Which are the Drunkest States in America?

The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism came out with their annual report on alcohol trends. On the whole, American alcohol consumption is on the rise, but which state is the biggest culprit?

Shutter Stock
Where did your home state rank on the list of booziest US regions?

Here are some pretty sobering statistics: American alcohol consumption has been steadily rising over the past couple of decades, and the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said in their annual report this year that the average American aged 14 and older drank 2.33 gallons of alcohol in 2012. So which American regions and states are the drunkest? The western region of the United States comes in at number one, with the average Western American  consuming 2.42 gallons of alcohol per year. But when it comes down to individual states, the answers may surprise you.

The driest state, not surprisingly is, Utah, with only 1.37 gallons of alcohol consumed per capita, followed by West Virginia and Arkansas, who tied at 1.81 gallons of alcohol consumed. When it came to the drunkest state in the union, New Hampshire was the runaway winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it), with 4.65 gallons of alcohol consumed per capita. New Hampshire also drank the most beer and spirits in America in 2012. New Hampshirites drank almost one gallon more than the second place drunkest state, Delaware, with 3.59 gallons of alcohol consumed. Idaho slugged the most wine  at 1.02 gallons per year.

Here’s the full list:

50. Utah-1.37

49. West Virginia-1.81

48. Arkansas-1.81

47. Kentucky-1.87

46. Oklahoma-1.94

45. Kansas-1.95

44. Indiana-1.97

43. Georgia-1.99

42. Tennessee-2.00

41. Alabama-2.00

40. Ohio-2.03

39. North Carolina-2.05

38. Virginia-2.13

37. New York-2.17

36. Mississippi-2.20

35. Maryland-2.21

34. Washington-2.25

33. Pennsylvania-2.26

32. Texas-2.28

31. Michigan-2.29

30. Nebraska-2.32

29. South Carolina-2.33

28. California-2.35

27. New Mexico-2.36

26. Illinois-2.36

25. New Jersey-2.39

24. Iowa-2.39

23. Connecticut- 2.39

22. Missouri-2.42

21. Arizona-2.43

20. Hawaii-2.54

19. Massachusetts- 2.57

18. Louisiana-2.60

17. Oregon-2.65

16. Maine- 2.65

15. Wyoming-2.67

14. Minnesota- 2.70

13. Rhode Island-2.72

12. Florida-2.72

11. South Dakota-2.76

10. Idaho-2.76

9. Colorado -2.76

8. Alaska-2.82

7. Vermont-2.92

6. Montana-2.96

5. Wisconsin-3.00

4. Nevada-3.27

3. North Dakota- 3.42

2. Delaware-3.59

1. New Hampshire- 4.65


Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 5

Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage

Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
Feed Me Wine With Keith Beavers: Opening and Pouring



Well....that explains why i can't find a sober girl in DE.


Give NH some credit. One of its largest revenue generators are the massive state-operated liquor stores that they've located along all major highways throughout the state. People come from all over New England to stock up on their booze. This date should take that into consideration. Their basing consumption on sales data, and it's not just NH residents buying the state's booze.


This list is ridiculous, since it is clearly based on legal alcohol SOLD, rather than actual alcohol consumed. Thus New Hampshire and Delaware are #1 & 2 because they have purposely low liquor prices that attract buyers from other states nearby states off the freeway as they're passing through these tiny states (and even from Canada in the case of NH). And Arkansas, West Virginia, and Kentucky are near the bottom because a lot of the alcohol bought and consumed there comes from *ahem* non-licensed sources.


New Hampshire may NOT be accurate due to their low, low liquor store prices. People from neighboring states and even Canada make it a point to buy booze to take home.


Does anyone else think that the liquor industry figured out that adding flavors to the liquor, encourages one to drink straight alcohol? There is no need to add something to make it taste better. Small wonder that children are drinking at younger ages - the liquor tastes like a fruit drink.

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human