Special Report

The 50 Drunkest Counties in America

Methodology

To determine America’s drunkest counties, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed rates of excessive drinking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program’s 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report. 

The rate of excessive drinking is defined as the share of adults who report either binge drinking or heavy drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as consuming in a single occasion four or more drinks for a woman, or consuming five or more drinks for a man. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than one drink per day on average for a woman or consuming more than two drinks per day for a man.

While the CHR report is from 2021, drinking rate figures published in the report are from 2018.

Of the 3,220 counties or county equivalents, 3,142 had boundaries that fell within one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Counties with a 2019 five-year population estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau of less than 1,000 were excluded.

The remaining 3,106 places were ranked based on the excessive drinking rate. Additional information on the share of driving deaths with alcohol involvement and the share of adults who report fair or poor health are also from the 2021 CHR. Median household income data are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

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