Drugs by Numbers

100% Three Andean countries – Colombia, Peru and Bolivia – are responsible for virtually all global coca leaf production, the raw material for cocaine.

149,100 In 2010, coca was cultivated on 149,100 hectares in the Andean countries – an area roughly one and a half times the size of Hong Kong – down from 221,300 hectares in 2000.

6% In 2010, the global area under coca cultivation decreased by 6%, mainly due to a significant reduction in Colombia that was not entirely offset by a small increase in Peru.

732,000 The amount of cocaine seized worldwide in 2009 was 732,000kg – which refers to seizures unadjusted for purity. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that between 46% and 60% of cocaine produced was seized – an indication of the amount manufactured the previous year.

444,000 The best reading of data and estimates suggests that about 440,000kg of pure cocaine was consumed worldwide in 2009. This would be in line with a production estimate of about 1.1m kg and purity adjusted seizures of 615,000kg, plus agricultural and other losses of about 55,000kg (which represents 5% of production).

$85bn The value of the global cocaine market is lower than in the mid-1990s, when prices were much higher and the US market was strong. In 1995, the global market was worth about $165bn, while, in 2009, this had been reduced to just over half of that.

99% Of that $85bn income from global cocaine retail sales in 2009, traffickers are estimated to have reaped about $84bn (almost 99%). The rest went to Andean farmers.

5m The US has the highest prevalence of cocaine use (2.4% of the population, or five million people, aged 15-64), but there are indications of cocaine use declining in the last few years.

$33bn The amount of cocaine consumed in Europe has doubled in the last decade. The volume and value of the western and central European cocaine market, currently valued at $33bn, is now approaching parity with that of the US ($37bn).

80% Two thirds of European cocaine users live in three countries: the UK, Spain and Italy. With Germany and France, these countries represent 80% of European cocaine consumption.

272m Globally, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that between 149 and 272 million people – 3.3%-6.1% of the population aged 15-64 – used illicit drugs at least once in the previous year.

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

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