The Drunkest City in Each State

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11. Hawaii
> Drunkest city:
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina
> Pct of MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.5%
> Pct. of state adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.5%
> Pct of driving deaths alcohol related: 46.7%

Alcohol is a major contributor to fatal car accidents in Hawaii. Alcohol is involved in 40.5% of driving deaths on the islands, the fifth largest share of any state. In Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, where more than one-fifth of adults report an excessive drinking habit, alcohol is even more lethal. Of the driving deaths that occur each year in the Kahului area, 46.7% are alcohol related, roughly 16 percentage points higher than the national rate and one of the highest of any metro area. Despite widespread excessive alcohol consumption, Hawaii and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina have relatively good health outcomes. Less than 14% of adults report fair or poor health in both the state and the metro area compared to 16% of adults who do nationwide.

12. Idaho
> Drunkest city:
Lewiston
> Pct of MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 18.6%
> Pct. of state adults binge or heavy drinking: 14.5%
> Pct of driving deaths alcohol related: 25.6%

Of Idaho’s five metro areas, a state-high 18.6% share of Lewiston adults report excessive drinking. Lewiston adults may drink more heavily than Idaho residents as a whole, they are less likely to drive under the influence than residents in other parts of the state. Alcohol is involved in 25.6% of deadly car accidents in Lewiston, 6.2 percentage points less than the 31.8% of alcohol-related car accident fatalities in the rest of the state. However, Lewiston residents have worse health outcomes than residents across both the state and the nation, likely due in part to the incidence of excessive drinking. Lewiston residents lost an aggregate of 8,594 years of potential life per 100,000 people last year due to premature death, compared to the corresponding 6,046 years of life lost in Idaho and 6,622 years of life lost nationwide.

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13. Illinois
> Drunkest city:
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin
> Pct of MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 21.0%
> Pct. of state adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.0%
> Pct of driving deaths alcohol related: 39.2%

Although adults in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin drink the most excessively of any metro area in Illinois, it is by a small margin. This is partly because the state already has one of the highest incidence of excessive drinking. One in every five Illinois adults reports heavy or binge drinking, a higher share than in all but three other states. In Chicago, 21.0% of adults report such drinking habits. Despite frequent excessive alcohol intake, health outcomes in both Chicago and Illinois are similar to national averages. About 15% of adults in the city and the state report being in fair or poor health, 1 percentage point less than the share of adults who report similar health levels nationwide.

14. Indiana
> Drunkest city:
Michigan City-La Porte
> Pct of MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.4%
> Pct. of state adults binge or heavy drinking: 15.9%
> Pct of driving deaths alcohol related: 35.0%

Heavy drinking does not always coincide with worse health outcomes. However, in Michigan City-La Porte — where 19.4% of residents report excessive drinking habits — they do. More than 31% of Indiana adults are obese, one of the higher rates in the country. At 33.9%, Michigan City-La Porte’s obesity rate is even higher. An aggregate 8,893 years of life per 100,000 people are lost in the metro area due to premature death, almost 2,300 more years lost per 100,000 people than in the rest of the nation.

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15. Iowa
> Drunkest city:
Dubuque
> Pct of MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 30.8%
> Pct. of state adults binge or heavy drinking: 20.1%
> Pct of driving deaths alcohol related: 19.2%

Almost 31% of Dubuque residents report heavy or binge drinking. Dubuque not only has one of the highest shares of adults consuming alcohol in excess in the state, but this percentage is largest proportions in the country, with 30.8% of adults reporting excessive drinking. The negative health consequences associated with alcohol consumption are well-acknowledged. However, less than 10% of Dubuque adults report fair or poor health compared to the 16% of adults who do nationwide. Alcohol is involved in just 19.2% of fatal car crashes in Dubuque, almost 12 percentage points lower than the share of alcohol-related driving deaths nationwide.