The drunkest state in America.

Figures from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) which has released its latest analysis on the state of the drinking union, show the states most likely to have a cocktail or two. By tallying sales of alcoholic beverages divided by census population data (all those aged 14 and older so don’t discount those underage guzzlers), the Institute has brewed the numbers and come away with a per capita rate.



A nation as a whole, it’s a wonder we get anything done. In total, we consume 2.28 gallons of ethanol (pure alcohol) per person a year. By poison, that equates to 199 beer 16oz cans, 15.9 25oz bottles of wine and 7.2 1-liter bottles of vodka.

Sit back, relax — grab a drink, we can wait — while we mark off the booziest states compared to their straight-laced neighbors.

How do you stack up against the rest in your state?

10th Drunkest State: South Dakota

One thing is clear, South Dakotans love them some beer. With only 10 breweries as of 2012, the Mount Rushmore State still managed to come in as the fourth biggest beer drinker in the States.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 2.75 gallons per person

Beer: 266.9 cans per person

Wine: 11.1 bottles per person

Spirits: 9.2 bottles per person

9th Drunkest State: Vermont

Vermont enjoys a tipple of wine and given its trail of wineries and cideries, it comes as no surprise. The state ranks as the fifth biggest consumer of wine by population in the country.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 2.79 gallons per person

Beer: 249.4 cans per person

Wine: 27 bottles per person

Spirits: 6.7 bottles per person

8th Drunkest State: Montana

No brown-bagging is necessary in Montana, where open container laws are policed by local laws. In Butte, Montana, for instance, open containers of alcohol are allowed to be displayed and consumed anywhere (we assume many Butte jokes are the result of rampant public intoxication).

Total pure alcohol consumed: 2.85 gallons per person

Beer: 286.25 cans per person

Wine: 13.6 bottles per person

Spirits: 8.5 bottles per person

7th Drunkest State: Alaska

It’s cold, we get it. Alaskans aren’t picky with what they drink, though, with levels of beer, wine and spirits per person fairly average. Combined though, this booze-guzzling northern state takes our seventh spot.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 2.86 gallons per person

Beer: 204.3 cans per person

Wine: 21.4 bottles per person

Spirits: 11.1 bottles per person

6th Drunkest State: Wisconsin

The Badger State loves its beer but isn’t so into wine and with 132 breweries as of 2012, we can see why there’s a slant towards a cold one. Not as good is the stat Wisconsin has the highest percentage of binge drinkers in the USA, at 24% of its adult population.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 2.97 gallons per person

Beer: 256.2 cans per person

Wine: 14.7 bottles per person

Spirits: 11 bottles per person

5th Drunkest State: North Dakota

With a large mining industry, it’s no surprise North Dakotans rank as the second biggest beer-drinking citizens. Remember, moderation is key — after Wisconsin, the state has the second highest rate of binge drinking.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 3.18 gallons per person

Beer: 295 cans per person

Wine: 10.4 bottles per person

Spirits: 11.9 bottles per person

4th Drunkest State: Nevada

The only surprise here is why it didn’t take the top spot. Nevada, the home of the hangover, has the Vegas factor giving it weight. The state ranks as the fifth biggest beer drinker, seventh in wine and fourth in spirits. At least in Sin City, liver failure is served with a paper umbrella.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 3.35 gallons per person

Beer: 258.1 cans per person

Wine: 25 bottles per person

Spirits: 12 bottles per person

3rd Drunkest State: Delaware

It might be known as the First State, but Delaware ranks as fourth and third when it comes to wine and spirit consumption per capita.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 3.55 gallons per person

Beer: 238.3 cans per person

Wine: 27.4 bottles per person

Spirits: 14.4 bottles per person

2nd Drunkest State: District of Columbia

This might explain a lot in the Capitol. And, yes, D.C. might not technically be a state, but it sure drinks like one. Washington particularly enjoys its wine and at 40.1 bottles a person per year, it takes the gold as the nation’s biggest wino.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 3.84 gallons per person

Beer: 211.5 cans per person

Wine: 40.1 bottles per person

Spirits: 21 bottles per person


And the state you shouldn’t hold an open flame near…

The Drunkest State: New Hampshire

New Hampshire, you salty dog; we never would have guessed. Quite the surprise. Or is it?

Well, considering the state enacts no sales tax on alcohol purchases, we can see why its residents (and bordering Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont residents too) are more free to spend, drink and be merry. At a wholesale level, retailers pay 30 cents a gallon on beer, and $2 a gallon for wine and spirits. Cheap! The next round is on us, OK?

Cheers, New Hampshire. You’ll be hosting the next rager, we’re sure.

Total pure alcohol consumed: 4.7 gallons per person

Beer: 318.3 cans per person

Wine: 36.5 bottles per person

Spirits: 18.8 bottles per person

Via The Street