Aims: The reasons why antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae has emerged explosively in certain populations but not others are poorly understood. We hypothesized that population level consumption of antimicrobials plays a role. Methods: Using susceptibility data from the World Health Organizations Global Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme and antimicrobial consumption data from the IMS Health MIDAS database we built linear regression models with country-level cephalosporin, macrolide, and fluoroquinolone consumption (standard doses/1,000 population/year) as the explanatory variable and 1-year lagged ceftriaxone, azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin resistance as the outcome variables. These were performed at two time points 2008/2009 and 2013/2014. Results: The association between antimicrobial resistance and consumption at the level of individual countries was positive in all six assessments. In four instances the positive associations were statistically significant (cephalosporins 2008: coefficient 0.0005 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.0002-0.0007] and 2013: coefficient 0.0003 [95% CI 0.0002-0.0004]; macrolides 2013: coefficient 0.0005 [95% CI 0.00002-0.001]; fluoroquinolones 2013: coefficient 0.02 [95% CI 0.006-0.031]). Conclusions: Differences in population level consumption of particular antimicrobials may play a role in explaining the variations in the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in N. gonorrhoeae.