Although direct demographics for U.S. vodka drinkers was not available, indirect data suggests that the average vodka consumer in the U.S. is a white millennial female who earns upwards of $250,000 per year, has graduated from college, lives in the Mid-South region, and is employed full time. A further breakdown of the demographics is below.
- According to a 2017 Harris Poll, 38% of women prefer liquor over other types of alcoholic beverages and prefer vodka compared to just 19% of men.
- This indicates that vodka drinkers are primarily female.
- A People Pattern Report verifies this with its findings that 51% of vodka mentions on Twitter came from females compared to 49% that came from males.
- Statista notes that 64.8% of survey respondents between the ages of 30 and 49 drank vodka in the preceding three months, compared to 60.68% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 and 59.89% of respondents between the ages of 50 and 64.
- A BreakThru Beverage Group study found that 70% of millennials (ages 23-38) consumed vodka at least once in the last 12 months, the highest percentage of any alcohol for that age group.
- In 2015, a People Pattern report showed that 90% of vodka mentions on Twitter came from the age group of 25-34 years old and 8% came from ages 34-44 years old.
- Based on a 2015 People Pattern Report, 75% of vodka mentions on Twitter were from white consumers.
- Black consumers constituted 18% of vodka mentions on Twitter.
- Although not strictly for vodka, TABS Analytics found that 42% of people who purchase liquor (excluding wine and beer) earn $250,000 per year or more.
- In addition, 41% of people who purchase liquor earn between $200,000 and $249,000 per year and 40% of people who purchase liquor earn between $150,000 and $199,000 per year.
- These three percentages represent the top three income brackets that purchase liquor in the U.S.
- Although not strictly for vodka, TABS Analytics found that 40% of people with college degrees purchase liquor (excluding beer and wine).
- Moreover, 39% of people with advanced college degrees (post-grad) purchase liquor.
- Of people with some college, 34% purchase liquor.
- Based on the TABS Analytics report, the consumption of liquor does not vary across major U.S. regions, with 35% of consumers in the Northeast, Central, South, and West regions purchasing liquor.
- However, when divided into smaller regions, the Mid-South region has the highest percentage of liquor purchasers at 41%, followed by the Mountain region at 37%; and the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and West South Central regions at 36% each.
- Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey have the highest percentage of liquor consumers at 40% each, followed by Texas at 38% and Ohio at 37%.
- According to the 2017 Wine Market Council Wine Consumer Segmentation report, 37% of occasional wine drinkers and 45% of high frequency wine drinkers also drink beer and spirits, and another 18% of occasional wine drinkers and 19% of high frequency wine drinkers drink both wine and spirits, but not beer.
- As such, we can say that 55% of occasional wine consumers and 64% of high frequency wine drinkers share demographics in common with spirit drinkers.
- The Wine Market Council shows that 47% of occasional wine drinkers are employed full time, compared to 25% who are retired, 8% who work part-time, 7% who are self-employed, 7% who are homemakers, 4% who are not employed, and 2% who are students.
- Moreover, 43% of high frequency wine drinkers are employed full time, compared to 31% who are retired, 8% who work part-time, 9% who are self-employed, 5% who are homemakers, 3% who are not employed, and 2% who are students.
- While it is likely not quite equal, we can assume that based on the crossover between wine and spirits drinkers, vodka consumers are similarly employed.
To begin our search for vodka drinker demographics in the U.S., we looked for formal research reports from sources such as the Harris Poll, Nielsen, Pew Research, Statista, and others. This was mildly successful in that it helped us identify the top generation of vodka drinkers, which is the millennial generation and the predominant gender of vodka drinkers, which is female. However, no other demographics were disaggregated in these reports.
Therefore, we turned to industry reports from sources such as BreakThru Beverage, Spirited Magazine, the Drinks Business, Beverage Dynamics, The Beverage Journal, and others. We were able to confirm the age of vodka drinkers, but there were no other demographics provided. This is likely because millennials are a target demographic for most spirit brands and as such, they are mainly concerned with the age of their consumers rather than other demographics.
We then expanded our time frame to 2016 and repeated the first two strategies. We found similar data on millennials and gender, but there was nothing on the more obscure demographics. We expanded the time frame again to 2015, which is when we located the People Pattern Alcohol Report that analyzed Twitter posts for mentions of various spirit types, including vodka. This allowed us to obtain more information on age and gender, and new findings on race.
In an attempt to find the missing data points of education, income, and employment, we expanded our search to include spirits and liquor, which would encompass vodka. Since we discovered that vodka outsells all other types of spirit, we assumed that most demographics would directly apply to vodka consumers. We were able to find a report from TABS Analytics that provided liquor demographics for income and level of education. This data was included as helpful findings.
The only data point we were unable to locate for either vodka or spirits was employment status. However, we did uncover a report from the Wine Market Council that provided the employment statistics for wine drinkers. In that report, we learned that there is significant crossover between wine drinkers and spirits drinkers. Therefore, we used the wine drinker employment statistics as a proxy for spirit drinkers, and therefore, for vodka drinkers. While there is likely some discrepancies between the groups, this is the best data currently available and was provided as helpful findings.