The Drunkest City in Every State

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Alabama
> Drunkest city: Auburn-Opelika, AL
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 15.9%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 13.0% (4th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 32.5%

Excessive drinking is more common in the Auburn-Opelika area than in any other metro area in Alabama. An estimated 15.9% of area adults are either heavy or binge drinkers, a larger share than the 13.0% of adults across the state.

Despite ranking as the heaviest drinking metro area in the state, adults in Auburn-Opelika are less likely to drink excessively than the typical American adult. Nationwide, an estimated 18.0% of adults drink excessively.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Alaska
> Drunkest city: Fairbanks, AK
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 22.7% (top 10%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 22.1% (3rd highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 37.8% (top 25%)

Of the two metropolitan areas in Alaska — Fairbanks and Anchorage — Fairbanks has the largest share of adults who report excessive drinking. Some 22.7% of Fairbanks adults binge or drink heavily, the largest share in Alaska and one of the largest shares of any U.S. metro area.

While a smaller share of Anchorage adults drink to excess, the metro area’s drinking rate is still relatively high. Some 22.2% of Anchorage adults drink heavily or binge drink, a larger share than the drunkest city in 39 states. Across the state, 22.1% of Alaskans drink heavily or binge drink, the third largest excessive drinking rate among states.

Source: Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

3. Arizona
> Drunkest city: Flagstaff, AZ
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.4%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 16.0% (13th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 24.1% (bottom 25%)

Of the seven metro areas in Arizona, Flagstaff is home to the largest share of adults who drink to excess. Some 19.4% of adults in the Flagstaff metro area are either heavy or binge drinkers. In comparison, only 16.0% of adults statewide and 18.0% of American adults over consume alcohol.

Heavier drinking areas tend to be better educated, and Flagstaff is no exception. Some 35.4% of adults in the metro area have earned a bachelor’s degree. Across Arizona, only 28.9% of adults have a four year college education.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Arkansas
> Drunkest city: Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 15.6% (bottom 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 15.3% (9th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 31.6%

Excessive drinking includes binge and heavy drinking. In Arkansas, 15.3% of adults report excessive drinking, less than the 18.0% share of adults nationwide and the ninth smallest share of any state. In the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers metro area, located in the northwest part of the state, some 15.6% of adults report excessive drinking, the highest share in Arkansas yet less than in most U.S. metro areas.

Wealthier individuals are more likely to drink excessively, and the typical household in Fayetteville earns $51,848 a year, the highest median household income of any Arkansas metro area.

Source: Thinkstock

5. California
> Drunkest city: Chico, CA
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.9% (top 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.0% (22nd highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 34.7%

Nearly 21% of adults in Chico regularly drink alcohol to excess, a larger share than in any of California’s 25 other metro areas and far more than the statewide excessive drinking rate of 18.0%.

Drinking too much can have serious health consequences, and by some measures, Chico’s population is less healthy than the state as a whole. Across California, adults report an average of 3.6 mentally unhealthy days and 3.6 physically unhealthy days per month. In Chico, adults report an average of 4.1 mentally unhealthy days and 4.3 physically unhealthy days each month.