The Drunkest Cities in America

Drunk Town, U.S.A

The United States has a drinking problem. The average American consumes roughly two and a half gallons of alcohol each year, giving our country the 56th highest alcohol consumption rate in the world, according to data released this year from the World Health Organization. That may not seem like much to write home about, but despite consuming less alcohol than much of the world, our country is still plagued by too many alcohol-related illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an average of 79,000 deaths each year in the first half of the last decade, and alcohol continues to rank as the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the country. The reason seems to be that while Americans drink less on average than many other countries, there are still too many in this country who are guilty of heavy drinking and binge drinking. Roughly 5% of those in the U.S. admitted to heavy drinking, defined by the CDC as men having more than two drinks a day and women having more than one, and a full 15% binge drink, meaning that men have had five or more drinks at a time on one or more occasions and women have had four or more. These numbers come from a nationwide survey of more than 350,000 adults that the CDC conducted in 2009. Needless to say, some parts of the country are worse than others. We’ve analyzed the survey numbers broken down for 180 metropolitan areas across the country to find the 10 cities where residents drink the most. MainStreet ranked the cities by adding up the percentage of residents who admit to heavy drinking and binge drinking, as defined above. If you’re looking for a place that doesn’t just drink hard on St. Patrick’s Day but all year round (not that we recommend you do), these cities may be your best bet. Photo Credit: wickenden


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