Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: May 10, 2021

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Just What's Essential

  • Since 2010, 8 million new people report that they are binge drinkers
  • More females than males are becoming binge drinkers
  • Since 2000, fatality rates for excess drinking have risen 35%
  • Whites have a higher prevalence of excessive drinking than other races

More than 40 million Americans (about one in six adults) indulge in binge drinking. The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming four standard drinks in a two-hour span for females and five for males.

Binge drinking has been on the rise over the last decade, with more than 8 million new binge drinkers since 2010. This article dives deep into the cities with the worst alcohol problems.

While binge drinking historically has been about twice as common in men as in women, new data suggests the gap is narrowing. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of binge drinkers increased by 2.9 million, out of which two-thirds were female.

The CDC estimates that excess drinking kills about 88,000 Americans each year from both direct causes, like alcoholic liver disease, and indirect causes, such as chronic hepatitis and oropharyngeal cancer.

The national age-adjusted fatality rate from causes directly related to excess drinking rose by more than 35 percent since 1999, from 7.1 to 9.6 deaths per 100,000 people. For women, the increase was 66 percent; and for white women, fatality rates rose by 103 percent.

Alcohol fatalities rates on the rise for non-Hispanic whites.

Binge drinking is most common among the educated, affluent, and middle-aged, with whites having a higher likelihood of drinking than either Hispanics or blacks. Cities with higher proportions of these demographic groups are more likely to report higher rates of binge drinking.

The recent growth in female binge drinking is a trend experts attribute to the normalization of heavy drinking of high alcohol percentage in drinks for females, with targeted advertising and products such as the “Mad Housewife Mommy’s Little Helper,” “Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka,” and “Jane Walker.”

Female binge drinking is especially troubling in light of new studies which show that a single daily drink for females lowers life expectancy and increases the risk of brain atrophy and liver damage.

Given the growing prevalence of excessive drinking in the United States, our researchers here at wanted to explore which cities report the highest rates of binge drinking. Using data from the CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau, we examined binge drinking across America’s largest cities.

Perhaps most interesting is that adults in cities with high rates of binge drinking also report being healthier overall.

This trend could reflect a disparity between individuals’ perceptions of their health and reality. These are the cities with the worst drinking problem.

1. Green Bay, WI25.5%1. Madison, WI27.4%
2. Fargo, ND24.9%2. Lincoln, NE24.3%
3. Kenosha, WI24.4%3. Pittsburgh, PA22.8%
4. Ann Arbor, MI23.0%4. Fort Collins, CO21.4%
5. Boulder, CO22.7%5. Grand Rapids, MI20.7%
6. Round Rock, TX21.8%6. Frisco, TX20.7%
7. Charleston, SC21.6%7. Oceanside, CA20.4%
8. Davenport, IA21.5%8. Gilbert, AZ20.3%
9. Carlsbad, CA21.3%9. Norfolk, VA20.2%
10. Naperville, IL21.3%10. St. Paul, MN20.1%
11. Vista, CA21.0%11. Aurora, IL20.1%
12. Temecula, CA21.0%12. Sioux Falls, SD20.0%
13. League City, TX20.8%13. Tallahassee, FL19.9%
14. Westminster, CO20.7%14. Des Moines, IA19.8%
15. Cambridge, MA20.6%15. McKinney, TX19.8%
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If you’re on this page, it’s likely you’re looking for car insurance as well. However, car insurance can be confusing with all that industry terminology and the many varied reasons that go into your rates. That’s why we created our Car Insurance 101 page to take the confusion out of car insurance so that you know what types of coverages you need and what types you don’t.

Unfortunately as well, if you live in a city where people have heavy drinking problems, this can lead to a rise in your insurance rates, especially if this heavy drinking contributes to drunk driving traffic deaths. To get the best rates on car insurance, enter your ZIP code into our FREE online quote comparison tool.

It allows you to compare car insurance rates from different insurance companies without having to submit individual quotes with each company.

In this article, we’ll cover the cities with the worst drinking problems and the worst cities for alcoholism. In the frequently asked questions section for this article, we’ll also cover what state has the worst alcohol problem or what state has the worst drinking problem.

Now, let’s get to the 15 largest cities with the worst drinking problems.

15 Large Cities with the Worst Drinking Problems

#15 – Columbus, OH

  • Adults who binge drink: 19.0%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: -2.1%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 88.0%
  • Adults who graduated college: 37.1%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 40.5%

#14 – New Orleans, LA

  • Adults who binge drink: 19.5%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 7.1%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 87.3%
  • Adults who graduated college: 37.1%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 42.2%

Pay-as-you-go car insurance is a new type of insurance that’s helping drivers lower their premiums. This type of coverage offers rates based on how much you drive. So for people that don’t drive as much, this can be a great option.

#13 – Portland, OR

  • Adults who binge drink: 20.0%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: -1.5%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 89.9%
  • Adults who graduated college: 50.7%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 50.7%

#12 – Virginia Beach, VA

  • Adults who binge drink: 20.1%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 6.3%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 89.9%
  • Adults who graduated college: 37.7%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 42.5%

#11 – San Diego, CA

  • Adults who binge drink: 20.7%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 8.4%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 90.2%
  • Adults who graduated college: 46.0%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 47.6%

#10 – Austin, TX

  • Adults who binge drink: 20.9%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: -5.0%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 90.6%
  • Adults who graduated college: 54.1%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 51.0%

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#9 – Philadelphia, PA

  • Adults who binge drink: 21.0%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 17.3%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 85.4%
  • Adults who graduated college: 30.9%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 39.7%

#8 – Chicago, IL

  • Adults who binge drink: 21.5%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: -1.4%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 87.6%
  • Adults who graduated college: 39.4%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 42.4%

Ever wonder how much it costs to insure a sports car like a Corvette? In general, sports cars are expensive to insure; however, car insurance for a Corvette is relatively affordable. In fact, it’s not much different than insurance on a Mini Cooper.

#7 – San Francisco, CA

  • Adults who binge drink: 21.6%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 4.9%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 91.1%
  • Adults who graduated college: 59.8%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 59.2%

#6 – Omaha, NE

  • Adults who binge drink: 21.7%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 3.3%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 89.2%
  • Adults who graduated college: 37.7%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 40.2%

#5 – Boston, MA

  • Adults who binge drink: 22.8%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 5.1%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 89.5%
  • Adults who graduated college: 51.4%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 50.5%

#4 – Milwaukee, WI

  • Adults who binge drink: 23.1%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 19.7%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 86.0%
  • Adults who graduated college: 24.7%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 31.2%

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#3 – Minneapolis, MN

  • Adults who binge drink: 23.9%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 13.3%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 91.2%
  • Adults who graduated college: 51.4%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 50.6%

#2 – Denver, CO

  • Adults who binge drink: 23.9%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 18.3%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 89.7%
  • Adults who graduated college: 51.3%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 49.5%

A person’s age is one of the most important factors when calculating car insurance premiums. For example, car insurance for a 19-year-old is far more expensive than that for older drivers. Fortunately, driving schools can lower rates for new drivers.

#1 – Washington, D.C.

  • Adults who binge drink: 24.3%
  • 1-year change in binge drinking rate: 10.0%
  • Adults who report good physical health: 91.0%
  • Adults who graduated college: 60.4%
  • Adults in management & business jobs: 64.7%

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Ranking All Cities by Drinking Problems

City & StateBinge DrinkersBinge Drinking RateAdults: Good HealthCollege GraduatesAdults in Professional JobsRank
Madison, WI27.4%12.3%91.0%57.3%53.3%1
Green Bay, WI25.5%6.3%87.3%23.8%29.6%2
Fargo, ND24.9%-2.7%92.0%40.9%43.2%3
Kenosha, WI24.4%9.9%87.7%23.1%27.8%4
Lincoln, NE24.3%8.0%91.3%41.2%40.9%5
Washington, DC24.3%10.0%91.0%60.4%64.7%6
Denver, CO23.9%18.3%89.7%51.3%49.5%7
Minneapolis, MN23.9%13.3%91.2%51.4%50.6%8
Milwaukee, WI23.1%19.7%86.0%24.7%31.2%9
Ann Arbor, MI23.0%10.0%92.1%76.7%65.8%10
Pittsburgh, PA22.8%16.3%88.0%43.9%47.8%11
Boston, MA22.8%5.1%89.5%51.4%50.5%12
Boulder, CO22.7%15.8%92.0%76.0%54.0%13
Round Rock, TX21.8%16.0%90.3%41.1%43.4%14
Omaha, NE21.7%3.3%89.2%37.7%40.2%15
San Francisco, CA21.6%4.9%91.1%59.8%59.2%16
Charleston, SC21.6%3.8%89.4%56.9%53.2%17
Chicago, IL21.5%-1.4%87.6%39.4%42.4%18
Davenport, IA21.5%7.5%89.0%26.1%33.7%19
Fort Collins, CO21.4%2.9%90.9%55.9%48.8%20
Carlsbad, CA21.3%10.9%91.1%55.9%49.8%21
Naperville, IL21.3%6.5%91.3%68.3%59.3%22
Vista, CA21.0%9.4%87.9%26.4%29.3%23
Temecula, CA21.0%2.9%90.1%32.8%39.8%24
Philadelphia, PA21.0%17.3%85.4%30.9%39.7%25
Austin, TX20.9%-5.0%90.6%54.1%51.0%26
League City, TX20.8%4.5%90.6%47.0%53.7%27
Grand Rapids, MI20.7%6.2%86.5%37.7%37.0%28
Frisco, TX20.7%6.7%92.3%67.1%62.4%29
Westminster, CO20.7%12.5%90.3%39.1%42.7%30
San Diego, CA20.7%8.4%90.2%46.0%47.6%31
Cambridge, MA20.6%8.4%92.8%81.1%79.9%32
Rochester, MN20.5%3.0%91.0%47.6%51.9%33
Cedar Rapids, IA20.5%0.0%90.1%31.0%37.6%34
College Station, TX20.5%-3.3%92.0%61.2%58.0%35
Billings, MT20.4%0.5%88.3%35.1%34.7%36
Oceanside, CA20.4%9.1%88.6%28.9%35.0%37
Hillsboro, OR20.3%2.5%89.8%44.0%50.0%38
Joliet, IL20.3%-5.1%87.3%21.2%25.9%39
Gilbert, AZ20.3%14.7%90.9%45.6%50.6%40
Norfolk, VA20.2%9.8%88.6%29.3%33.5%41
Elgin, IL20.2%-1.5%87.7%23.8%29.3%42
Columbia, MO20.2%4.7%89.4%56.3%52.0%43
Thornton, CO20.2%6.3%89.5%30.8%34.3%44
St. Paul, MN20.1%8.1%89.8%42.6%42.6%45
Vacaville, CA20.1%-1.5%88.8%24.6%36.8%46
Lansing, MI20.1%4.7%85.1%26.7%29.7%47
Virginia Beach, VA20.1%6.3%89.9%37.7%42.5%48
Aurora, IL20.1%2.0%87.7%29.3%30.7%49
Lewisville, TX20.0%7.5%89.9%37.9%38.9%50
Sioux Falls, SD20.0%9.9%90.1%35.1%35.4%51
Arvada, CO20.0%20.5%89.6%43.8%47.7%52
Murrieta, CA20.0%2.6%89.5%31.5%36.9%53
Portland, OR20.0%-1.5%89.9%50.7%50.7%54
Sterling Heights, MI19.9%0.5%86.1%28.5%37.4%55
Olathe, KS19.9%8.2%92.0%51.8%47.2%56
Tallahassee, FL19.9%11.2%89.4%45.0%43.2%57
Des Moines, IA19.8%4.2%88.3%28.1%32.1%58
McKinney, TX19.8%4.8%90.5%47.9%52.3%59
Roseville, CA19.7%11.9%90.0%44.5%47.0%60
El Cajon, CA19.7%8.2%86.1%21.5%27.1%61
Santa Clarita, CA19.7%-1.0%89.6%36.1%44.5%62
Simi Valley, CA19.6%8.3%89.9%33.8%40.5%63
Corona, CA19.6%1.6%88.8%29.2%38.5%64
Killeen, TX19.6%6.5%88.8%22.4%29.0%65
Meridian, ID19.6%15.3%90.3%40.2%42.5%66
Rancho Cucamonga, CA19.6%8.3%89.9%35.2%41.1%67
Berkeley, CA19.6%10.7%91.8%70.8%65.1%68
Escondido, CA19.6%8.9%87.0%23.8%28.9%69
Denton, TX19.5%7.1%89.9%37.5%36.2%70
Sparks, NV19.5%6.0%86.1%23.9%34.3%71
Lakewood, CO19.5%20.4%89.2%40.4%43.9%72
New Orleans, LA19.5%7.1%87.3%37.1%42.2%73
Anchorage, AK19.4%-5.8%89.4%37.6%41.4%74
Allen, TX19.4%5.4%91.4%49.8%52.7%75
Reno, NV19.4%4.3%86.4%34.4%36.6%76
Tempe, AZ19.3%12.2%90.1%47.6%44.2%77
Midland, TX19.3%3.8%88.8%27.9%35.0%78
Springfield, IL19.2%2.7%86.8%34.1%42.4%79
Alexandria, VA19.2%6.1%91.5%63.0%58.9%80
Pearland, TX19.2%5.5%91.1%40.3%48.7%81
Columbia, SC19.2%3.8%87.7%41.4%43.4%82
Coral Springs, FL19.1%6.7%88.7%39.9%41.4%83
Independence, MO19.1%9.1%84.6%20.0%30.2%84
Orlando, FL19.1%9.8%87.2%39.2%40.1%85
Chula Vista, CA19.1%9.1%88.9%27.4%33.7%86
Gainesville, FL19.0%5.0%88.6%44.8%45.9%87
Gresham, OR19.0%-1.6%87.3%20.3%28.7%88
Davie, FL19.0%5.6%88.6%39.1%39.8%89
Costa Mesa, CA19.0%0.0%88.9%44.2%44.9%90
Columbus, OH19.0%-2.1%88.0%37.1%40.5%91
St. Petersburg, FL18.9%11.2%86.7%36.6%41.5%92
Centennial, CO18.9%14.5%91.9%57.8%52.4%93
Jacksonville, FL18.9%26.0%86.6%28.9%36.7%94
New York, NY18.9%12.5%87.8%38.9%42.0%95
Eugene, OR18.8%2.7%88.5%41.5%44.7%96
Seattle, WA18.8%-9.6%91.4%65.0%61.6%97
Bakersfield, CA18.8%11.2%86.9%21.1%30.9%98
Greeley, CO18.7%14.7%88.4%25.6%32.3%99
Riverside, CA18.7%1.6%87.8%22.8%26.0%100
San Buenaventura (Ventura), CA18.7%7.5%89.0%37.1%39.2%101
Lubbock, TX18.6%3.9%88.2%30.7%38.3%102
Warren, MI18.6%0.0%84.0%17.7%27.1%103
Peoria, IL18.6%10.1%86.3%34.8%40.8%104
St. Louis, MO18.6%16.3%84.6%37.1%45.2%105
Chandler, AZ18.6%14.8%90.0%46.6%50.3%106
Indianapolis, IN18.6%13.4%86.9%31.5%35.5%107
Kansas City, MO18.5%7.6%86.2%35.4%41.5%108
Buffalo, NY18.5%13.5%84.2%28.9%34.4%109
Boise City, ID18.4%14.3%89.8%43.0%45.1%110
North Charleston, SC18.4%2.2%85.3%23.4%32.0%111
Lafayette, LA18.4%10.2%87.1%37.8%41.2%112
Burbank, CA18.4%-2.6%89.3%43.2%53.7%113
Lexington, KY18.4%7.6%87.0%44.9%43.9%114
Syracuse, NY18.4%13.6%85.2%27.0%34.5%115
Visalia, CA18.3%2.8%86.9%27.0%40.2%116
Overland Park, KS18.3%8.3%92.5%59.5%53.6%117
Thousand Oaks, CA18.3%7.6%90.3%47.0%50.7%118
Cape Coral, FL18.3%4.0%86.4%25.1%35.5%119
Worcester, MA18.3%1.1%87.1%32.2%41.3%120
Fontana, CA18.2%8.3%87.4%19.1%24.8%121
Clearwater, FL18.2%9.6%86.0%29.7%36.2%122
Wichita Falls, TX18.2%9.6%87.2%23.1%30.6%123
Odessa, TX18.2%6.4%87.5%20.1%26.1%124
Stamford, CT18.1%-3.2%90.0%50.8%50.8%125
Huntington Beach, CA18.1%0.6%89.6%45.4%46.3%126
Corpus Christi, TX18.1%7.1%85.9%22.6%32.8%127
Amarillo, TX18.1%9.0%86.9%25.5%33.0%128
San Angelo, TX18.1%4.6%87.5%24.7%28.4%129
Ontario, CA18.0%7.1%86.8%15.8%20.2%130
Hayward, CA18.0%11.8%88.9%27.9%36.7%131
Orange, CA18.0%0.0%88.9%40.1%45.4%132
Moreno Valley, CA18.0%1.7%86.9%16.6%24.5%133
Tampa, FL17.9%5.3%86.2%39.0%42.6%134
Cary, NC17.9%8.5%92.2%71.0%63.8%135
Santa Rosa, CA17.9%-6.3%88.4%32.3%33.1%136
Abilene, TX17.9%4.1%87.0%25.0%31.7%137
Manchester, NH17.9%-0.6%87.2%28.3%33.0%138
Fort Wayne, IN17.8%4.1%86.5%27.8%29.9%139
Elk Grove, CA17.8%-1.7%89.9%35.1%44.6%140
Miramar, FL17.8%6.0%89.1%22.4%30.6%141
Carrollton, TX17.8%4.1%89.4%39.7%38.9%142
Honolulu, HI17.7%-3.3%90.6%36.8%35.7%143
Clovis, CA17.7%-5.9%88.8%31.9%43.2%144
Raleigh, NC17.7%7.3%90.8%53.3%50.4%145
Spokane, WA17.7%9.3%86.5%33.0%36.9%146
Plano, TX17.7%5.4%91.1%57.3%54.1%147
Irving, TX17.7%0.0%88.9%37.8%36.1%148
Fairfield, CA17.6%-2.2%88.2%28.5%33.4%149
Richardson, TX17.6%1.7%90.9%52.6%54.3%150
Grand Prairie, TX17.6%-1.1%88.3%21.0%28.7%151
Lancaster, CA17.6%-3.3%86.1%17.5%32.5%152
Aurora, CO17.6%12.1%89.1%29.2%32.6%153
Downey, CA17.6%-1.7%88.2%23.5%29.0%154
Charlotte, NC17.6%4.1%89.7%44.2%41.6%155
El Paso, TX17.5%10.8%85.5%25.5%32.1%156
Sandy Springs, GA17.5%-2.8%91.3%66.1%57.2%157
Richmond, VA17.4%1.2%87.7%41.9%43.0%158
San Antonio, TX17.4%12.3%85.9%25.7%33.3%159
Modesto, CA17.3%3.0%86.4%19.0%29.6%160
Fort Lauderdale, FL17.2%5.5%86.6%37.7%40.6%161
Peoria, AZ17.2%14.7%88.3%34.5%42.0%162
Tuscaloosa, AL17.2%20.3%86.9%35.4%35.6%163
Fort Worth, TX17.2%-3.9%87.3%29.6%33.3%164
Mesquite, TX17.2%-1.1%87.2%18.5%25.3%165
Murfreesboro, TN17.2%21.1%88.3%38.0%33.1%166
Henderson, NV17.2%8.2%87.9%32.5%37.4%167
Pasadena, CA17.1%-2.8%89.7%50.7%52.2%168
West Jordan, UT17.1%5.6%90.6%27.8%33.9%169
Rialto, CA17.1%6.9%85.9%11.8%21.2%170
Arlington, TX17.1%-3.4%88.2%30.8%31.4%171
Yonkers, NY17.1%11.0%87.0%32.5%37.1%172
Victorville, CA17.1%6.9%85.4%11.5%28.9%173
Pembroke Pines, FL17.1%6.2%88.4%31.3%44.3%174
Oakland, CA17.1%11.8%88.0%47.2%50.7%175
Allentown, PA17.1%4.9%84.3%15.9%21.4%176
Everett, WA17.1%3.0%87.8%22.7%30.8%177
Palmdale, CA17.1%-2.8%85.7%18.2%28.0%178
Port St. Lucie, FL17.1%4.3%85.6%23.5%30.9%179
Renton, WA17.0%-9.6%89.9%31.9%38.0%180
Oxnard, CA17.0%4.9%86.6%17.2%23.5%181
Long Beach, CA17.0%-2.9%87.8%30.6%36.8%182
West Palm Beach, FL17.0%4.3%85.9%33.9%35.2%183
South Bend, IN17.0%16.4%84.3%28.3%35.3%184
Las Cruces, NM17.0%25.9%86.6%35.2%38.9%185
Cincinnati, OH16.9%-3.4%86.3%39.0%43.5%186
Dallas, TX16.9%0.0%87.2%33.6%35.3%187
Pasadena, TX16.9%2.4%86.0%12.6%23.6%188
Santa Maria, CA16.8%-1.8%84.7%12.8%16.3%189
Baton Rouge, LA16.8%7.0%87.2%35.5%35.9%190
Palm Bay, FL16.8%9.1%84.7%20.4%29.2%191
Evansville, IN16.8%4.3%84.9%21.5%28.3%192
Fremont, CA16.8%13.5%92.2%58.9%60.5%193
Kent, WA16.8%-10.6%87.8%27.8%31.8%194
Sacramento, CA16.8%-3.4%87.3%34.6%42.4%195
Baltimore, MD16.8%10.5%87.7%33.2%45.2%196
Toledo, OH16.8%7.0%84.8%16.9%26.5%197
Norwalk, CA16.8%-3.4%87.5%16.3%25.3%198
Hampton, VA16.7%5.7%87.7%28.0%39.8%199
Los Angeles, CA16.7%-3.5%87.2%34.4%38.2%200
Hollywood, FL16.7%5.7%86.2%29.0%33.5%201
Rochester, NY16.7%3.1%84.5%25.8%36.7%202
Pomona, CA16.6%-4.0%86.3%17.0%21.6%203
Wilmington, NC16.6%-5.1%88.2%41.5%41.2%204
Rockford, IL16.6%-3.5%84.8%21.3%25.7%205
Mesa, AZ16.6%13.7%87.0%26.9%33.9%206
Salem, OR16.6%-1.8%87.0%26.8%33.9%207
Vancouver, WA16.6%-1.8%87.2%31.0%35.8%208
Bellevue, WA16.6%-8.8%92.1%69.1%66.8%209
Clarksville, TN16.6%29.7%86.7%29.8%31.8%210
Glendale, CA16.6%-1.8%88.1%38.2%45.6%211
Chesapeake, VA16.6%5.1%89.2%33.1%41.3%212
San Mateo, CA16.6%-3.5%90.6%57.9%57.6%213
North Las Vegas, NV16.5%7.1%85.6%17.9%24.6%214
Salinas, CA16.5%-1.8%85.9%12.3%18.1%215
Nashville, TN16.5%31.0%86.9%41.8%42.7%216
Phoenix, AZ16.5%13.0%86.4%28.9%34.0%217
Scottsdale, AZ16.5%16.2%90.0%59.7%54.6%218
Irvine, CA16.5%-0.6%92.3%67.1%62.9%219
Tyler, TX16.5%7.8%87.0%30.1%38.2%220
Concord, CA16.5%-6.8%88.8%34.2%40.3%221
Garland, TX16.5%-0.6%87.3%22.0%25.6%222
Tacoma, WA16.5%1.2%86.9%31.6%37.7%223
Waco, TX16.4%-0.6%86.3%25.5%29.0%224
Lowell, MA16.4%5.8%87.1%25.5%30.6%225
Glendale, AZ16.4%13.1%86.2%20.8%30.2%226
Anaheim, CA16.3%-1.8%87.5%26.2%31.4%227
Colorado Springs, CO16.3%-0.6%88.8%40.1%40.8%228
Springfield, MA16.3%1.2%83.5%18.9%30.9%229
Atlanta, GA16.3%-3.6%88.9%53.3%53.9%230
Surprise, AZ16.2%14.1%88.2%29.1%35.1%231
Houston, TX16.2%2.5%87.1%32.9%35.3%232
Springfield, MO16.1%3.9%85.1%25.0%36.2%233
Antioch, CA16.1%-6.4%87.9%22.5%32.5%234
Las Vegas, NV16.1%7.3%85.6%24.4%29.8%235
Greensboro, NC16.0%6.7%88.6%39.4%38.8%236
Fullerton, CA16.0%-0.6%89.2%42.6%45.2%237
Sugar Land, TX16.0%8.8%91.6%60.6%62.6%238
Bridgeport, CT15.9%-5.4%85.9%18.6%23.9%239
Santa Clara, CA15.9%-1.9%92.1%61.5%58.7%240
Durham, NC15.8%-1.9%89.2%48.8%50.2%241
Torrance, CA15.8%-1.9%91.0%52.4%56.7%242
New Haven, CT15.7%0.6%87.8%36.1%40.8%243
Santa Ana, CA15.7%-3.1%85.1%16.1%22.1%244
West Covina, CA15.7%-2.5%89.3%30.6%35.5%245
Pompano Beach, FL15.6%6.1%84.7%25.2%23.0%246
Tucson, AZ15.6%3.3%85.6%26.8%32.5%247
Fayetteville, NC15.6%-4.9%88.3%29.2%34.6%248
Providence, RI15.6%0.0%85.9%30.1%32.8%249
Newport News, VA15.6%0.0%88.3%28.0%32.1%250
Stockton, CA15.6%-0.6%85.6%16.1%24.7%251
Laredo, TX15.5%2.6%84.0%20.0%23.3%252
San Bernardino, CA15.5%5.4%83.4%13.3%19.5%253
Little Rock, AR15.4%6.9%86.1%40.6%44.4%254
Jersey City, NJ15.4%-1.3%88.3%52.0%51.3%255
Albuquerque, NM15.4%13.2%87.1%36.3%41.1%256
Akron, OH15.4%0.7%84.8%23.3%30.6%257
High Point, NC15.3%7.0%86.8%30.6%37.3%258
Beaumont, TX15.3%-4.4%86.5%26.1%32.4%259
Winston-Salem, NC15.2%9.4%87.1%34.1%42.4%260
Inglewood, CA15.2%-2.6%85.7%21.2%26.9%261
Salt Lake City, UT15.1%4.1%89.9%48.1%47.7%262
Sunnyvale, CA15.1%-1.3%92.4%65.7%66.9%263
Montgomery, AL15.1%22.8%85.5%31.2%36.9%264
Fresno, CA15.1%-8.5%85.7%22.9%31.8%265
San Jose, CA15.0%-2.0%90.1%44.9%47.3%266
Vallejo, CA14.9%-2.6%87.7%25.8%33.1%267
Broken Arrow, OK14.9%3.5%88.3%31.4%38.1%268
Shreveport, LA14.8%5.7%85.3%22.1%31.2%269
Wichita, KS14.8%3.5%88.2%31.6%34.9%270
Detroit, MI14.8%-1.3%80.7%15.5%24.1%271
Savannah, GA14.8%5.0%86.4%29.0%32.3%272
Miami, FL14.8%2.8%84.5%31.9%32.9%273
Mobile, AL14.7%14.0%84.3%27.5%38.2%274
Knoxville, TN14.7%23.5%84.9%30.2%38.1%275
Norman, OK14.7%-3.3%88.4%42.8%45.7%276
Hartford, CT14.6%7.4%84.6%15.8%25.0%277
McAllen, TX14.5%6.6%86.7%30.1%36.9%278
West Valley City, UT14.4%5.1%87.7%15.4%22.6%279
Waterbury, CT14.4%0.0%84.7%15.8%27.3%280
Pueblo, CO14.3%0.0%83.9%19.4%27.7%281
Elizabeth, NJ14.3%-12.3%84.2%14.9%17.3%282
Kansas City, KS14.3%-3.4%86.4%17.4%24.6%283
Brownsville, TX14.2%0.7%83.5%17.6%25.4%284
Richmond, CA14.2%-7.2%87.2%28.6%31.8%285
Topeka, KS14.1%-8.4%87.8%26.8%37.5%286
Miami Gardens, FL14.1%4.4%85.3%16.5%19.2%287
Dayton, OH14.1%2.9%83.0%20.8%27.6%288
Huntsville, AL14.1%19.5%86.8%44.6%49.6%289
El Monte, CA14.0%-4.1%85.2%13.2%18.7%290
Garden Grove, CA13.9%-1.4%87.5%20.2%27.7%291
Columbus, GA13.9%-6.1%85.9%24.6%31.8%292
Cleveland, OH13.8%-7.4%82.5%17.0%30.5%293
Paterson, NJ13.7%0.7%83.1%12.8%17.5%294
Newark, NJ13.6%-3.5%83.3%15.3%23.6%295
Lakeland, FL13.6%3.8%84.4%25.6%31.0%296
Hialeah, FL13.3%3.1%83.0%17.9%18.9%297
Birmingham, AL13.2%16.8%83.7%26.5%36.9%298
Daly City, CA13.2%-2.9%91.2%39.0%34.7%299
Chattanooga, TN12.8%23.1%84.5%29.8%36.6%300
Oklahoma City, OK12.8%-6.6%86.0%30.8%36.2%301
Tulsa, OK12.8%1.6%85.6%31.2%36.1%302
Memphis, TN11.9%0.8%83.5%26.2%29.2%303
Jackson, MS11.5%8.5%85.4%28.8%28.3%304
Provo, UT9.1%8.3%91.2%43.8%41.2%305
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Frequently Asked Questions: All About Alcohol

Now that we’ve covered the 15 large cities with the worst alcohol problems, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • What state has the worst alcohol problem?
  • Which states are alcohol control states?
  • What are dry states?

Scroll down for the answers to those questions and many more.

#1 – What city has the most alcoholics?

What is the drunkest town in America? According to our study, Washington D.C. has the most binge drinkers with 24.3% of D.C. residents reporting that they indulge in excess alcohol.

#2 – What state has the worst alcohol problem?

Wondering what is the drunkest state in America? The state with the highest DUI arrests per capita, according to FBI DUI arrest data and Census population information, is North Dakota with 633 DUI arrests per 100,000 residents.

#3 – What state drinks the most beer?

The states that drink the most beer are — surprise! — the states with the highest populations. Those are California, Texas, and Florida. However, when it comes to per capita beer drinking, New Hampshire, Montana, and Vermont top the list.

#4 – Which states are alcohol control states?

17 states are alcohol control states: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, two counties in Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

These states control the supply of alcohol at the wholesale level, with 13 of them also controlling the supply of alcohol at the retail level. This, in an attempt to promote moderate drinking or capitalize completely on the alcohol industry.

#5 – What are the 3.2 beer states?

Minnesota is the only 3.2 beer state left (3.2 being the alcohol content of beer available at grocery and convenience stores). The 3.2 alcohol content level is seen as an old vestige of the Prohibition-era days.

#6 – Can kids drink non-alcoholic beer?

They can, legally, but it’s highly discouraged as it could form the habit of drinking “beer” early, which might cause them to turn to actual beer sooner.

#7 – What are the dry states?

Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee are considered dry states, which means that the local municipality must authorize the sale of alcohol for it to be legal.

#8 – Is it legal to drink Heineken 0.0 and drive?

As long as the alcohol content in the Heineken is below the level defined by law (and of course below the level in which you can be arrested for drunk driving), certainly.

#8 – What country has the worst drinking problem?

According to TIME magazine, the country of Moldova has one of the worst drinking problems. The country has one of the highest death rates from alcohol consumption.

Methodology: Determining the 15 Drunkest Cities

Data on the proportion of all individuals, males, and females above 18 years who binge drink, as well as data on those who report being in good physical and mental health comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey.

Data regarding age, education, race, work sector, and income were gathered from the U.S. Census’s 2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.

Not only does excessive alcohol consumption cause thousands of premature deaths, but it also costs the nation more than $249 billion annually in lost productivity, healthcare costs, and criminal justice costs, according to a study by the CDC. This amounts to almost $2 in additional costs for each alcoholic drink, which are borne by society.

The link between alcohol and lower life expectancy, higher risk of cancer, and brain atrophy has been known by scientists and physicians for some time. But new studies show that even low amounts of alcohol—such as those described in the national dietary guidelines and previously considered safe—can lower life expectancy in the long run.

This analysis finds that binge drinking is strongly associated with reporting good physical health, with a correlation of 49 percent.

Given the known health impacts of binge drinking, individuals who drink heavily are either unaware of their current health problems or are at a higher risk of health complications in the future.

Binge drinking adults reporting to be in good health among major U.S. cities.

A deeper look into the data shows the association between binge drinking and having a college education is 38 percent, which represents a strong positive relationship.

There is also a statistically significant link between binge drinking and working in the management and business sector, where binge drinking is possibly more normalized than in other work fields, such as transportation.

Binge drinking associated with business and management occupations in the U.S.

Regional variation across the nation remains substantial at the state level, ranging from 11 percent in Utah to 24 percent in Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. In general, Midwestern states report the highest levels of binge drinking.

Adult binge drinkers by U.S. state ranking.

While regional cultural differences undoubtedly influence these patterns, the CDC outlines a few general procedures for curbing heavy drinking: these include alcohol sale restrictions, alcohol taxes, and strict enforcement of laws against underage drinking. Given that binge drinking is on the rise again, increased attention is needed to avoid the next public health crisis.

In 2021, there has been a push from consumers for more non-alcoholic drinking options at bars, giving rise to mocktail companies. In the future, there may be even more of a push to eliminate the worst alcoholic drinks or the worst alcohol for hangovers as people try to become more health-conscious.

Binge drinking and its consequences — causing more alcohol-related traffic deaths — can result in higher insurance rates for an entire area, even if these events affect just a small percentage of the population. Fortunately, there are many ways to save on car insurance rates. Just plug in your ZIP code into our FREE online quote generator to receive the best rates for your area based on your demographic information and driving history.