U.S. Alcohol Consumption

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Alcohol Consumption: U.S.

About 54.5% (72.38 million) of males and about 47.9% (67.45 million) of females in the US, aged 12+, drank alcohol at least once per month in 2018. Beer is the most common alcoholic beverage among adolescents and men, while women prefer wine. Beer is also the most common drink among Whites and non-Whites alike.

Age Breakdown

Gender Breakdown

Breakdown by Origin and Race

Most Common Drinks

  • According to Statista, as of 2018, among adults in the US aged 21 or older, 45% of men and 18% of women prefer beer, 19% of men and 37% of women prefer mixed drink/cocktail, 15% of men and 34% of women prefer wine, 15% of men and 7% of women prefer liquor, straight, while 6% of men and 5% of women don't have a preferred alcoholic beverage.
  • According to Gallup, in 2019, among US adults, aged 18+, who drink alcoholic beverages, 38% prefer beer, 30% prefer wine, and 29% prefer liquor.
  • Adults aged 18-34 prefer beer (41%) over liquor (39%) and wine (16%); those aged 35-54 prefer beer (41%) over liquor (32%) and wine (24%); and those aged 55+ prefer wine (44%) over beer (34%) and liquor (20%).
  • Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink among adolescents in the US.
  • Among males in the US, 55% prefer beer over liquor (26%) and wine (15%), while among females, 45% prefer wine over liquor (32%) and beer (21%).
  • Whites prefer beer (38%) over wine (31%) and liquor (29%), while non-whites prefer beer (39%) over liquor (32%) and wine (27%).
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Alcohol Consumption in American Women

The top five cities in the US for women alcohol consumption based on excessive drinkers are Green Bay, Wisconsin (9.62%), Eau Claire, Wisconsin (9.51%), Appleton, Wisconsin (9.51%), Madison, Wisconsin (9.40%), and Fargo, North Dakota (9.15%). This Google Doc provides a screenshot of the alcohol preferences of women in the US.

CITIES WHERE WOMEN CONSUME ALCOHOL THE MOST IN THE US

  • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), excessive drinking includes binge and heavy drinking.
  • The percentage of female alcohol consumers in the US is 46.4% compared to 55.3% for males, while the percentage of excessive drinkers is 23.7% for females and 37.2% for males. These values can be simplified to give a ratio of 1: 1.57.
  • However, female high-risk drinking is on the rise in the US by about 58%.
  • By using these analyses, it is assumed that the cities with the highest alcohol consumption rates constitute male and female excessive drinkers in the ratio of 1: 1.57.
  • As such, the top five cities for women alcohol consumption are Green Bay, Wisconsin (9.62%), Eau Claire, Wisconsin (9.51%), Appleton, Wisconsin (9.51%), Madison, Wisconsin (9.40%), and Fargo, North Dakota (9.15%)

THE KIND OF ALCOHOL THEY CONSUME

  • According to a 2019 report by Statista, 15.6% of women in the US consume beer, liquor/spirits (41.2%), and wine (42.3%)

RESEARCH STRATEGY

After going through press releases, survey reports, and studies from sites such as the National Institutes of Health, JAMA, National Public Radio, and WebMD, among others, we were unable to identify the top five cities for women alcohol consumption in the US. However, we obtained a 2018 report by USA Today, regarding the top 20 alcohol-consuming cities in the US. As such, we sought to triangulate the information to provide the statistics for women only, since the report based its findings on the percentage of excessive drinking adults in the cities. We obtained the rates of the current, binge, and heavy male and female drinkers in the US, based on the 2016 survey findings of The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Using that information, we established a ratio and calculated for the top five cities where women consume alcohol in the US. The report by USA Today also stated that excessive drinkers were a combination of binge and heavy drinkers. Thus, we combined the statistics for the same to prepare our report. All calculations are represented below.

Lastly, we found a 2019 report by Statista, which provided the kind of alcohol that women in the US drink. We have also attached a screenshot of this document in the Google Doc.

CALCULATIONS

  • Percentage of excess drinkers = % binge drinkers + % heavy drinkers.
  • Thus, % excess female drinkers = 19.8% + 3.9% = 23.7%
  • The % of excess male drinkers = 28.9% + 8.3% = 37.2%
  • Ratio of excess female-to-male drinkers = 23.7% / 37.2% = 1: 1.57

1. GREEN BAY, WISCONSON
  • The percentage of excess drinkers in Green Bay, Wisconsin = 26.5%
  • The percentage of male drinkers = 26.5% / 1.57 = 16.88%
  • Percentage female drinkers = Percentage excess drinkers in Green Bay, Wisconsin — Percentage male drinkers = 26.5% — 16.88% = 9.62%

2. EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN
  • The percentage of excess drinkers in Eau Claire, Wisconsin = 26.2%
  • The percentage of male drinkers = 26.2% / 1.57 = 16.69%
  • Percentage female drinkers = Percentage excess drinkers in Green Bay, Wisconsin — Percentage male drinkers = 26.2% — 16.69% = 9.51%

3. APPLETON, WISCONSIN
  • The percentage of excess drinkers in Appleton, Wisconsin = 26.2%
  • The percentage of male drinkers = 26.2% / 1.57 = 16.69%
  • Percentage female drinkers = Percentage excess drinkers in Appleton, Wisconsin — Percentage male drinkers = 26.2% — 16.69% = 9.51%

4. MADISON, WISCONSIN
  • The percentage of excess drinkers in Madison, Wisconsin = 25.9%
  • The percentage of male drinkers = 25.9% / 1.57 = 16.50%
  • Percentage female drinkers = Percentage excess drinkers in Madison, Wisconsin — Percentage male drinkers = 25.9% — 16.50% = 9.40%

5. FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA
  • The percentage of excess drinkers in Fargo, North Dakota = 25.2%
  • The percentage of male drinkers = 25.2% / 1.57 = 16.05%
  • Percentage female drinkers = Percentage excess drinkers in Fargo, North Dakota — Percentage male drinkers = 25.2% — 16.05% = 9.15%

Part
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Part
03

Alcohol Consumption in American LGBT People

After an extensive search through government-related agencies that conduct surveys on alcohol consumption, health associations' websites, market research platforms, and LGBT portals, data on the top five cities in the United States for LGBT alcohol consumption does not appear to be available in the public domain. Although data on their alcohol preference is available, the data is not recent; but the research team has presented this due to a lack of more recent data. The research team found that beer (59%) tops the list of preferred alcoholic beverage for lesbians, while wine (47%) tops the list for gay men.

Useful Findings

Alcohol Consumption

  • 63.6% of sexual minority adults aged 18 and above have consumed alcohol in the past month; it breaks down to 62.8% for males and 64.1% for females.
  • In the past month, 36.1% of sexual minority adults engaged in binged alcohol use; it breaks down to 33.2% for males and 38.1% for females.
  • On the other hand, 8.2% of sexual minority adults engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past 30 days; it breaks down to 8.6% for males and 8% for females.

Preferred Alcoholic Drink

  • 44% of lesbians and 45% of gay men listed vodka as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 27% of lesbians and 27% gay men listed cordials and liqueurs as one of their preferred drinks.
  • 29% of lesbians and 22% of gay men listed rum as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 28% of lesbians and 29% of gay men listed champagne and sparkling wines as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 35% of lesbians and 25% of gay men listed tequila as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 18% of lesbians and 26% of gay men listed bourbon whiskey as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 59% of lesbians and 43% of gay men listed beer as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 12% of lesbians and 24% of gay men listed gin as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.
  • 51% of lesbians and 47% of gay men listed wine as one of their preferred alcoholic beverages.

Research Strategy

To determine the top United States cities for LGBT alcohol consumption we started our research from government sources. We quickly realized that multiple government-sponsored surveys track substance consumption and abuse such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

We examined the SAMHSA website to see if any of the published surveys segmented the findings by sexual orientation. The only report we found that was focused on alcohol use by sexual orientation only provided data on alcohol use by sexual minorities, but the data was not bifurcated by states. Moreover, the report was published in 2016, which is way beyond Wonder's two-year source standard. To ensure we were not leaving anything out, we looked through more recent reports and found no similar data points. The NHIS data release was equally unhelpful in determining the top cities for LGBT alcohol consumption nor the kind of alcohol they drink.

Our next approach was to focus on third-party organizations such as Alcohol Rehab Guide as well as other government websites such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Alcohol Survey by the Alcohol Research Group (ARG). Alcohol Rehab Guide also provides general data on alcohol consumption by the LGBT community; there was nothing specific on their geographic concentration. While NIDA has also published many reports and research on alcohol consumption and abuse, none of the reports focused on our desired subject matter. The ARG's National Alcohol Survey was equally limited in the information and data offered concerning the research questions posed.

Next, we sought to look through research firms such as Statista, Pew Research, and Gallup to see if these sources published data on the top five cities in the United States for LGBT alcohol consumption and what kind of alcohol the LGBT community prefers. We found the result of a preferred alcoholic drinks by sexual orientation survey on Statista (screenshot to the Statista document can also be found here). However, the results were from 2011. We found no further alcohol consumption data for the LGBT community on Statista. Pew Research and Gallup have also published data and ran surveys on the LGBT community but none correlated alcohol consumption by sexual orientation with geography. The surveys and data did not also cover the types of alcoholic drinks preferred by the LGBT community.

We also attempted to triangulate a list of states at the very least where LGBT alcohol consumption is at the peak using the states with the highest alcohol consumption and cross-referencing it with the states with the highest percentage of United States adults identifying as LGBT. We, however, found that there are multiple reasons for LGBT alcoholism and would therefore not be reflected in the data.

Sources
Sources