Alcohol Across the US
Which States Have the Most Binge Drinkers & Alcohol Deaths?
Despite the fact that the legal drinking age in the US is 21, many people in the US aged 18 and over either regularly drink or have consumed alcohol at some point during their life. For many, it’s the social aspect that has integrated this habit as an essential part of their life. However, for many others, there is a certain level of dependency on it.
In 2019 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that 25.8% of people aged 18 and up, had engaged in binge drinking within the last month. A further 6.3% of people in the same age group had engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. They also stated roughly 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making it the third-highest cause of preventable death in the US.
But, where in the US has the highest number of binge drinkers and alcohol-related casualties? We at NiceRx have analyzed data to answer just that, and we’ve also looked at the dangers of excessive drinking.
1. New Hampshire
Alcohol Consumption per Capita 2022: 4.67 gallons
New Hampshire, located in New England, which is in the northeastern region of the United States, comes out as the state with the highest alcohol consumption per capita. It is one of the smallest and least populous states, yet despite this, managed 4.67 gallons per capita. According to the CDC a beer is 12 ounces and a glass of wine is 5 ounces. This means New Hampshire drank around 62 beers or 149 glasses of wine per capita in 2022.
Alcohol Consumption per Capita 2022: 3.52 gallons
Delaware is a small Mid-Atlantic state, located on the east coast of the United States. In fact, it is the second-smallest state in the US and the sixth-least populous. Having drank significantly less than New Hampshire per capita during 2022, Delaware still managed 3.52 gallons per capita. Which is still 108 glasses of wine and 45 beers, by the CDC’s count.
Alcohol Consumption per Capita 2022: 3.42 gallons
Located in the West of the United States and sharing a border with California, we have Nevada, home of the Las Vegas Strip, a stretch of road known for gambling and drinking. Nevada is the seventh most extensive state, yet only the thirty-second most populous, meaning it has a low population density. In 2022, the state recorded an alcohol consumption of 3.42 gallons per capita, just a little less than Delaware.
4. North Dakota
Alcohol Consumption per Capita 2022: 3.16 gallons
North Dakota is located in the Upper Midwest, along the Canadian border of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north. It is the 19th largest state, but it is the fourth-least populous, as well as the fourth-most sparsely populated state. 3.16 gallons per capita is what the state recorded for 2022, which comes out at around 97 glasses of wine and 40 beers.
Alcohol Consumption per Capita 2022: 3.1 gallons
Taking the fifth spot for states with the highest alcohol consumption, we have Montana, located in the Mountain West sub-region of the United States and borders North and South Dakota. Once again, this is a state with a lower population density. It’s the fourth-largest state, but the eighth-least populous. In 2022, the state consumed 3.1 gallons of alcohol, per capita. That’s exactly 39.7 beers and 95 glasses of wine, again, per capita.
The costs referred to in this section are primarily comprised of, loss of workplace productivity, health care expenses, property damage, motor vehicle crash costs and criminal justice expenses.
Total Cost of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: $827,200,000
Cost per Drink: $2.25
Cost per Capita: $1,165
Alaska is a semi-enclave state, bordering the Canadian province of British Columbia, and is by far the largest state by area, beating even Texas. However, it is also the third-least populous state and the most sparsely populated. The total cost of excessive drinking in Alaska is $827.2 million, which works out at $1,165 per person living in the state.
2. New Mexico
Total Cost of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: $2,232,900,000
Cost per Drink: $2.77
Cost per Capita:$1,084
Located in the Southwestern region of the United States, along the Mexican border, we have New Mexico, the state with the second highest cost for excessive alcohol consumption. The total cost of excessive alcohol consumption for the state was $2.23 billion, which is $1,084 per person.
Total Cost of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: $593,100,000
Cost per Drink: $2.33
Cost per Capita: $1,052
Wyoming is located in the Mountain West sub-region of the Western United States and it shares borders with six other states. Despite being the tenth largest state in the US, it is the least populous state. The total cost of excessive drinking in Wyoming was $593.1 million or $1,052 per person.
Total Cost of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: $5,056,500,000
Cost per Drink: $2.14
Cost per Capita: $1,005
Another state located in the Mountain West sub-region of the United States, we have Colorado, home of the Rocky Mountains. It is the eighth most expensive state and the 21st most populous. Colorado also ranked in the top ten for alcohol consumption, at 2.88 gallons per person for 2022. The cost of excessive alcohol consumption is $1,005 per person, making it the state with the fourth-highest cost.
Total Cost of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: $35,010,600,000
Cost per Drink: $2.44
Cost per Capita: $940
Rounding out the top five, we have California, which lies on the West coast of the United States. It is the third largest state by area and by far the most populous. Despite ranking only 22nd for alcohol consumption levels per capita in 2022, it has the largest total excessive alcohol consumption cost, at $35 billion. However, per capita, it is just $904 making it the state with the fifth-highest cost.
1. New Mexico
Average Death Rate per 100,000 People (2019): 34.3
New Mexico, having already ranked high for its cost of excessive alcohol consumption, has the highest alcohol-related death rate. Their total death rate for 2019, for alcohol-related deaths, was 34.3 per 100,000.
Average Death Rate per 100,000 People (2019): 28.5
Wyoming also ranked well for the highest excessive alcohol consumption costs, placing in the top three and now it takes second for the highest alcohol-related death rate. In 2019, the state recorded a 28.5 death rate per 100,000 of the population, for deaths caused by alcohol consumption.
Average Death Rate per 100,000 People (2019): 23.9
Alaska, the other state that made up the top three ranking for states with the highest costs due to excessive alcohol consumption, also ranks third for alcohol-related death rates. Furthermore, Alaska also ranked 11th for alcohol consumption per capita for 2022. Their 2019 death rate for deaths caused by alcohol was 23.9 per 100,000.
4. South Dakota
Average Death Rate per 100,000 People (2019): 21.2
South Dakota, if it wasn’t obvious, is located directly below North Dakota in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. For 2022, it ranked tenth for alcohol consumption per 100,000 of the population, so it’s unsurprising that it ranks fourth-highest for death rates relating to alcohol, at 21.2 per 100,000.
Average Death Rate per 100,000 People (2019): 20.3
Montana, having previously ranked in the top five for alcohol consumption per capita for 2022, now ranks fifth for death rates relating to alcohol consumption. As of 2019, the state has recorded a death rate of 20.3 per 100,000 of the population.
Important: Mixing alcohol and medicines such as Vyvanse, Trulicity and Farxiga can be harmful. Alcohol can make you sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Drinking alcohol whilst taking any of the medicines mentioned above can intensify these effects and you may have trouble concentrating, and performing manual or mechanical tasks.
We took the alcohol consumption rates from the World Population Review, which has recorded consumption in gallons per capita of each state’s population for 2022, we then simply ranked each state on that value.
Next, we used the Centers for Disease Control to get the total cost of excessive alcohol consumption per state, which was further broken down into cost per drink and per capita. We ranked each state on its per capita value, to give a more accurate representation. This site webpage was last reviewed on April 12th, 2022, at the time of writing.
Finally, we used Drug Abuse Statistics to get the overall death rates for alcohol-related deaths for each state, which were already shown as per 100,000 of the population. We then ranked each state on that value.