Americans love their booze. According to data released by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the consumption of alcoholic beverages by US residents has been steadily increasing since 1995, with a whopping 7.9 billion gallons consumed in 2020. This represents an increase of more than one million gallons. drunk from the previous year, probably thanks to the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the 7.9 billion gallons consumed by Americans in 2020, beer was the overwhelming favorite – with around 6.4 billion gallons drunk – followed by wine and spirits, of which Americans enjoyed 931 million and 635 million, respectively. gallons. While the pandemic clearly impacted the volume of alcohol Americans consumed, it also impacted the types of alcohol Americans sought out. In 2020, domestic spirits consumption increased by nearly 46 million gallons compared to 2019. In comparison, wine consumption increased by 22 million gallons, while beer consumption was little to no change.
When broken down by region, the West Coast takes the crown as the most alcoholic in the United States with an annual per capita consumption of 2.56 gallons. On the other hand, while the South may consume the most alcohol by volume – 245.1 million gallons in 2020 – it is actually the region that drinks the least per capita (2.34 gallons per year). The Northeast and Midwest drink roughly the same amount per capita, drinking 2.48 and 2.49 gallons per year, respectively.
Don’t miss a drop
Get the latest in beer, wine and cocktail culture straight to your inbox.
Curious to see how your condition compares to others? Take a look at our maps below to see how much Americans drink from state to state.
The states that drink the most alcohol per capita
Of the 50 states and Washington DC, New Hampshire reports the most alcohol drunk per capita, with about 4.83 gallons consumed per year. However, it is important to note that due to the lack of sales tax in the state, a number of these gallons are consumed by residents of neighboring states who cross into New Hampshire to take advantage of cheaper prices. The tiny New England state also enjoys the most beer and spirits per capita, while Washington, DC, consumes the most wine. Predictably, Utah — the state with the strictest liquor laws in America — consumes the least amount of alcohol per capita (1.36 gallons).
The states that drink the most alcohol in ethanol
Not surprisingly, the most densely populated states in the United States consume the most alcohol by volume. California leads the pack with 85.7 million gallons consumed in 2020. Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois round out the rest of the top five. Conversely, Wyoming, Alaska and South Dakota consume the least.
Ranking of States
Gallons per capita
|Rank||State||Gallons of ethanol per capita*|
|44||Caroline from the south||2.12|
|25||Caroline from the south||9.2m|
*This data uses an estimate of the average ethanol content of spirits sold or shipped in gallons of ethanol (pure alcohol) before calculating per capita consumption estimates. For this data, the volumetric alcohol value is 0.129 for wine, 0.045 for beer, and 0.411 for spirits.
*Photo courtesy of romanovad – stock.adobe.com