Dec
29
2010

The Top Drinking Cities in the U.S.

As we ring in the New Year this week, Americans will be tossing back a few adult beverages in celebration. While alcohol consumption certainly increases around holidays and other times of celebration, many Americans imbibe year-round. So where across this great land of ours are you most likely to find adults willing and able to raise a glass (or two) and where are you most likely to be surrounded by teetotalers? Experian Simmons has the answer.

Leveraging data from our SimmonsLOCAL study, we examined the drinking patterns of adults of legal drinking age in the 106 Designated Market Areas (DMAs) with populations of at least 500,000 adults age 21 and older.  We then ranked those markets by the number of alcoholic beverages consumed by the average adult during a typical month.

The chart below lists the DMAs that consume the most alcoholic beverages per capita in a typical month. First place goes to Boston, where the average adult of legal drinking age regularly kicks back 14.4 drinks a month. (Celebrations in Beantown are probably already underway.)

RankDMAAverage drinks per month
1Boston14.4
2Austin13.8
3Providence-New Bedford13.4
4Madison13.2
4Hartford & New Haven13.2
6Philadelphia13.1
7Chicago13
8Denver12.9
9Tallahassee-Thomasville12.8
9Milwaukee12.8
11Minneapolis-St. Paul12.6
11West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce12.6
11Seattle-Tacoma12.6
11Tucson (Sierra Vista)12.6
15Green Bay-Appleton12.5
16San Diego12.4
16Baltimore12.4
16Washington, DC12.4
16Albany-Schenectady-Troy12.4
20New Orleans12.3
20St. Louis12.3
20Colorado Springs-Pueblo12.3
23Burlington-Plattsburgh12.2
23Syracuse12.2
23Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News12.2
23Spokane12.2
23Portland-Auburn12.2

Source: Experian Simmons

Adult residents of the markets listed below surely know how to have a good time-it’s just unlikely to include a cocktail. The chart below lists the DMAs that consume the fewest alcoholic beverages per capita in a typical month. Residents of Chattanooga consume only 6 alcoholic beverages per month, on average, making it the least imbibing market-and probably the one that feels the best the morning after a big gathering.

RankDMAAverage drinks per month
106Chattanooga6
105Salt Lake City7.2
105Florence-Myrtle Beach7.2
105Charleston-Huntington7.2
105Tri-Cities, TN-VA7.2
101Knoxville7.4
100Lexington7.9
99Birmingham8
98Huntsville-Decatur8.5
97Nashville8.9
97Evansville8.9
95Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg-Mt Vernon9.1
94Springfield, MO9.2
94Tulsa9.2
94Greenville-New Bern-Washington9.2
91Memphis9.3
90Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson9.4
90Jackson, MS9.4
90Wichita-Hutchinson Plus9.4
86Little Rock-Pine Bluff9.5
86Louisville9.5
86Ft. Smith-Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers9.5
83Fresno-Visalia9.6
82Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem9.7
82Roanoke-Lynchburg9.7

Source: Experian Simmons

For more information on SimmonsLOCAL’s vivid reporting of consumer behaviors, attitudes, lifestyles and media consumption in 209 Designated Market Areas down to the ZIP code level, visit our website.


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