The Drunkest City in Every State

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16. Kansas
> Drunkest city: Lawrence, KS
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 22.2% (top 10%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 16.9% (19th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 24.4% (bottom 25%)

College students are more likely to drink, and to drink heavily, than the average American. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., about half of all college students who consume alcohol do so through binge drinking. In Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas — the largest university in the state — an estimated 21.7% of the population is enrolled in college or graduate school, the largest such share in Kansas. Meanwhile, 22.2% of adults drink excessively, also the largest share in the state. College graduates are also more likely to drink heavily than most Americans. An estimated 52.0% of adults in Lawrence have a bachelor’s degree, the largest share in Kansas and the fifth largest share nationwide.

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17. Kentucky
> Drunkest city: Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 17.6%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 16.3% (14th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 27.0%

Only about 16.3% of adults in Kentucky drink excessively, a smaller share than the 18.0% of American adults. Even in Louisville, the heaviest drinking metro area in the state, adults are less likely than the typical American adult to consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption is only one behavioral factor that can affect health, and Louisville residents are more likely to smoke and less likely to be physically active than the typical American. Partially as a result, and despite a lower excessive drinking rate, adults in Louisville are less likely to report being in good or excellent health than the typical American adult.

18. Louisiana
> Drunkest city: Houma-Thibodaux, LA
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.7% (top 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.8% (17th highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 40.4% (top 10%)

Some 20.7% of adults in the Houma-Thibodaux metro area drinks excessively, the largest share in Louisiana and one of the largest shares of any U.S. metro. While college graduates are more likely to drink heavily than those without a degree, just 16.1% of Houma-Thibodaux adults have a bachelor’s degree, close to half the 31.3% national rate and nearly the smallest share of any city.

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19. Maine
> Drunkest city: Portland-South Portland, ME
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.6% (top 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.6% (11th highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 43.1% (top 10%)

Of the three metropolitan areas in Maine, Portland-South Portland has the highest excessive drinking rate at 20.6%. Excessive drinking tends to be more common in more affluent areas, and Portland is also the highest earning metro area in the state. The typical Portland household earns $63,422 a year, over $14,000 more than the next highest earning metro area in the state.

As is often the case in heavy drinking areas, a large share of roadway fatalities involve alcohol in Portland. Alcohol is involved in 43.1% of driving deaths in the metro area compared to 39.8% of driving deaths statewide and 30.0% nationwide.

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20. Maryland
> Drunkest city: California-Lexington Park, MD
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.8%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 15.5% (11th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 35.7% (top 25%)

Alcohol is expensive and wealthy individuals are more likely to be able to afford alcohol on a regular basis and are also more likely to participate in activities where alcohol is present. The California-Lexington Park metro area, where the typical household earns approximately $21,000 more than the U.S. median household income, is the wealthiest in Maryland and one of the wealthiest in the country. Some 18.8% of adults in the city drink heavily or binge drink, more than in any other metro area in Maryland.

Excessive drinking habits may have adverse health outcomes for residents of California-Lexington Park. An estimated 10 out of every 100,000 metro area residents die from alcohol-induced causes annually, double the state alcohol-related mortality rate.