BACKGROUND There is little knowledge about the consumption of alcohol among Chinese and Norwegian older adults aged 65 years and over. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors related to alcohol consumption among older adults in China and Norway. METHODS The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) data in 2008-2009 conducted in China and The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study data in 2006-2008 (HUNT3) conducted in Norway were used. Mulitvariable logistic regression was used to test the factors related to alcohol consumption. RESULTS The prevalence of participants who drink alcohol in the Chinese and Norwegian sample were 19.88% and 46.2%, respectively. The weighted prevalence of participants with consumption of alcohol in the Chinese sample of women and men were 7.20% and 34.14%, respectively. In the Norwegian sample, the prevalence of consumption of alcohol were 43.31% and 65.35% for women and men, respectively. Factors such as younger age, higher level of education, living in urban areas, living with spouse or partner, and better health status were related to higher likelihood of alcohol consumption among Norwegian older women and men; while reported better health status and poorer life satisfaction were related to higher likelihood of alcohol consumption among Chinese. In addition, rural males and older females with higher level of education were more likely to consume alcohol. CONCLUSION The alcohol consumption patterns were quite different between China and Norway. Besides economic development levels and cultures in the two different countries, demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, overall health status, and life satisfaction were associated with alcohol consumption as well.