCannabis (herb)
VenezuelaBenzodiazepines
VietnamHeroin
ZambiaCannabis (herb)

How prevalent is cannabis worldwide? 72 locations or more than two-thirds of those reporting listed cannabis as the most prevalent drug.

Unsurprisingly these include countries that have legalized recreational cannabis: Canada, Georgia, Mexico, South Africa, and Uruguay.

How Common Are Opioids and Other Drugs?

Though the global prevalence of cannabis is unsurprising, especially as it becomes legalized and accepted in more countries, other drugs also have strong footholds.

Opioids (14 locations) were the most prevalent drugs in the Middle-East, South and Central Asia, including in India and Iran. Notably, Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, supplying more than 90% of illicit heroin globally.

Amphetamine-type drugs (9 locations) were the third-most common drugs overall, mainly in East Asia. Methamphetamine was the reported most prevalent drug in China, South Korea, and Japan, while amphetamine was only the most common drug in Bangladesh.

However, it’s important to note that illicit drug usage is tough to track. Asian countries where cannabis is less frequently found (or reported) might understate its usage. At the same time, the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and Canada reflects high opioid usage in the West.

As some drugs become more widespread and others face a renewed “war,” the landscape is certain to shift over the next few years.

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Culture

Mapped: How Much Netflix Costs in Every Country

This map of Netflix price by country shows how much a basic subscription package costs around the world.

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Mapped: Netflix Price by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Netflix, the renowned streaming giant, has transformed the way we consume entertainment, providing a vast library of movies, TV shows, and documentaries at the touch of a button.

However, the cost of accessing this digital haven varies significantly from country to country, reflecting economic disparities and market dynamics.

This graphic from Preyash Shah maps Netflix price by country, using standard (basic) package subscription monthly rates from Netflix.com and converting to USD as of December 10, 2023.

What is the Netflix Price by Country?

Across 244 countries and territories that had Netflix available in December of 2023, Switzerland was the most expensive at $21.48 per month. That was $5 more than the second-most-expensive country on the list.

CountriesNetflix Cost (USD)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan$7.99
🇦🇽 Åland Islands$12.92
🇦🇱 Albania$8.61
🇩🇿 Algeria$7.99
🇦🇸 American Samoa$15.49
🇦🇩 Andorra$14.00
🇦🇴 Angola$7.99
🇦🇮 Anguilla$12.99
🇦🇬 Antigua & Barbuda$12.99
🇦🇷 Argentina$3.57
🇦🇲 Armenia$10.76
🇦🇼 Aruba$12.99
🇦🇺 Australia$11.19
🇦🇹 Austria$14.00
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan$10.76
🇧🇸 Bahamas$12.99
🇧🇭 Bahrain$10.49
🇧🇩 Bangladesh$7.99
🇧🇧 Barbados$15.29
🇧🇾 Belarus$10.76
🇧🇪 Belgium$14.54
🇧🇿 Belize$5.99
🇧🇯 Benin$9.99
🇧🇲 Bermuda$12.99
🇧🇹 Bhutan$7.99
🇧🇴 Bolivia$5.99
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina$8.61
🇧🇼 Botswana$7.99
🇧🇻 Bouvet Island$9.99
🇧🇷 Brazil$8.10
🇮🇴 British Indian Ocean Territory$7.99
🇻🇬 British Virgin Islands$12.99
🇧🇳 Brunei$11.99
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$8.61
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso$7.99
🇧🇮 Burundi$7.99
🇰🇭 Cambodia$7.99
🇨🇲 Cameroon$7.99
🇨🇦 Canada$12.13
🇨🇻 Cape Verde$7.99
🇨🇰 Caribbean Netherlands$12.99
🇰🇾 Cayman Islands$12.99
🇨🇫 Central African Republic$7.99
🇹🇩 Chad$7.99
🇨🇱 Chile$9.58
🇨🇽 Christmas Island$7.99
🇨🇨 Cocos (Keeling) Islands$11.19
🇨🇴 Colombia$6.75
🇰🇲 Comoros$7.99
🇨🇬 Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo$7.99
🇨🇰 Cook Islands$11.32
🇨🇷 Costa Rica$12.99
🇨🇮 Côte d’Ivoire$7.99
🇭🇷 Croatia$8.61
🇨🇺 Cuba$5.99
🇨🇼 Curaçao$12.99
🇨🇾 Cyprus$11.84
🇨🇿 Czechia$11.42
🇩🇰 Denmark$16.46
🇩🇯 Djibouti$7.99
🇩🇲 Dominica$5.99
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic$7.99
🇪🇨 Ecuador$7.99
🇪🇬 Egypt$3.88
🇸🇻 El Salvador$7.99
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea$7.99
🇪🇷 Eritrea$7.99
🇪🇪 Estonia$10.76
🇸🇿 Eswatini$7.99
🇪🇹 Ethiopia$7.99
🇫🇰 Falkland Islands$12.99
🇫🇴 Faroe Islands$16.46
🇫🇯 Fiji$7.99
🇫🇮 Finland$12.92
🇫🇷 France$14.54
🇬🇫 French Guiana$13.46
🇵🇫 French Polynesia$11.99
🇹🇫 French Southern Territories$12.92
🇬🇦 Gabon$7.99
🇬🇲 Gambia$7.99
🇬🇪 Georgia$12.70
🇩🇪 Germany$14.00
🇬🇭 Ghana$7.99
🇬🇮 Gibraltar$14.00
🇬🇷 Greece$11.84
🇬🇱 Greenland$16.46
🇬🇩 Grenada$5.99
🇬🇵 Guadeloupe$13.46
🇬🇺 Guam$15.49
🇬🇹 Guatemala$7.99
🇬🇬 Guernsey$13.79
🇬🇳 Guinea$7.99
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau$7.99
🇬🇾 Guyana$5.99
🇭🇹 Haiti$5.99
🇭🇲 Heard & McDonald Islands$9.99
🇭🇳 Honduras$7.99
🇭🇰 Hong Kong$9.99
🇭🇺 Hungary$9.85
🇮🇸 Iceland$14.00
🇮🇳 India$5.98
🇮🇩 Indonesia$7.72
🇮🇷 Iran$9.99
🇮🇶 Iraq$7.99
🇮🇪 Ireland$16.15
🇮🇲 Isle of Man$13.79
🇮🇱 Israel$12.67
🇮🇹 Italy$14.00
🇯🇲 Jamaica$5.99
🇯🇵 Japan$10.28
🇯🇪 Jersey$13.79
🇯🇴 Jordan$7.99
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan$10.76
🇰🇪 Kenya$4.52
🇰🇮 Kiribati$7.99
🇰🇼 Kuwait$9.99
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan$10.76
🇱🇦 Laos$7.99
🇱🇻 Latvia$10.76
🇱🇧 Lebanon$7.99
🇱🇸 Lesotho$7.99
🇱🇷 Liberia$7.99
🇱🇾 Libya$7.99
🇱🇮 Liechtenstein$21.48
🇱🇹 Lithuania$10.76
🇱🇺 Luxembourg$14.54
🇲🇴 Macau$9.99
🇲🇬 Madagascar$7.99
🇲🇼 Malawi$7.99
🇲🇾 Malaysia$9.65
🇲🇻 Maldives$11.99
🇲🇱 Mali$7.99
🇲🇹 Malta$14.00
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands$15.49
🇲🇶 Martinique$13.46
🇲🇷 Mauritania$7.99
🇲🇺 Mauritius$7.99
🇾🇹 Mayotte$13.46
🇲🇽 Mexico$12.62
🇫🇲 Micronesia$15.49
🇲🇩 Moldova$10.76
🇲🇨 Monaco$14.54
🇲🇳 Mongolia$7.99
🇲🇪 Montenegro$8.61
🇲🇸 Montserrat$12.99
🇲🇦 Morocco$6.41
🇲🇿 Mozambique$7.99
🇲🇲 Myanmar (Burma)$7.99
🇳🇦 Namibia$7.99
🇳🇷 Nauru$11.99
🇳🇵 Nepal$7.99
🇳🇱 Netherlands$12.92
🇳🇨 New Caledonia$11.99
🇳🇿 New Zealand$11.32
🇳🇮 Nicaragua$5.99
🇳🇪 Niger$7.99
🇳🇬 Nigeria$4.48
🇳🇺 Niue$11.32
🇳🇫 Norfolk Island$11.19
🇲🇰 North Macedonia$8.61
🇲🇵 Northern Mariana Islands$15.49
🇳🇴 Norway$9.99
🇴🇲 Oman$10.49
🇵🇰 Pakistan$2.82
🇵🇼 Palau$15.49
🇵🇸 Palestine$7.99
🇵🇦 Panama$8.99
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea$7.99
🇵🇾 Paraguay$5.99
🇵🇪 Peru$9.28
🇵🇭 Philippines$7.19
🇵🇳 Pitcairn Islands$7.99
🇵🇱 Poland$10.68
🇵🇹 Portugal$12.92
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico$15.49
🇶🇦 Qatar$9.99
🇷🇪 Réunion$12.49
🇷🇴 Romania$10.76
🇷🇼 Rwanda$7.99
🇼🇸 Samoa$7.99
🇸🇲 San Marino$14.00
🇸🇹 São Tomé & Príncipe$7.99
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$11.47
🇸🇳 Senegal$7.99
🇷🇸 Serbia$8.61
🇸🇨 Seychelles$7.99
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone$7.99
🇸🇬 Singapore$13.02
🇸🇽 Sint Maarten$12.99
🇸🇰 Slovakia$10.76
🇸🇮 Slovenia$8.61
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands$7.99
🇸🇴 Somalia$7.99
🇿🇦 South Africa$8.41
🇬🇸 South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands$9.99
🇰🇷 South Korea$10.25
🇸🇸 South Sudan$7.99
🇪🇸 Spain$14.00
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka$7.99
🇧🇱 St. Barthélemy$5.99
🇸🇭 St. Helena$7.99
🇰🇳 St. Kitts & Nevis$12.99
🇱🇨 St. Lucia$5.99
🇲🇫 St. Martin$5.99
🇵🇲 St. Pierre & Miquelon$14.54
🇻🇨 St. Vincent & Grenadines$5.99
🇸🇩 Sudan$7.99
🇸🇷 Suriname$5.99
🇸🇯 Svalbard & Jan Mayen$9.99
🇸🇪 Sweden$12.32
🇨🇭 Switzerland$21.48
🇹🇼 Taiwan$10.49
🇹🇯 Tajikistan$12.70
🇹🇿 Tanzania$7.99
🇹🇭 Thailand$9.90
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste$7.99
🇹🇬 Togo$7.99
🇹🇰 Tokelau$11.32
🇹🇴 Tonga$7.99
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago$12.99
🇹🇳 Tunisia$7.99
🇹🇷 Türkiye$3.38
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan$10.76
🇹🇨 Turks & Caicos Islands$12.99
🇹🇻 Tuvalu$7.99
🇺🇸 U.S. Outlying Islands$9.99
🇻🇮 U.S. Virgin Islands$15.49
🇺🇬 Uganda$7.99
🇺🇦 Ukraine$8.07
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates$10.62
🇬🇧 United Kingdom$13.79
🇺🇸 United States$15.49
🇺🇾 Uruguay$12.99
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan$10.76
🇻🇺 Vanuatu$7.99
🇻🇦 Vatican City$14.00
🇻🇪 Venezuela$5.99
🇻🇳 Vietnam$9.08
🇼🇫 Wallis & Futuna$7.99
🇪🇭 Western Sahara$9.99
🇾🇪 Yemen$7.99
🇿🇲 Zambia$7.99
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe$7.99

Other wealthy countries like Denmark, Ireland, and the U.S. were in the top five most expensive countries for Netflix subscriptions, ranging from $16.46 to $15.49.

On the opposite side of the pendulum, Pakistan had the lowest Netflix subscription cost at $2.82 per month. It was followed by Türkiye at $3.38 and Argentina at $3.57.

Several factors influence the flux in pricing of Netflix subscriptions across different nations. These include:

  • Economic Factors: Netflix tailors its prices to align with the purchasing power of consumers in each market. Countries with higher average incomes typically bear higher subscription costs.
  • Market Competition: The presence of strong local streaming services can exert downward pressure on Netflix prices, forcing it to adjust its offerings to remain competitive.
  • Content Licensing: The cost of acquiring content rights varies across regions, influencing the overall pricing structure. Countries with higher licensing fees may experience higher subscription costs.
  • Currency Fluctuations: Currency exchange rates can impact Netflix’s pricing model, leading to occasional adjustments or fluctuations in subscription costs.

While affordability remains a primary concern for consumers, Netflix’s pricing strategy also aims to balance accessibility with content acquisition and profitability.

As the streaming industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to observe how Netflix adapts its pricing model to maintain its global dominance while catering to the diverse needs and preferences of its audience.

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