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What Is America's 'Drunkest' City?

What Is America's 'Drunkest' City?

Hint: it's an Eastern Seaboard city known for its wicked accent, and its beer

Well, if your city is home to an entire beer conglomerate named after your city, it shouldn't be that big of a surprise that it's the number one "drunkest" city in America. The Daily Beast has done its research and once again named Boston the drunkest city in America.

What does that mean, exactly? The Daily Beast took into account the number of alcoholic drinks per month, per adult, in metro areas across the country (as measured by a market research firm), as well as percentages of binge-drinkers and heavy drinkers from the CDC. (Somewhat of a buzzkill.) At the bottom of its top 25 "drunkest" cities list, Burlington, Vt., ranks at 13.1 alcoholic drinks per adult, and 19.1 percent of the town's population classifies as "binge drinkers." At number one, however, the average number of drinks for Boston residents was 15.1 drinks per month, and 20.1 percent of its population classifies as binge drinkers. (The "heavy drinker" population was also a factor in the final ranking.)

Of course, we appreciate Boston magazine's rebuttal to its twice-running honor from The Daily Beast: "But while we might be winning, we’re not exactly the drunk uncles at America’s wedding, 16 drinks ahead of everyone else and making an ass of ourselves," writes Eric Randall in his column. Randall points out that Boston's booming college-age population may be responsible for the binge-drinking stats, and that the nationwide stat for the binge-drinking population stands at 17.1 percent. So, we guess it's too early to start boasting Boston as your go-to party town.

Check out The Daily Beast's full list here.


7 of the 10 Drunkest Cities in America Are All in a Single State

Around here we like good beer, we like good wine, we like good cocktails, and we certainly have had occasion to drink a few too many of those things. But imbibing to excess is a serious matter and the list released over the weekend from 24/7 Wall Street and compiled using data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute isn’t a top 10 anyone necessarily wants to be a part of. What that data showed was that 7 of the top 10 and 12 of the top 20 cities most inclined to binge are in the state of Wisconsin.

Now, as someone who still answers “Wisconsin” to the question “Where are you from?” I am familiar with the stereotypes of camouflage-coated ice fisherman slamming Millers on frigid January afternoons (or mornings), but this analysis went somewhat deeper than that. It looked at people who either binge drink (4-5 drinks in a sitting) or drink heavily (15 or more drinks per week) over 381 different metro areas.

Now the caveat to all this, is the numbers are all self reported, so the hopeful Wisconsinite in me wants to believe that people from Wisconsin are just a lot more honest about their drinking than people from California or Utah. Regardless, having nearly 27 percent of the adults in your town claim they drink to excess as they do in Appleton, is not a stat that will likely go up on any welcome signs you𠆝 see at the city limits. The full list of America&aposs heaviest drinking cities is below.

1. Appleton, WI
2. Oshkosh-Neenah, WI
3. Green Bay, WI
4. Madison, WI
5. Fargo, ND
6. La Crosse – Onalaska, WI
7. Fond du Lac, WI
8. Ames, IA
9. Eau Claire, WI
10. Mankato-North Mankato, MN
11. Wausau, WI
12. Sheboygan, WI
13. Missoula, MT
14. Grand Forks, ND
15. Racine, WI
16. Janesville-Beloit, WI
17. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
18. Lincoln, NE
19. Iowa City, IA
20. Corvallis, OR


CDC Data Reveals Drunkest States in America!

Thanks to living in the age of freakin’ huge data, we recently found out which cocktails are the most popular in each state, and now, thanks to even more data — this time published by the CDC and organized by 24/7 Wall St. — we know which states are the drunkest too.

If you’re wondering what exactly determines “drunkest,” that is defined by the percentage of men and women over the age of 18 who report that they either binge drink or drink heavily. The CDC classifies binge drinking as four or more drinks on a single occasion for women, and five or more for men, and defines heavy drinking as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 per week for men.

In terms of general trends, 24/7 Wall St. notes that “the states with the highest rates of excessive drinking are concentrated in the Midwest,” and that “The states with with the lowest rates… are predominantly located in the South.”

Review the list and tell us if this feels right to you!

50. Tennessee

11.2% of adults drink excessively

Drunkest metro area: Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin

49. West Virginia

11.4% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Morgantown

12.4% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Salt Lake City

12% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Auburn-Opelika

46. Mississippi

13.3% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula

45. New Mexico

13.8% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Santa Fe

44. Oklahoma

13.9% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Lawton

43. North Carolina

14.9% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Jacksonville

42. Arkansas

15.3% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers

15.4% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Coeur d’Alene

40. Maryland

15.5% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: California-Lexington Park

15.8% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Reno

16.0% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Flagstaff

37. Kentucky

16.3% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Louisville/Jefferson County

36. South Carolina

16.6% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort

35. Delaware

16.6% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Dover

16.8% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Bloomington

16.8% of adults drinking excessively: 16.8%

Drunkest metro area: Athens-Clarke County

16.9% of adults drinking excessively: 16.9%

Drunkest metro area: Lawrence

17.3% of adults drinking excessively: 17.3%

Drunkest metro area: Austin-Round Rock

30. Virginia

17.4% of adults drinking excessively: 17.4%

Drunkest metro area: Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford

17.4% of adults drinking excessively

Drunkest metro area: Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin


Wisconsin has 12 of America's 'drunkest' cities, Minnesota has 1

Wisconsin once again dominates the annual list of "drunkest cities" in the United States, with Minnesota home to one entry.

Out of the top 20 cities with the highest binge or heavy drinking rates, 12 of them are found in Wisconsin, including the top 4 of Appleton, Oshkosh/Neenah, Green Bay and Madison.

The rankings have been updated by 24/7 Wall St. based on self-reported rates by adults in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin&aposs County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report.

There is one Minnesota city that makes it into the top 20 for heavy drinking rates, with the metro area of Mankato and North Mankato coming in at 10th.

The Midwest dominates the list, with other entries including Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota (5th and 14th), Ames and Iowa City, Iowa (8th and 19th), and Lincoln, Nebraska (18th).

Of Mankato, the study found that 24.2 percent of adults "drink to excess," while alcohol is involved in 20.8 percent of driving deaths in the metro. 

It also notes that Mankato is one of the few metro areas where more than half the population is male, and as a result this could contribute to the excessive drinking rate, as men are twice as likely to binge drink than women.


2nd Least Drunk State: Kentucky

Kentucky may be a God-fearing state but it seems to fear alcohol the most, which is surprising given it’s the home of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon. In this state, wine is lumped together with hard liquor. In fact, there are restrictions on the books that essentially prevent grocery stores from selling wine. More recently, there has been talk of prohibiting alcohol advertisements in certain counties. But even with all of that, they are still a drunker state per capita than the number one state on our list…

Total Alcohol Consumed: 26.2 gallons per person

Beer: 186 cans per person

Wine: 6.7 bottles per person


The Drunkest (and Driest) Cities in America

Though alcohol is enjoyed responsibly by millions of Americans every day, it is also misused and abused by many — and over consumption can have serious consequences. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.0% of American adults regularly consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol. In some American cities, excessive drinking rates are higher.

Excessive drinking, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking — which is defined as four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five or more for men — and heavy drinking, or eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.

In the short term, excessive drinking can increase the likelihood of violence, risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, and injuries. The potential long term effects of excessive alcohol consumption include depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence, and social problems. Long-term excessive drinking can also lead to chronic diseases, including certain cancers, liver disease, and heart disease.


4. Pasadena

Population: 137,316
Divorce rate: 9.4%
Bars per capita: 6th in CA
Liquor stores per capita: 12th

Colorado Boulevard on a Friday night in Pasadena is the most jam packed, gotta-be-seen, dress-up-nice event in the entire region. The only difference between Pasadena and some of the trendier places in the West LA area are the people are usually drunker in Pasadena, and Pasadena partiers aren’t as snobby as the LA brats, either.

The divorce rate in Pasadena is actually really low in comparison to the other cities on this list. Bravo to you guys for making it ‘work.’ Perhaps drinking is the glue in your relationship.


America's Hard-Drinking Cities

Austin, Texas, is famous for its parties. People flock from around the world to attend events like the annual South by Southwest film and music festival. And when they get there, chances are they make like the locals and throw back a few cold ones--because Austin may be the hardest-drinking city in America.

Austin ranks high for its drinking habits across the board. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, 61.5% of adult residents say they have had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days, and a staggering 20.6% of respondents confess to binge drinking, or having five or more drinks on one occasion.

Some residents attribute those numbers to the city's sizable population of college students. Austin is home to several schools, including the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest universities in the country.

"I imagine that's probably why the city's on [the list]," says Hunter Darby, manager of Austin's Dog & Duck Pub. "Sixth Street in Austin is like a tiny version of Bourbon Street. It caters a lot to a younger crowd who are right at age 21. They'll just go from bar to bar to bar. . There are a ton of bars per human being in this town."

Collegiate excess has repercussions far beyond hangovers and missed classes, and should be of concern to members of the surrounding community. "Binge drinking hurts not only the drinker but also others near him," says Henry Wechsler, Ph.D., a lecturer at the Harvard school of Public Health, where he was also the director of the College Alcohol Study, and author of Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses.

"The binge drinker disturbs the peace, through noise, vandalism and sometimes violence. Like secondhand smoke, binge drinking pollutes the environment."

"The [social] cost of alcohol is in the billions of dollars. Roughly half the total is related to what's called alcohol addiction," says Paul Gruenewald, scientific director of the Prevention Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, which is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

"The other half is related to other harms that happen to people when drinking primarily drunk driving, drunk driving crashes, pedestrian injuries, violent assaults, and various criminal behaviors and various injuries," Gruenewald said.

"It's not a pretty picture. It's quite ugly from the public health point of view. It's a much bigger problem than crime related to illegal drugs," he added.

By The Numbers: America's Hard-Drinking Cities

Coming in second on the list is Milwaukee. This city, known as "the nation's watering hole," has a long reputation as a city built on beer. It was once the nation's top beer-producing city, home to four of the world's largest breweries: Schlitz, Pabst, Miller and Blatz. Legendary sitcom characters Laverne and Shirley fixed bottle caps on one of the city's assembly lines. Even the town's baseball team--the Brewers--reflects its boozy past.

Rounding out the top five hardest-drinking cities are San Francisco Providence, R.I. and Chicago.

To determine the cities with the highest alcohol consumption, we started by making a list of the 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.--geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing statistics.

We then examined data from the CDC's 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS), a nationwide system that collects information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices and health care access.

In this survey, the CDC develops a core questionnaire and provides it to state governments, which then perform telephone surveys asking more than 350,000 American adults about their health.

Due to state-by-state variations in the handling of the survey, the BRFSS isn't a perfect way to measure drinking habits. But since its data come directly from citizens, it does provide a good idea of regional variations.

The survey doesn't report results for every city in the nation, so two of our 40 candidate cities were eliminated from the list due to missing data. And because the CDC coordinates the surveys but does not individually manage them, there tend to be differences in sample size and margin of error from city to city. So we removed another five cities from our list because they exhibited unusually large margins of error.

The remaining 33 cities were then ranked based on their residents' responses to three different questions on the BRFSS: whether they had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days whether men had more than two drinks per day or women one drink per day and whether they had five or more drinks on one occasion. In each case, higher-ranking cities reported larger percentages of their population answering in the affirmative.

To determine the 15 hardest-drinking cities, we added up the rankings from each category, counting the "five or more drinks on one occasion" question twice, since it most directly addresses the question of problem drinking. We then sorted that sum into our final ranks.

Of course, just because a city ranks high on the list doesn't make it a den of debauchery. A top-drinking town could be populated by health-conscious adults who sip a glass of wine a day in order to keep their hearts healthy. And just downing a few cold ones doesn't make a person irresponsible.


Why Is Boston The Drunkest City in America?

For the second year in a row, Boston has been named the number one drunkest city in the U.S. by The Daily Beast, which compiled data from a market research firm and from the Centers for Disease Control. After Boston garnered the same distinction last year, Mayor Menino boldly came to the city's defense, saying "Who is The Daily Beast? What is their credibility? I am the beast of the city and what I say goes. We are not the drunkest city in America." Once again, Boston beats out legendary party cities like Las Vegas and New Orleans and legendary non-party cities like Buffalo and Fargo, which also make the list, presumably for different reasons.

So what it is about Boston that gives us this honor? The disproportionate number of all those crazy college kids? Red Sox consolation? Freezing temperatures? St. Patrick's Day? That there's so much good stuff to tip back?

Why do you think Boston is so darn drunk? Leave your thoughts via the comments.


9 thoughts on “ These Are The 10 Drunkest Places In Michigan ”

I live in Traverse City! Could it be that we’re one of the few towns in Michigan with people who can actually afford alcohol?

that was a pretty ignorant statement. I live in Warren and I can definitely afford alcohol thanks

Very interesting report! It’s a shame that people can’t have a graduation party without liquor being served. Don’t knock wine it’s a civilized alternative to beer and hard liquor,

How could Wyandotte be not only omitted, but not near the top spot on this list? It used to be in the Guiness Book of Records for some bars per capita statistic.

Hey Bud Tapman, Don’t freak out but they don’t grow grapes in the city of Benton Harbor. Which I guess begs the question as to why did you change the pic from Babe’s Lounge and Restaurant to a grape vineyard? At least Babe’s is located in the city. It was great free advertisement.

I’m kind of insulted that Greenville isn’t on this list we have plenty of bar’s and store’s that sell alcohol!

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