These States Consume The Most Alcohol, According To A New Study From The CDC
I've long thought New York was the drunkest place in the country, in part because most of my evenings in the city, particularly in the winter, are spent holed up at a happy hour until I remember I need to be able to make it to the subway somehow. But it turns out the Empire State imbibes far less than some of its counterparts elsewhere in the U.S., per a new study ranking the states that drink the most alcohol in the U.S.
As reported by USA Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly compiles data on Americans' alcohol consumption, including data on those who die in alcohol-related driving incidents; data on adults who binge drink; and data on adult Americans' general health. 24/7 Wall St. mined that data to make a list of the drunkest states in the country. Researchers discovered that, for the most part, states with the highest drinking rates were concentrated in the Midwest, while the states with the lowest drinking rates (#50 Tennessee, #47 Alabama, #46 Mississippi) were primarily located in the South, though West Virginia (#49) and Utah (#48) bucked that trend a bit. Researchers did find a correlation between income and drinking, noting that areas with higher average incomes tended to have heavier drinkers; they also noted that heavy drinking areas tended to have higher rates of alcohol-related automobile incidents, which, you know makes sense.
Despite my observational belief that New York is a binge-drinker's paradise, my fair state only ranked 20th on the list, with only 23 percent of road fatalities involving alcohol (likely because the state's most populous area also has the best public transportation in the country). But here are the top ten:
1. North Dakota
North Dakota has the dubious honor of coming in first on this list, with 24.7 percent of adults reporting excessive drinking, as compared with 18 percent nationally. More troubling is the state's drunk driving record, with 46.7 percent of all roadway fatalities involving alcohol. On the other hand, only 13.4 percent of adult North Dakotans report being in fair or poor health.
According to the CDC, 24.5 percent of adults in Wisconsin report drinking excessively. 36.9 percent of all fatal auto incidents are attributed to alcohol, which is the ninth highest on this list in that category. On the other hand, only 14 percent of adult Wisconsins report being in fair or poor health, making it the 13th healthiest state.
It shouldn't be too surprising that a state that spends the winter in darkness has a drinking problem. And indeed, Alaska ranks third on this list, with 22.1 percent of adults reporting excessive drinking. 33.8 percent of auto deaths are alcohol-related here, which is the 16th highest rate in the country; still, only 13.7 percent of adult Alaskans report being in fair or poor health, making it the 12th healthiest state in the nation.
Montana ranks fourth on the list, with 21.8 percent of adults drinking excessively. Montana also has the second highest number of alcohol-related automobile fatalities, with 46.3 percent of road deaths attributed to booze. Meanwhile, only 14.2 percent of adult Montanans report being in poor or fair health, making it the 16th healthiest state.
Illinois is the fifth heaviest drinking state in the country, with 21.2 percent of adults reportedly binge drinking. Alcohol contributes to 34.2 percent of road deaths here, putting Illinois at 15th on that list, and 15.6 percent of adults in the state are in fair or poor health, which is the 25th highest rate in the country.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the sixth drunkest state in the U.S., with 21.1 percent of adults drinking excessively. On the hand, Minnesota has a relatively low rate of alcohol-related auto deaths, at 30.9 percent, which is the 21st lowest in the nation; and it's the third healthiest state, with only 11.9 percent of adult Minnesotans reporting fair or poor health.
21 percent of adult Iowans reportedly binge drink, per the CDC, making it the seventh drunkest state in the country. On the other hand, only 25.4 percent of auto deaths are alcohol-related, the 7th lowest rate in the country; and only 12.3 percent of adults report being in fair or poor health, which makes it the 4th healthiest state.
Sadly, binge-drinking isn't limited to coldest, darkest states; Hawaii is the eighth drunkest state in the country, with 20.5 percent of adult Hawaiians reporting excessive drinking. The state is also one of the most prone to alcohol-related driving deaths, at a 38 percent rate, which is the 5th highest in the United States. Still, only 13.1 percent of adult Hawaiians report being in fair or poor health, making it the 7th healthiest in the nation.
Nebraska ranks 9th on the list, with 20.4 percent of adult Nebraskans drinking excessively. The state also has the 9th highest rate of alcohol-related auto deaths, at 35.6 percent, though only 13.4 percent of Nebraska residents are in poor or fair health, making it the 10th healthiest state.
Last but not least, the mighty state of Michigan sneaks onto the list at number 10, with 20 percent of adults reporting excessive drinking. The good news is, the state has the 16th least number of alcohol-related auto deaths, at 29.4 percent, although 16.8 percent of adults report being in fair or poor health, making it the 20th least healthy in the U.S.