The Drunkest City in Every State

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36. Oklahoma
> Drunkest city: Lawton, OK
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 14.5% (bottom 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 13.9% (7th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 41.5% (top 10%)

Just 13.9% of adults in Oklahoma drink excessively, the seventh smallest share of any state. While Lawton’s excessive drinking rate of 14.5% is the highest in Oklahoma, it is still far below the 18.0% national rate and below that of nearly 90% of all U.S. metropolitan areas.

The relatively uncommon heavy drinking habits among Lawton residents may contribute to some positive health outcomes. While nationwide 10.3 in every 100,000 Americans die from alcohol-induced causes annually, in Lawton the alcohol-related mortality rate is 8.9 deaths per 100,000 residents.

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37. Oregon
> Drunkest city: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 21.1% (top 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.8% (16th highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 34.7%

At 21.1%, the excessive drinking rate in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area is the highest of any of Oregon’s eight metro areas. Binge and heavy drinking tends to be more common in wealthier populations, and relatively many Portland area residents are high earners. Some 7.4% of area households earn more than $200,000 a year, the largest share of any metro area in the state and well above the corresponding share of households statewide of 5.3%.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. Pennsylvania
> Drunkest city: State College, PA
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 22.3% (top 10%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.1% (21st highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 29.6%

Few groups are more likely to drink excessively than college students. In the State College metro area — home to Pennsylvania State University, the largest school in the state — 24.1% of residents are enrolled in college or graduate school, the fourth largest share of any city nationwide. Some 22.3% of State College adults report drinking excessively, much larger than both the state share of 18.1% and 18.0% national share. College graduates are also more likely to drink than the average American. Nearly 50% of State College adults have graduated from a four-year college, one of the largest shares of any U.S. metro.

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39. Rhode Island
> Drunkest city: Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 17.9%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 17.9% (23rd highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 35.1% (top 25%)

As the only metro area in Rhode Island, Providence-Warwick is the heaviest drinking by default. The 17.9% of area adults who either binge drink or drink heavily is roughly in line with both state and nationwide rates.

While unhealthy drinking habits are not more common than usual in Rhode Island or Providence, driving deaths attributable to drinking are. Some 35.1% of roadway fatalities in Providence and 40.4% of driving deaths in Rhode Island involve alcohol. In comparison, alcohol is involved in only 30.0% of driving deaths nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

40. South Carolina
> Drunkest city: Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.3%
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 16.6% (15th lowest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 28.7%

Some 19.3% of adults in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metro area report drinking excessively, more than the 16.6% excessive drinking rate for South Carolina as a whole and the largest share of any metro area in the state. Wealthy individuals are more likely to participate in activities related to drinking, such as going out to eat, going on vacation, and socializing with coworkers, and are more likely to drink heavily than the average American. In the HIlton Head metro area, the typical household earns $63,756 a year, far more than the state median household income of $49,501.