World Energy Consumption in 2019

Published on 01.25.2021
Middle School
Life and earth sciences

10 min read

In 2019, global consumption increased by 1.3% – only half as much as in 2018 (2.8%) and below the average observed over the past ten years (1.6%). Gas and renewable energies accounted for three-quarters of the rise.

Which Energy Sources Were Consumed the Most?

Oil took first place, with 33.1% of global consumption. It is mainly used in Asia-Pacific and North America (60.3% of global consumption).

came in second (27%). Consumption is dropping in OECD countries but increasing in emerging markets, particularly in China and Indonesia.

Natural gas stood in third place (24.2%) and is the dominant source of primary energy in the CIS and the Middle East. Worldwide, natural gas consumption rose 2% year on year.

How Did Consumption Break Down Between Countries?

It is no surprise that the most populated countries consumed the most energy, i.e., China (18.5% of the world population), India (17.7%) and the United States (4.25%).

The more developed a country is, the more demand for energy per capita increases.

In 1999, 24% of the world population consumed more than 75.7 gigajoules (GJ) per capita (average global consumption). In 2019, the figure stood at 43%.

In 2019, China alone accounted for more than three-quarters of the increase in global primary energy consumption. However, it only came 42nd in energy consumption per capita, far behind the top three: Qatar, Singapore, and Trinidad and Tobago. The United States, meanwhile, came 10th.

The table below clearly shows the differences in consumption per capita:

  • Consumption per capita in the United States was almost 20 times greater than in Africa, even though there are four times fewer Americans.
  • China has a population four times larger than the United States, but Americans consumed three times more energy.
  • There are twice as many Europeans as Americans, but they consumed less than half as much energy per capita.


World Primary Energy Consumption per Capita in 2019

Country % of world population % of global consumption % of consumption compared vs. consumption per capita (75.7 GJ)
China 18.47 24.27 130.51
India 17.70 5.83 32.89
Africa 17.2 3.40 20.07
Europe 9.59 14.36 163.27
United States 4.25 16.21 379.92


Importance of Lifestyles

If we look at consumption per capita, we can clearly see that the living standards and level of development of a country play a big role. Lifestyles are constantly changing in developed countries, where people are spending less on clothing and food, but more on communications, health, transportation and leisure activities – all of which are very energy intensive.

Energy Consumption and the Environment

Higher consumption means more energy used, more CO2 emissions, more waste and more pollution. It is up to both individuals and governments to take responsibility, as consumption is partially responsible for environmental degradation. Individuals can change their consumption habits, and governments can take actions such as enacting laws on the energy transition, fighting against planned obsolescence and changing the .

Combating Fuel Poverty

The difference in consumption per capita is also observed within single countries. For example, some people with low incomes suffer from poverty. Their governments could introduce certain measures to help, such as reduced rates for low earners, grants, and subsidies for energy expenses and home renovations.

What Does the Future Have in Store for Energy?

Irrespective of the supply of different energies, the future of the industry will largely be shaped by technological innovations, for example, mass storage, vehicles, better coordination between production and consumption, more competitive segments and the rise of low-carbon .


Primary Energy Consumption in 2019

Power Generation by Energy source in 2019


Primary Energy Consumption in 2019

  Global Energy Mix – 2019
(% of total consumption)
Energy Mix in Europe – 2019
European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine and Turkey
Energy Mix in France – 2019
(% of total consumption)
Hydro 6.4 6.8 5.4
Nuclear 4.3 9.9 36.8
Gas 24.2 23.8 16.1
Oil 33.1 36.3 32.5
Coal 27.0 13.5 2.8
Other renewables 5.0 9.8 6.3


Power Generation by Energy Source in 2019

* , , waste and other renewable energy sources.
  Global Power Generation Mix – 2019
(% of total production)
Power Generation Mix in Europe – 2019
European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine and Turkey
(% of total production)
Power Generation Mix in France – 2019
(% of total production)
Oil 3.1 1.3 0.4
Gas 23.3 19.2 7.2
Coal 36.4 17.5 0.3
Nuclear 10.4 23.3 70.6
Hydro 15.6 15.8 11.2
Wind 5.3 11.6 6.3
Solar 2.7 3.9 2.2
Other* 3.3 7.4 1.8

BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020
- United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019)
- World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1
- World Bank
- Ademe
Tableau de bord de la précarité énergétique Édition 2020 (1er semestre), ONPE (only available in French) 
Étude sur les perspectives stratégiques de l’énergie, May 2018, French Energy Regulation Commission (only available in French) 

Our most popular content

See all