Michigan is America’s 10th Drunkest State

Published: Mar. 17, 2018 at 8:54 AM EDT
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Michigan is America's 10th drunkest state according to a new analysis from financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. Of metropolitan areas within the state, Lansing-East Lansing residents report the highest excessive drinking rates. You can find the full report, the detailed findings and methodology, and America’s drunkest and most sober states by clicking on the links.

To identify the drunkest states in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of men and women over 18 who report binge or heavy drinking in every state. Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking and heavy drinking. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men, and heavy drinking is defined as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.

Some 20.0 percent of adults drink to excess in Michigan, more than the comparable national share of 18.0 percent. Typically, states with higher rates of adults who binge or heavily drink are wealthier and are more likely to report better health outcomes. Michigan is an exception with a below average median household income and worse health outcomes than most states.

24/7 Wall St. also interviewed the director of the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, George Koob. Koob says there is a clear correlation between a state’s excessive drinking rate and income. Among the states with the highest excessive drinking rates, the annual median household income tends to be much greater than in states with lower drinking rates.

Koob added that the pattern is complicated, and noted that while there is a correlation on the state level, “If you look at individuals, the pattern is somewhat different.” While indeed a larger share of affluent individuals drink excessively, “…they do so less heavily.” Similarly, while low-income individuals drink to excess less frequently, the amount of alcohol they consume tends to be greater when they do drink.