Special Report

Drunkest City in Every State

Excessive drinking is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol contributes to over 140,000 lives each year between 2015 and 2019. That is more than 380 deaths a day. And those who die as the result of excessive drinking die 26 years prematurely, on average. (These are the 50 U.S. counties where people have the shortest life expectancy.)

24/7 Tempo reviewed the percentage of men and women over 18 who reported heavy or binge drinking in each state’s metro areas. Metro level data was aggregated from county data in the 2022 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program. Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have only one metro area.

Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can result in chronic conditions and other long-term health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and certain cancers.

On average, 20% of adult Americans report binge or heavy drinking, but the rates vary greatly from city to city and between states. For example, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, almost 27% of adults drink excessively, the highest share among all 383 U.S. metropolitan areas. In Provo-Orem, Utah, however, the rate is closer to 7%, the lowest among the nation’s metro areas.

The drunkest metro areas in six states — Kansas, Hawaii, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wyoming — have lower excessive drinking rates than their respective states, though the differences are very small. Also, the drunkest cities in 13 states have lower excessive drinking rates than the U.S. average of 19.8%. (These are the drunkest states in America.)

Click here to see the drunkest city in every state
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