Estimated Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Young Adults in the EU

"It is estimated that 90.2 million adults in the European Union (aged 15-64), or 27.2 % of this age group, have used cannabis at least once in their lifetime. Around 15 % (18.0 million) of young adults (aged 15-34) report using cannabis in the last year, with males being typically twice as likely to report use than females. Among the 27 countries that undertook surveys between 2014 and 2018, considerable variation exists, with last year use rates among young adults ranging from 3.5 % in Hungary to 21.8 % in France. When only 15- to 24-year-olds are considered, the prevalence of cannabis use is higher, with 19 % (10.4 million) having used the drug in the last year and 10 % in the last month (5.5 million).

"In most countries, recent survey results show either stable or increasing last year cannabis use among young adults. Of the countries that have produced surveys since 2017 and reported confidence intervals, eight reported higher estimates, three were stable and one reported a decrease compared with the previous comparable survey. In eight of these countries, an increase in use among 15- to 24-yearolds has been reported in the most recent survey.

"Few countries have sufficient survey data to permit statistical analysis of long-term trends in last year use among young adults (15-34). Where these exist, the results vary, although among some of the higher-prevalence countries there are increases between the most recent surveys. France shows a weak upward movement since 2005, with similar values for 2014 and 2017 of 22.1 % and 21.8 % respectively (Figure 5). Prevalence is stable in Spain at a relatively high rate but with an increase between 2015 and 2017 from 17.1 % to 18.3 %, while Germany has a weak upward movement since 2012, with an increase between 2015 and 2018 from 13.3 % to 16.9 %. Finland has an upward trend since 2000 and the United Kingdom since 2012, both with increases in 2018, reaching 15.5 % and 13.4 % respectively. Belgium reported new survey results for 2018, with a prevalence of 13.6 %, up from 10.1 % in 2013. In contrast, the three surveys in Sweden since 2015 have reported a stable prevalence, with 7.9 % in 2018."


European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (2020), European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.