The Drunkest (and Driest) Cities in America

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The Drunkest Cities

20. Corvallis, OR
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
23.2%
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 32.0%
>Premature death: 229 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $52,486

More than 23% of adults in the Corvallis metro area report either binge drinking or heavy drinking. Corvallis is the heaviest drinking city in Oregon, but alcohol related driving fatalities in the city are not the highest and in line with the national average. In Corvallis, 32% of driving deaths are alcohol related, versus 31% nationwide.

19. Iowa City, IA
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
23.2%
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 24.6%
>Premature death: 249 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $59,791

Binge drinking is more common among households earning at least $75,000 a year. In Iowa City, where 23.2% of adults report an excessive drinking habit, 41.6% of households report such high earnings, well above the 35.6% of American households with incomes of at least $75,000.

18. Lincoln, NE
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
23.3%
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 26.7%
>Premature death: 270 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $52,046

In Lincoln, 23.3% of adults report an excessive drinking habit, more than in any other city in the state. Across Nebraska, 21.4% of adults drink to excess, a larger share than in all but four other states.

17. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
23.3%
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 37.2%
>Premature death: 347 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $53,164

Home to several of America’s oldest and largest breweries, beer is a major part of Milwaukee’s culture. It is perhaps no surprise that heavy drinking is relatively common in the metro area. In Milwaukee, 23.3% of adults either binge or drink heavily, a considerably larger share than the 18.0% of American adults.

16. Janesville-Beloit, WI
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
23.4%
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 40.0%
>Premature death: 346 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $50,610

Only 15 U.S. metro areas have a higher excessive drinking rate than the Janesville-Beloit metro. Alcohol use often comes with more risky behaviors, like driving while intoxicated. In Janesville, 40% of fatal car accidents are alcohol related, a far higher share than the 31% nationwide proportion.