Can You Guess Which States Drink the Hardest?

A study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has determined which states binge drink the most and least
Can You Guess Which States Drink the Hardest?

If you had winters this bad, you'd binge drink a lot too.

Where do you stack up in the United States of Alcohol? The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation just released an analysis of binge drinking in America between 2005 and 2012. Not surprisingly, it seems like the booziest rates were directly related to states with the most brutal winters. Personally, we think we’d drink a whole lot more on a white sandy beach, but to each his or her own. Without further ado, the five states with the highest heavy drinking rates in America, in ascending order, are Iowa, the District of Columbia, Montana, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Congratulations, Wisconsin: As the state with the highest binge drinking rate, 12 percent of your residents drank heavily in 2012 (which means more than seven drinks in one week for women, or more than 14 drinks in one week for men).

We’re not shocked to hear that the state with the lowest heavy drinking rates was Utah (only 5.2 percent of the state’s residents drank heavily in 2012). The other states with low alcohol reliance rates are West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. In a heat map produced by The Washington Post, it’s clear that the lightest drinking is found in the South, while the Northwest and Midwest have the highest rates of binge drinking.   


The purpose of the report was to point out where alcohol abuse was a problem in America. Overall, heavy and binge drinking prevalence increased in most counties between 2005 and 2012. On average, 8.2 percent of Americans are heavy drinkers, and 18.3 percent of Americans admitted to occasionally binge drinking.