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Which are the Drunkest States in America?

Which are the Drunkest States in America?


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Where did your home state rank on the list of booziest US regions?

Here are some pretty sobering statistics: American alcohol consumption has been steadily rising over the past couple of decades, and the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said in their annual report this year that the average American aged 14 and older drank 2.33 gallons of alcohol in 2012. So which American regions and states are the drunkest? The western region of the United States comes in at number one, with the average Western American consuming 2.42 gallons of alcohol per year. But when it comes down to individual states, the answers may surprise you.

The driest state, not surprisingly is, Utah, with only 1.37 gallons of alcohol consumed per capita, followed by West Virginia and Arkansas, who tied at 1.81 gallons of alcohol consumed. When it came to the drunkest state in the union, New Hampshire was the runaway winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it), with 4.65 gallons of alcohol consumed per capita. New Hampshire also drank the most beer and spirits in America in 2012. New Hampshirites drank almost one gallon more than the second place drunkest state, Delaware, with 3.59 gallons of alcohol consumed. Idaho slugged the most wine at 1.02 gallons per year.

Here’s the full list:

50. Utah-1.37

49. West Virginia-1.81

48. Arkansas-1.81

47. Kentucky-1.87

46. Oklahoma-1.94

45. Kansas-1.95

44. Indiana-1.97

43. Georgia-1.99

42. Tennessee-2.00

41. Alabama-2.00

40. Ohio-2.03

39. North Carolina-2.05

38. Virginia-2.13

37. New York-2.17

36. Mississippi-2.20

35. Maryland-2.21

34. Washington-2.25

33. Pennsylvania-2.26

32. Texas-2.28

31. Michigan-2.29

30. Nebraska-2.32

29. South Carolina-2.33

28. California-2.35

27. New Mexico-2.36

26. Illinois-2.36

25. New Jersey-2.39

24. Iowa-2.39

23. Connecticut- 2.39

22. Missouri-2.42

21. Arizona-2.43

20. Hawaii-2.54

19. Massachusetts- 2.57

18. Louisiana-2.60

17. Oregon-2.65

16. Maine- 2.65

15. Wyoming-2.67

14. Minnesota- 2.70

13. Rhode Island-2.72

12. Florida-2.72

11. South Dakota-2.76

10. Idaho-2.76

9. Colorado -2.76

8. Alaska-2.82

7. Vermont-2.92

6. Montana-2.96

5. Wisconsin-3.00

4. Nevada-3.27

3. North Dakota- 3.42

2. Delaware-3.59

1. New Hampshire- 4.65

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Which are the Drunkest States in America? - Recipes

Keep in mind that these numbers are based on alcohol sales in each state, so we can’t say for sure who is drinking what, just what people are buying. The original study listed alcohol consumption in terms of ethanol (or pure alcohol). So we crunched some numbers to get you data in terms you can drop in to cocktail party conversations. Here you’ll find how many gallons of alcohol are consumed by the average person in each state, and how many cans of beer (16 oz.) and bottles of wine (25 oz.) that translates to.


And the Drunkest State in the Union Is .

How much do we drink? Too much as a nation, according to a new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In their annual "Surveillance Report," they break down "apparent" per capita alcohol consumption as well as which types of tipple are trending. Numbers are based on sales figures, and represent ages 14 and up.

Since the NIAAA is most concerned with how much actual alcohol we're consuming, they distill the data to gallons of pure ethanol. Healthy People 2020, a government organization that sets wellness goals for our populace, has declared the "national objective" of no more than 2.1 gallons per person, per year.

In layman's terms, that's about 25 bottles of whiskey, 88 bottles of wine, or 320 bottles of beer. Actual average American consumption was 2.33 gallons, up just a hair over last year.

According to their study, 43 states increased their inebriation, with the West leading the way by 3.4 percent, followed by 2.3 percent in the South, 2.1 percent in the Northeast, and 1.7 percent in the Midwest. The only states to decrease in drunkenness were Alaska, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.

The Live Free Or Die state pulled double duty, ironically also coming in with the highest national consumption rate of 4.65 gallons &ndash nearly twice the national average. Maybe we shouldn't have been surprised that brief presidential contender Rick Perry delivered his famous "Drunken Speech" there:

As for drinking trends, well, sorry, Homer Simpson, but your beverage of choice is on the outs. Our taste for beer is waning, with wine and liquor on the come up.


See where N.J. ranks in list of ɽrunkest' states in the U.S.

According to an "America's Drunkest States," an analysis published on March 7 by the financial news website 24/7 Wall St., it isn't New Jersey. But that doesn't mean we're the most sober state, either.

The ranking of "drunkest" states was devised using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute that measures various health factors including obesity and smoking.

"Excessive drinking" was defined as either binge drinking (four or more drinks on one occasion for women, five or more for men) or heavy drinking (eight drinks per week for women, 15 for men).

The ranking was prefaced with the fact that excessive drinking can contribute to life-threatening health problems, and that according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 30 people die every day in the United States as a result of motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol. Alcohol, the analysis notes, is a factor in 30 percent of roadway fatalities in the U.S.

Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

How does New Jersey rank?

A ranking for each state was determined by using the percentage of people over the age of 18 who report binge or heavy drinking. This "drunkest" list also made use of other factors from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, like the percentage of adults who report being in either poor or fair health.

According to the list, the national average for adults who drink excessively is 18 percent.

The percentage of New Jerseyans over 18 who report drinking excessively? Just below that figure: 17.6 percent, landing the Garden State at No. 27 on the list of drunkest states.

The 24/7 Wall St. ranking notes that New Jersey is one of the wealthier states, with the third highest median household income in the nation ($76,126, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2016 American Community Survey), which helps to account for our state's lower premature death rate (along with lower rates for obesity and smoking). That's because even though we land almost smack dab in the middle of the "drunkest" ranking, we generally can afford better healthcare and lifestyle choices. Only 15.2 percent of New Jerseyans reported that they were in (only) fair or poor health.

Ocean City: Dry town and drunkest metro area?

Somehow Ocean City, which is well known to be a dry town that started as a Methodist camp and retreat in the late 19th century, receives the list's "drunkest metro area" title for New Jersey. This is something 24/7 Wall St. also reported this past fall, to the dismay of local residents of the community, praised for its family-friendly beaches and boardwalk.

But the "metro area" part is key. That area incorporates a far larger area than just Ocean City, including Wildwood, Cape May, North Wildwood and Sea Isle City.

The report, which used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that the Ocean City metro area ended up with an excessive drinking rate of 18.3 percent. Alcohol-related driving deaths accounted for 32.7 percent of local roadway fatalities, as compared with the statewide figure of 24.3 percent, the sixth lowest in the nation.


The Map of Most Popular Liquor in Each State

A re you a Jack Daniels fan? Maybe you prefer Jim Beam? Or is gin your poison of choice? When it comes to hard alcohol, each drinker has their own brand that they swear by. And while you can debate with your buddies ad nauseam over which label is better, there is no denying the general consensus of the population. Like beer, each state has its preferred liquor of choice.

To determine the most popular liquor, you could get an accurate count by taking a poll at all the bars in every state, but that would take forever. Luckily, if there is one thing social drinkers love as much as their brand of choice, it's social media. Analyzing the data of 700,000 users, the social app BARTENDr took a look at posts and photos to decipher what drinkers prefer on a regional scale. Take a look to see what's most popular in your state with this map, compliments of Business Insider.

So let's get into the popular spirit brands. All you whiskey drinkers out there will be happy to know that across the board a whopping forty-two states prefer to drink the dark brown liquor. Of all the brands, Jack Daniels and Fireball cinnamon whisky have the most presence regionally, with mainly good Old No. 7 reigning supreme in the South around Georgia and Florida, and Fireball warming up drinkers and liquor stores in the Northeast. Only a few states went for Irish whiskey with Jameson.

A few states set the whiskey aside for alternative brands. Grey Goose vodka, for instance, has a strong presence in Virginia, while Washington can't get enough Patron tequila. What's somewhat surprising is several states are torn between brands of alcoholic beverages.


The Drunkest City in Every State

Excessive drinking is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. According to research by the National Institutes of Health, alcohol was involved in 72,558 deaths in 2017, about 2.6% of all deaths in the country that year and more than double the number of alcohol-related deaths in 1999.

24/7 Tempo reviewed the percentage of men and women over 18 who reported heavy or binge drinking in each state’s metro areas. Only one metro area was considered in Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Metro level data was aggregated from the 2020 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program.

Excessive drinking includes both binge and heavy drinking. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming at least 15 drinks a week or averaging two or more drinks a day for men, according to the CDC. For women, it’s eight drinks or more per week or more than one drink on average a day. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration level to 0.08% or higher — estimated to take about five or more drinks within two hours for men and four or more drinks for women.

Car accidents caused by alcohol-impaired people account for about 30% of all driving deaths in the United States.

Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can result in chronic conditions and other long-term health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and certain cancers. About half of alcohol-related deaths nationwide are due to liver disease or overdoses involving alcohol or alcohol combined with other drugs.

The percentage of Americans who drink liquor, wine, or beer occasionally has increased from 60% in 2014 to 65% in 2019, according to a Gallup poll from last year. America’s growing drinking population is reflected in consumer spending habits in some big cities — here is how much people spend on alcohol in 22 major American cities.

On average, 19% of adult Americans report binge or heavy drinking, but the rates vary greatly from city to city and between states. For example, in Madison, Wisconsin, almost 28% of adults drink excessively, the highest share among all 383 U.S. metropolitan areas. In Provo-Orem, Utah, however, the rate is closer to 8%, the lowest among the nation’s metro areas.

Nine of the 10 cities with the highest excessive drinking rates are in Wisconsin. Most of the 40 metro areas with the highest rates of binge or heavy drinking are in the Midwest. By contrast, the cities with the lowest rates of excessive drinking are in the South. With the exception of Utah, most of them are in Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

Within states, residents of urban areas almost always report higher excessive drinking rates than adults in non-metropolitan areas. The drunkest metro areas in four states — Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Wyoming — have lower excessive drinking rates than their respective states. Also, the drunkest cities in 12 states have lower excessive drinking rates than the country’s average of 19%.


North Dakota ranked drunkest state in America, with Minnesota not far behind

North Dakota was once again ranked the drunkest state in the country, according to a new study by 24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion company. North Dakota's neighbor to the east, Minnesota, ranked sixth in the study.

To identify the drunkest states, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of men and women over 18 who report binge drinking or heavy drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes binge drinking and heavy drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men. Heavy drinking is defined as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.

North Dakota had the highest share of adults drinking excessively, with nearly 25 percent of adults reporting binge drinking or drinking heavily.

The Peace Garden State also ranked No. 1 among the states for the highest rate of alcohol-related driving deaths at 46.7 percent, nearly 20 percent higher than the national average of 30 percent.

The most-populous city, Fargo, was tabbed as North Dakota's drunkest metro area.

In Minnesota, meanwhile, 21.1 percent of adults report binge drinking or heavy drinking. Excessive drinking rates tend to be higher among wealthier populations, according to the study, and Minnesota has a larger median household income than most states at $65,599 per year. That's well above the national income of $57,617.

Filling in the rankings between North Dakota and Minnesota is Wisconsin at No. 2, followed by Alaska, Montana and Illinois, respectively.


Nothing seems particularly out of the ordinary, and Utah definitely makes sense as the soberest state, with rock-bottom alcohol consumption and a very, very low overall “drunk score.” Now let’s take a look at the opposite end of the list and see which states are the drunkest. Well!

According to a April 2018 surveillance report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the state of Utah has the lowest overall apparent consumption of alcohol per capita in the United States.


One State Is Home to More Than Half of the Nation's Drunkest Cities

According to data collected by 24/7 Wall Street, 17 of the 20 drunkest cities in the U.S. are based in the Mid-West. And of those 17 cities, 12 are located in "America's Dairyland," with Appleton, WI taking the prize for the drunkest town in the nation. The report used County Health Rankings & Roadmaps to determine the percentage of adults who report "binge or heavy drinking" across 381 metro areas. A binge-drinker is defined as a man who consumes more than five drinks—or a woman who consumers more than four drinks—in the course of roughly two hours, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Appleton is home to the largest share of binge and heavy drinkers in both Wisconsin and the country," the study reads, adding that a whopping 26.8% of adults in the city drink to excess.

“We’ve known for a long time both in Wisconsin and in Appleton that we have a culture of alcohol," Kurt Eggebrecht, Appleton’s public health director​, told Fox 6. "I think availability of alcohol, price of alcohol, is a factor as well. In Wisconsin, it’s very inexpensive to purchase and drink alcohol compared to other states. So the availability and price I think do factor in."

Still, one Appleton resident had a simpler explanation: “Beer and cheese. Beer and cheese. Beer and cheese. It’s like a rite of passage or something — is how people treat it,” the citizen said.


Cocktails of Our Nation

Writer Brian Bartels zooms out for a broader view of American cocktails in his all-encompassing volume “United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions from All 50 States.” (Needless to say, an old fashioned glass marks Wisconsin on the map.)

Bartels is a Wisconsinite, naturally, and cut his teeth and limes as a bartender in Madison. But for a decade, he served as managing partner and bar director of a bar-training program in New York. A lot of time and travel went into this volume: Indeed, Bartels “traveled everywhere throughout the United States to corral the information you are about to read,” he writes in the intro, “seeing the bars, trying the cocktails, and talking to the locals about what makes each state unique.”

“United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions from All 50 States” (Abrams, $24.99).

Bartels divides the country into four main sections: the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West, and each state within gets a chapter, highlighting a particular spirit, the oldest establishment, a bucket-list bar, and several other cocktail bars you shouldn’t miss. Quotes and anecdotes from characters he’s met along the way stand out alongside the main text, and each chapter ends with 2 or 3 detailed recipes.

Consider New Hampshire’s pages and the Hulk Smash, a rye-based cocktail with chartreuse, mint bitters, and fresh mint and juices, a creation of Sarah Maillet of 815, a bar in Manchester. Georgia, famously home to Coca-Cola, includes the Uppercut, a mix made with bourbon, spiced rum, vermouth, and a Coca-Cola reduction by Miles Macquarrie of Kimball House in Decatur. Hawaii unsurprisingly includes the Blue Hawaii, but also Fool’s Gold, a recipe from Jen Ackrill at Top of Waikiki in Honolulu: a blend of gin, bourbon, and two specialty liqueurs bringing banana and bitter orange flavors.

The collection features more than 100 recipes, and an index lists the cocktails both geographically and by their primary liquor. The introduction includes the back story of cocktails and their history in the United States as well as some interesting trivia. Did you know that bars in Michigan and Kentucky cannot use producer-branded glassware or coasters? Or that Massachusetts doesn’t have happy hour? (Perish the thought!)

“I love discovering new worlds,” Bartels writes, “and that happens every time we walk into a bar, where colorful characters and infinite stories await.” Indeed, bars, clubs, taverns, and speakeasies bring people together with drinks, and Bartels does a fine job of balancing recipe book with story book.

RECIPE: Fool’s Gold

From Jen Ackrill, Top of Waikiki, Honolulu

Gaz Regan selected the Fool’s Gold for his 2015 “101 Best New Cocktails” for being “weird and wonderful,” and I picked it for this book because the ingredients are not easily acquired (not unlike visiting Hawaii), and tracking them down is an adventure in itself—and once you do, you’re in for a delicious reward.

  • 1 ounce St. George Dry Rye gin
  • 1 ounce Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Bittermens Amère Nouvelle
  • 1/4 ounce Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • Garnish: lime peel

Stir the ingredients with ice until chilled strain into a chilled coupe glass and serve up, garnished with the lime.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “United States of Cocktails” by Brian Bartels. Published by Abrams.


Watch the video: Top 10 Drunkest States In America 2013


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