The Drunkest City in Every State

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Drinking too much is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It kills one in 10 working-age adults, or about 88,000 people every year, cutting the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, which is defined as having more than four drinks on one occasion for women and more than five for men, as well as heavy drinking, which is defined as having eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.

Car accidents caused by alcohol-impaired people account for about a third of all driving deaths in the United States. But long-term health risks such as hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers can also lead to premature death.

On average, 18% of adult Americans report binge or heavy drinking, but the rates vary greatly from city to city, and between states. For example, in Madison, Wisconsin, almost 30% of adults drink excessively, the highest share among U.S. metropolitan areas. In Provo-Orem, Utah, the rate is close to 10%, the lowest among the nation’s metro areas.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of men and women over 18 who reported in 2016 binge or heavy drinking in each state’s metro areas. Metro level data was aggregated from county level data assembled in 2018 by County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program.