These are the cities with the most (and least) drinkers

Americans love booze, that much is well-documented, but which cities in the US house the greatest numbers of people that chose to steer completely clear?

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Thirty percent of the US population abstains from drinking. Although some experts expect this percentage to rise amongst young people in the coming years, (thanks in large part to social media oddly enough) global alcohol consumption is actually at an all-time high.  It has increased by 70% in the last 30 years according to a study published this year in the Lancet. 

America does its fair share in surging these numbers, given 56% of its own population are habitual drinkers, and an additional 26.9% are confessed binge drinkers. A study conducted on more than 34,000 adults released just last year found roughly 40% of Americans consume excessive amounts of alcohol, which is 10% more than the one in three heavy drinkers reported in Prevalence of Alcohol Dependence Among US Adult Drinkers, 2009–2011, which was from 2014.


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Americans love booze, that much is well-documented but which cities in the US house the greatest numbers of the minority that chose to steer completely clear of the stuff? In order to find out, Alcohol.org pulled data on the percentage of non-drinkers in the 100 largest cities in America from city-data.com.

Where are the non-drinkers?

As a resident that witness at least 30 subway barf sessions a weekend, I was surprised to learn New York City has the highest number of non-drinkers in the country… by a lot. There are 804, 420 non-partakers currently occupying the big apple, though it’s important to remember, New York City is a big place, with a massive population, so massive in fact, that even though they house the highest number of non-drinkers, they don’t actually house the highest percentage of non-drinkers.  A City Life Index Survey conducted last year found that 91% of New Yorkers enjoy hitting the sauce.

The distinction between the lowest percentage of non-drinkers goes to Honolulu, Hawaii. Twenty-one percent of HI’s population opt not to imbibe alcoholic beverages, which makes it the number one percentage wise by a pretty wide margin. Fermont California comes in at number two,  with 15.50% non-drinkers, Hialeah, Florida with 14.60%, San Francisco, California, with 14.10% and Detroit Michigan rounding out the top five non-drinkers with 13.40%.

Half of the top 10 cities with the largest percentage of non-drinkers are in California. The authors of the new report also note how it is that a large portion of non-drinkers additionally lives near beaches and large bodies of water.

Gilbert, Arizona has the lowest percentage of non-drinkers of all the US states observed in the study, with only 9% of its population reported. Two-thirds of the heaviest drinkers featured in the survey were located in the Southwest.

 


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.