New Hampshire has been crowned the beer capital of America while Washington D.C. consumes the most wine, interactive maps have revealed.
Official data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimates the amount of booze consumed in each state per capita.
The North East, West Coast and Midwest tended to consume the most alcohol, while rates were lower in the South, which has been linked to higher rates of religious beliefs.
American men can safely consume up to two bottles of beer or small glasses of wine a night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, while women can consume no more than one. But a growing proportion of people — driven by Gen Z — are now steering clear of alcohol completely.
Which states drink the most wine?
- District of Columbia (1.01)
- New Hampshire (0.84)
- Delaware (0.77)
- Vermont (0.76)
- California (0.62)
- Massachusetts (0.62)
- New Jersey (0.61)
- Nevada (0.59)
- Florida (0.56)
- Rhode Island (0.55)
Data in brackets is gallons of ethanol in wine consumed per person per state each year, for the year 2020. Data from the National Institue on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Which states drink the most beer?
- New Hampshire (1.89)
- Montana (1.66)
- Vermont (1.63)
- North Dakota (1.48)
- Maine (1.37)
- South Dakota (1.34)
- Pennsylvania (1.33)
- Nevada (1.32)
- Hawaii (1.28)
- Wisconsin (1.27)
Data in brackets is gallons of ethanol in beer consumed per person per state each year, for the year 2020. Data from the National Institue on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
The interactive maps are based on beer and wine sales in 2020, the latest year with data.
For beer, New Hampshire residents consumed about 1.89 gallons of pure alcohol in beer every year.
Residents in Montana put away 1.66 gallons of ethanol in beer per year, while those in Vermont had 1.63 gallons, and in North Dakota 1.48 gallons.
Rounding out the top five was Maine, where people drank an average of 1.37 gallons per year.
In terms of wine consumption, Washington D.C. — the capital — topped the list at 1.01 gallons per person.
It was followed by New Hampshire (0.84), Delaware (0.77), Vermont (0.76) and California (0.62).
Out of the top ten beer-drinking states, four were in the North East three were in the West and three were in the Midwest.
Out of the top ten wine-drinking states, seven were in the North East, two were in the West and one — Florida — was in the South.
Dr Nigel Barber, a psychologist trained at City University of New York (CUNY), previously told Psychology Today: ‘People at the bottom of the income ladder mostly divide into two extremes. Either they do not drink at all, or they drink to excess.
‘There is no real mystery about why poor people might drink in excess.
‘Heavy drinking is a way to escape from the stress and lack of control they experience in their lives, feelings that are less intense for affluent people who enjoy higher social status, better social support and more economic freedom.’
The above map shows which states consumed the most and least wine. Utah came bottom for this category, which was linked to Mormons who don’t drink alcohol
This graph shows the consumption of ethanol from beer by year across each region of the US. It shows that in all areas the market is gradually shrinking
This graph, however, shows ethanol from wine that is being consumed by state. Unlike beer, this is trending upwards
Other patterns in the data included that many of the states in the top categories tended to be rural.
A review published in the Lancet in 2021 which looked at 280 studies from 49 countries found that people in rural areas were more likely to abuse alcohol than their urban neighbors.
They wrote in the conclusion: ‘Internationally, most studies have found that rural, relative to urban, residence is associated with an increased likelihood of hazardous alcohol use and alcohol-related harm.’
On the other hand, wine consumption tended to be higher in states that were more affluent.
Washington D.C., which drank the most wine, had the highest annual income of any state at $133,000 per household on average, according to 2020 US Census data.
New Jersey, Massachusetts and California were top wine drinkers that also came in among the top ten states with the highest average income in the US at $117,000, $115,000 and $111,000.
The data also showed that only one of the states in the top 10 for beer and alcohol consumption — Florida — was in the South.
Pollster Gallup said this was because a higher proportion of the population was religious and viewed drinking alcohol as ‘morally wrong’.
Another outlier was Utah, which came bottom of the list of states that drink the most beer and wine.
This was linked to its majority Mormon community, which believes that people should not drink alcohol of any kind.
Mormons believe that God revealed what foods and substances were good and bad for people to consume in 1833. The list did not include alcohol, tobacco, tea or coffee which, as a result, are all rejected in the community.
The 2020 data calculated beer and wine consumption per head based on each state’s population of men and women aged 14 years and older.
A glass of wine and a standard pint of beer each contain about 0.6 fluid ounces of ethanol, the alcohol content.
Drinking regularly is well-known to raise the risk of numerous diseases including heart disease, cancer and dementia.