Top 10 Drunkest Cities in America

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Top 10 Drunkest Cities in America

So, you think you drink a lot? Before you spread news of your grand ability to become inebriated, you might want to consider what the experts (or at least the Center for Disease Control) say on the matter. Using their definitions for heavy drinkers and binge drinkers, performed a study that collected the data into a more easily-understood format. Using that information, here are the top 10 drunkest cities in America.

10. Norfolk, Virginia

Starting out the list is Norfolk’s high percentage of binge drinkers, hitting the 19.9 percent mark. Despite this, only 5.2 percent of its population are classified as heavy drinkers, which knocks it out of the running for anything but last place. The drinks of choice in Virginia are Bud Light for beer and Grey Goose for liquor, which sounds like one classy frat party to us.

9. Chicago, Illinois

With a notably lower 17.2 percent of Chicago’s citizens classified as binge drinkers, you might question this placement. Still, consider that it has almost a whole percentage point more in the heavy drinking department with 6.1 percent, and that’s enough to secure its place ahead of Norfolk. Coors and Guinness take the top beer spot in Illinois, with Jameson covering liquor.

8.  Omaha, Nebraska

This one might seem unexpected as Omaha has been a fairly undervisited city, but it’s on the rise—as a place to both live and drink. With a 19.5 percent binge drinking rate and a 5.9 percent rate of heavy drinking, it just barely scrapes by the Windy City in these extremely important rankings. The top picks for Nebraska’s drinking scene are oddly specific: Founders Brewing Curmudgeon Old Ale for beer and Fireball for liquor.

7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

When it comes to alcoholic states, Wisconsin is at the top, so it’s no wonder Milwaukee would be here. 18.9 percent of Milwaukeeans are considered binge drinkers while 6.7 percent are heavy hitters in the way of alcohol consumption. Bud Light makes a repeat appearance in this Midwestern city, alongside Captain Morgan.

6. Burlington, Vermont

Heavy drinking gets serious here, with 7.5 percent of the population chugging it down—maybe to stay warm under all that snow. Meanwhile, an impressive 19.4 percent are binge drinkers. Doesn’t that gorgeous blue sky up there just remind you of … beer? Bud Light—again—to be exact. If you prefer a more spiritual experience, Jack Daniels is quite popular up here.

5. Boston, Massachusetts

Now this is probably a shocker—not because it is on this list but rather because of its place. You may have expected Boston to claim the number one spot, and with 20.1 percent of its population falling into the binge category and 7.4 percent classified heavy, it is definitely up there. Still, it’s not enough for New England’s beloved metropolis to claim the championship title. Before you get all worked up, keep reading for some seriously impressive numbers.

By the way, Bud Light is the favorite in Boston for the third time, but the liquor is Hennessy, so at least there’s some variety there.

4. Reno, Nevada

If you have ever been to Charleston, this is no surprise. If you want to drink more than you want to gamble, skip Las Vegas and head to Reno. 18.1 percent of its people say they’re binge drinkers, while a massive 8.5 percent imbibe heavily. As is apparently a near-universal constant, Bud Light dominates beer drinkers’ choices. For the liquor-minded, it’s Crown Royal.

3. Buffalo, New York

Again, the snow thing definitely ties in here. What else are they supposed to do when their front doors have been blocked by seven-foot drifts?  Buffalo’s drinking habits pack a huge punch: 19.4 percent of Buffalonians identify as binge drinkers and 8.7% as heavy drinkers, earning it a solid third place spot. And finally, something else has usurped Bud Light in the beer rankings—Blue Moon, to be exact. Hennessy returns for an encore.

2. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. takes a somewhat expected place in this category with 8.03 percent of the population being classified as heavy drinkers and 23.5 percent on the binge side. Though it’s not confirmed, you can probably figure that the percentage for politicians is closer to 100 in both categories. We’ll put the Maryland favorites here, since Virginia was covered back at number 10. The beer is—you guessed it—Bud Light. Liquor? Svedka or Fireball.

1. Springfield, Massachusetts

And the highest accolade for alcoholic prowess in the United States goes to: Springfield Massachusetts! With a high 19.5 percent of their population classified as binge drinkers and whopping 9.2 percent at the heavy drinking table, this proud East Coast town definitely knows its way around a glass. And of course, the drunkest town in America does it on Bud Light. What else were we expecting?

Oh, and to no one’s surprise, people who are classified as “heavy drinkers” are more likely to binge drink as well.

heavy drinking chart

Did one of your cities make it onto the list? Do you feel you put these averages to shame? Let us know in the comments below! 

Additional Images: Ultragroove Hogmanay 2007-2008 via photopin (license)



Joseph Macolino
Joseph Macolino
When Joseph is not writing for his Evorath fantasy series, he tries to spend time honing his physical prowess to one day become the Punisher. Most of the time, he just ends up perfecting the art of procrastination by watching Netflix, reading other good fantasy books, or playing some mindless game. Follow him at Evorath