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Which States Drink The Most? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by Lydia Martin

According to a recent study, over half of the American population (60%) increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

While alcohol and other spirits make most parties alive and give comfort to some, too much alcohol may lead to health risks.

Do you want to know which states drink the most? Read on!

Top 10 Most Alcoholic States in the US

Top 10 Most Alcoholic States 

10. South Dakota

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 2.87 gallons

Estimated Population: 902,542

According to research, South Dakota is among the ten states that drink the most in the United States, with 2.86 gallons of average annual alcohol consumption per capita.

It also ranked 17th largest state in the US by land area and 46th most densely populated state based on numbers. 

Aside from being densely populated, South Dakotans are also known to love consuming spirits.

South Dakotan universities will begin to sell more spirits at events next school year. The South Dakota Board of Regents approved an expanded alcohol sales policy in 2022 [1].

9. Colorado

Colorado

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 2.88 gallons

Estimated Population: 5,961,083

Colorado, the 2nd fastest-growing US state, is also the 8th largest state. However, despite being quite large, it isn’t as densely populated as the other states above.

However, despite many laws prohibiting heavy drinking for men and women, alcohol deaths (car crashes and health problems like liver disease) in Colorado have jumped by nearly 30% in 2020.

According to some studies, 71,3000 years of potential life are lost in Colorado yearly due to excessive drinking or alcoholism.

8. Wisconsin

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 2.93 gallons

Estimated Population: 5,867,518

Most people believe Wisconsin’s extreme drinking culture is due to its German heritage.

Did you know that 43% of Wisconsin’s population claims German roots [2]? Germans are believed to have invented hopped beer.

7. Idaho

Idaho

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 2.94 gallons

Estimated Population: 1,896,652

Idahoans love their wines. Despite producing local wines, did you know that Idahoans only consume 5% of local wines? It may come as a shock because Idaho always promotes its local industry.

However, according to some data reports, Idahoans love too much wine that the 5% wine their locality produces is not enough to quench their thirst!

Idaho potatoes are also used to make potato vodkas. So, it shouldn’t be a shock to know that Idahoans can hold their liquor more.

6. Vermont

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 3.06 gallons

Estimated Population: 622,882

Vermont is the home of many breweries in the US. It leads the country in breweries and beer production, so it’s not surprising that it got 5th place in beer consumption this 2022.

According to data and studies, Vermont has an average of 34 gallons of consumed alcohol per capita. 

Unfortunately, Vermont has an ongoing problem with excessive alcohol consumption, particularly the young adults, because of their perception of how much alcohol is safe to consume. But can you buy liquor with food stamps?

5. Montana

Montana

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 3.1 gallons

Estimated Population: 1,093,117

Did you know that Montana’s love for beer and alcohol is associated with history? According to research, Montana became the first US state to repeal the enforcement of Prohibition in 1926. 

Montana ranked 2nd in the list of states that drink the most beer at 41.1 gallons average annual amount of beer per person.

4. North Dakota

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 3.16 gallons

Estimated Population: 774,008

North Dakota is known for its love for beers. In fact, this state ranked 3rd in the top states in America that consume the highest amount of beers per person, with 37.5 gallons on record, despite being sparsely populated.

Unfortunately, this state also battles underage binge drinking, which means having four or more drinks (women) and five (men) on a single occasion, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to a study conducted in 2015, North Dakotans reportedly started drinking alcohol (12.4%) at the age of 13. 

3. Nevada

Nevada

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 3.42 gallons

Estimated Population: 3,238,601

Nevada has Las Vegas, primarily known for its gambling, fine dining,  shopping, entertainment, and nightlife – which also means binge drinking.

Did you know you can openly carry an open container of alcohol and consume it publicly in the city of Las Vegas? 

Nevada also allows buying of alcohol 24/7. There are no time restrictions for buying and selling alcohol in this state. You can buy alcohol on Sundays anytime. In Nevada, there are also no mandatory closing times for taverns, bars, or saloons.

2. Delaware

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 3.52 gallons

Estimated Population: 998,619

Delaware could be as small as Rhode Island in terms of surface area, but this state took the 2nd spot for top states that binge-drink the most. 

Just this 2022, people in Delaware can buy alcohol for takeout, curbside, or drive-thru at any restaurant, brewpub, tavern, taproom, or other business with a liquor license forever. 

Read: Do Americans Drink More Beer Than Wine?

1. New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Average Annual Amount of Alcohol Per Person: 4.67 gallons

Estimated Population: 1,378,449

With 4.67 gallons as the average annual amount of alcohol per person, New Hamshire takes 1st place as the state that consumes spirits the most.

Don’t be too surprised to know that this state also bagged the first place in consuming the most beer all over the US, with 41.5 gallons of beer consumed per person.

Fun fact: Although this state consumes the most number of spirits, data and reports claim that it has lower rates of binge drinking than other states.

Alcohol Consumption in the US 

Alcohol consumption in the US is attributed to many factors such as population, alcohol regulations, traditions, and binge drinking problems.

The US ranks 25th for alcohol consumption globally, having 8.7 liters of pure alcohol consumed annually. It is above 8.3 liters, the global average of alcohol consumption per capita. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, most states in the United States exceeded their per capita alcohol consumption goals in 2016. 

New Hampshire scored first place in alcohol consumption nationwide, while Utah, with only 1.34 gallons per person, ranked the lowest.

Every state across the US imposes a standard legal drinking age of 21.

FAQs

Which US city drinks the most alcohol?

Based on reports, Green Bay city in Wisconsin drinks the most alcohol having roughly 26.5% of adults that drink excessively.

Some people claim that cheap alcohol prices and the state’s brutal winters could be the reason for the state’s alcohol abuse.

What US state drinks the most beer?

New Hampshire is the US state that drinks the most beer, with beer consumption of 41.5 gallons per person. Its citizens prefer Budweiser are their popular choice.

What state drinks the least alcohol?

The state of Utah drinks the least alcohol, attributing to only 1.35 gallons of alcohol consumption per capita annually. But which country consumes the most whiskey?

What state drinks the most wine?

The state of Idaho drinks the most wine, according to data reports. The average annual wine/ alcohol consumption per capita in Idaho is 1.21 gallons.

Conclusion

The State of New Hampshire takes the first spot in being the state with the highest alcohol consumption in 2022. Its average alcohol consumption per capita is 4.67 gallons despite having a low population.

It also bagged the first rank in being the state that consumes most beer, with 41.5 gallons of beer/alcohol consumption per capita. 

A lot of reasons affect the ranking of the states regarding their alcohol consumption. Some attribute the numbers to the state’s traditions, alcohol perception, population, and alcohol regulations.

However, alcohol consumption is fine, but excessive drinking is a problem that must be solved to avoid health complications like liver cancer, heart problems, and high blood pressure. But is whiskey good for high blood pressure?

If you consume more than what you are allowed to have in a day or week, then you need to update your health care benefits now. Or at least take time to eat healthy food!

References:

  1. https://apnews.com/article/south-dakota-sd-state-wire-university-of-46802391154cfd44130986fa83529831 
  2. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/1/1/1725137/-The-Most-District-Which-district-is-the-most-German-Wisconsin-s-6th

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