Special Report

The Drunkest (and Driest) Cities in America

15. Racine, WI
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 35.5%
>Premature death: 319 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $54,525

A growing body of evidence suggests higher alcohol consumption can lead to a higher risk of obesity. In Racine, 23.5% of adults report excessive drinking, and 31.8% are obese — each a higher share than the respective 18.0% and 27.0% national rates.

14. Grand Forks, ND-MN
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 32.7%
>Premature death: 332 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $49,691

Unhealthy behaviors can often feed into each other. In Grand Forks, 23.7% of adults drink to excess, a higher share than the 18.0% national rate. Adults in the Grand Forks metro are also more likely to smoke than most American adults.

13. Missoula, MT
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 48.6%
>Premature death: 285 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $44,289

Excessive drinking is more common in Missoula than in all but a dozen other U.S. metros. One consequence is the high share of fatal roadway accidents attributable to alcohol. In Missoula, 48.6% of roadway fatalities involved alcohol, the sixth highest such rate of any U.S. city.

12. Sheboygan, WI
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 29.3%
>Premature death: 294 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $54,042

In Wisconsin, 24.2% of adults drink excessively, the highest share of any state in the nation. The percentage of adults who drink excessively in Sheboygan, at 24%, while slightly lower than the state rate, is still among the highest of all U.S. metro areas. Sheboygan is one of 12 cities in Wisconsin where the excessive drinking rate exceeds the 18.0% national rate by 5 percentage points.

11. Wausau, WI
>Pct. adults drinking to excess:
>Pct. driving deaths involving alcohol: 27.0%
>Premature death: 270 deaths before age 75 per 100,000
>Median household income: $53,300

Excessive alcohol consumption can have any number of negative health impacts. Despite having one of the highest excessive drinking rates of any U.S. city, however, Wausau residents tend to be healthier than most Americans. Only 11.8% of metro area adults report being in fair or poor health, less than the 14.0% of Americans reporting less than optimal health.

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