The Drunkest City in Every State


To determine the drunkest metro in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed rates of excessive drinking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program’s 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report. 

The rate of excessive drinking is defined as the share of adults who report either binge drinking or heavy drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as a woman consuming more than four drinks or a man consuming more than five drinks in a single occasion. Heavy drinking is defined as a woman consuming more than one drink per day on average or a man consuming more than two drinks per day on average.

We aggregated county-level statistics to metropolitan statistical areas. While the CHR report is from 2021, excessive drinking rate figures published in the report are from 2018.

We used the 384 metropolitan statistical areas as delineated by the United States Office of Management and Budget and used by the Census Bureau as our definition of metros. 

Metros were ranked within their state based on the excessive drinking rate. Since many metros cross state lines, the metro was assigned to the state of its first-listed principal city. Thus, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metro area was excluded as it is principally in the District of Columbia.

Additional information on the share of driving deaths with alcohol involvement, and the share of adults who report fair or poor health are also from the 2021 CHR. Median household income data are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.