This Wisconsin city was ranked the drunkest in America... again. (2024)

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee and Wisconsin are yet again topping the lists for alcoholism in the U.S.

According to a survey by InsiderMonkey, Milwaukee has an excessive drinking rate of 24.6 percent, the highest among cities in the U.S.A.

Excessive alcohol use is described by the CDC as follows:

  • Binge drinking, defined as consuming 4 or more drinks on an occasion for a woman or 5 or more drinks on an occasion for a man.
  • Heavy drinking, defined as 8 or more drinks per week for a woman or 15 or more drinks per week for a man.
  • Any alcohol use by pregnant women or anyone younger than 21.

InsiderMonkey notes Wisconsin has one of the lowest alcohol tax rates in the country, leading to lower retail and wholesale prices.

Some of the drunkest counties in the country are located in America's Dairyland. The state has seven of the 10 U.S. cities with the highest alcohol consumption per capita ("for each person").

InsiderMonkey concludes Milwaukee.. "with its sprawling beer gardens.." is the drunkest city in America in 2023.

Milwaukee topped lists for excessive drinking in 2022 and 2021, too.

Per InsiderMoneky, the drunkest cities after "Brew City" are Minneapolis (Excessive Drinking Rate: 23.5%), Boston (Excessive Drinking Rate: 23.1%), Buffalo (Excessive Drinking Rate: 22.8%), Chicago (Excessive Drinking Rate: 22.7%), Pittsburgh (Excessive Drinking Rate: 22.5%), New Orleans (Excessive Drinking Rate: 21.9%), Sacramento (Excessive Drinking Rate: 21.6%), Portland (Excessive Drinking Rate: 21.4%) and Austin at #10 (Excessive Drinking Rate: 21.4%).

At least at the top of this particular survey, cities have one thing in common: harsh winters. But a sprinkling of warmer U.S. cities among the top 10 list might debunk a theory alcoholism is more prevalent in the colder states.

According to InsiderMonkey, "There is a substantial amount of evidence that suggests that any alcohol consumption, however moderate, can have negative health consequences. Even low levels of drinking can increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer. Understanding that there is no such thing as risk-free drinking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – while not going so far as its Canadian counterpart – defines moderate drinking as 2 drinks or less per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. Still, despite the well-publicized health risks, more than two-thirds of adult drinkers regularly exceed those levels."

Read InsiderMonkey's breakdown of their findings:

The Economic Cost of Excessive Drinking:

Excessive drinking cost the United States almost $250 billion in 2010 (Latest figures available by the CDC). Two of every $5 were paid by the government, and 75% of the cost was due to binge drinking – defined as consuming five or more drinks in a 2-hour period for men or four or more drinks for women. The median cost per state was $3.5 billion. Several evidence-based strategies can help reduce excessive drinking, including increasing alcohol excise taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density, and commercial host liability.

The Effects of Covid-19:

As the Covid-19 virus tightened its grip on the country in 2020, the hospitality industry took one of the biggest economic hits, but that didn’t mean it became harder to get a drink. With almost every state relaxing its alcohol laws in 2020 in an effort to keep local economies afloat, it was even easier to kick back with a drink after a bad day. All but three states gave liquor stores a lockdown exemption, with many classifying the business – along with grocery stores and pharmacies – as an essential service.

In the first few weeks of the lockdown, alcohol sales for off-premise locations jumped 54% and online alcohol sales had increased by 262% compared to sales data from the same week in 2019. From March to September 2020, there were $41.9 billion in liquor store sales, representing an increase of 20% from the same period the previous year.

Pharmaceutical Treatment:

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved drug used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence. One of the companies manufacturing naltrexone is Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK), which sells it under the brand name Depade. Although Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK)’s growing portfolio of specialty pharmaceuticals helped treat a variety of health conditions, the company got caught in an opioid controversy and agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits last year, over its role in the opioid crisis. The stock price of Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK) has plunged by over 80% this year.

Workplace Drinking Culture:

According to the Institute for Work & Health, employees at companies that most discouraged social drinking were 45% less likely to be heavy drinkers than those in workplaces with the most liberal attitudes to drinking, after taking into account other factors that influence drinking levels.

Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) is a company that famously banned alcohol from in-office events back in 2016. Soberforce is an employee-led resource group within Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) that was started with the goal to provide a community and connection for sober employees, support people with addiction issues and destigmatize addiction.

Soberforce holds regular virtual meetings and leads conversation threads on Slack, which is made available to all of 75,000 global employees of Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM).

If you want to check out which countries drink the most alcohol, please read Top 20 Alcohol Drinking Countries in the World.

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This Wisconsin city was ranked the drunkest in America... again. (2024)


What city in Wisconsin drinks the most? ›

According to a survey by InsiderMonkey, Milwaukee has an excessive drinking rate of 24.6 percent, the highest among cities in the U.S.A. This Wisconsin city was ranked the drunkest in America... again.

What city has the highest alcoholism rate? ›

This place topped the list in 2022 and 2021, too. Milwaukee and Wisconsin are yet again topping the lists for alcoholism in the U.S. According to a survey by InsiderMonkey, Milwaukee has an excessive drinking rate of 24.6%, the highest among cities in the United States.

What town in Wisconsin has the most bars? ›

You can't miss Third Street in Historic Downtown La Crosse claiming dance bars, country bars, retro martini bars, sports bars and more! With the metro-area containing La Crosse and Onalaska, we boast more bars per capita than other cities in America.

Which town has the most drinkers? ›

Cape Town has been dubbed the “drinking capital” of the country, with a study by the Department of Health finding that more than 50 percent of its people consume alcohol – and that a third of this group abuse it.

What is the most Wisconsin drink? ›

Did you know Wisconsin consumes the most brandy per capita in the country? Part of the reason is due to our official state co*cktail, the Brandy Old Fashioned. It's the Old Fashioned co*cktail you know and love, with brandy in place of whiskey.

Why is drinking so big in Wisconsin? ›

One common theory about why Wisconsin's drinking culture is so extreme is linked to the state's German heritage. About 43 percent of the state's population claims German roots, which explains Wisconsin's drinking culture — so the theory goes — since medieval Germans are the ones who invented hopped beer.

What state is #1 in excessive drinking? ›

As of 2022, the U.S. states with the highest prevalence of binge drinking among adults were North Dakota, Montana, and Iowa.

What is the #1 country for alcoholism? ›

Russia and Australia have the highest prevalence of alcoholism dependence overall, with 2.61 per cent and 2.58 per cent, respectively. According to the World Health Organization, US has the lowest rate of alcohol dependence with only 1.93 per cent.

Which ethnic group has the most alcoholics? ›

More specifically, Whites (13.8 percent) are more likely than Blacks (8.4 percent) and Hispanics (9.5 percent) to develop alcohol dependence in their lifetime (Hasin et al.

What is the hippie town in Wisconsin? ›

We're Wisconsin's Most Hippie Town! - Visit Eau Claire, WI | Facebook.

What is the oldest town in Wisconsin? ›

Green Bay, located along the banks of the Fox River, is the oldest settlement in Wisconsin. Early French voyageurs and coureurs de bois probably knew about the site and named it Baye des Puants because the Puants, a Winnebago tribe, resided there.

What is the most German town in Wisconsin? ›

Germantown is a southeastern Wisconsin city steeped in heritage and culture. Dive in with friends and family at the Dheinsville Historic Park where you can explore the unique Bast Bell Museum before stopping at a local pub for some German American fare.

Which state is known for drinking? ›

Naturally, California consumes the most alcohol in raw volume with a whopping 88.6 million gallons drunk in 2021 — nearly 30 million more than runner-up Texas's 58.9 million gallons.

What U.S. city drinks the most? ›

and number of bars, breweries, and wine bars per 100,000 residents. It turns out that Milwaukee exceptionally lives up to its reputation as “Beer City,” ranking as the drunkest city in the U.S. with an average of three breweries, 36.7 general bars, and 2.7 wine bars per 100,000 residents.

What is the drunk capital of the world? ›

Looking at the amount of alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older, the Seychelles is in first place with around 20.5 litres of alcohol drunk per person per year, according to Our World in Data; studies show that young male peer groups primarily drink high amounts of alcohol in the Seychelles.

What is the state of Wisconsin beverage? ›

VirginiaMilk (state beverage)1982
George Washington's Rye Whiskey (state spirit)2017
WisconsinMilk (state beverage)1987
33 more rows

Is Wisconsin known for alcohol? ›

Wisconsin also ranks high in total alcohol consumption per capita at 8th in the nation, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

How many of the 50 drunkest counties are in Wisconsin? ›

Binge drinking is consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on one occasion. Of the 50 counties in the U.S. whose adults reach that threshold, Wisconsin is represented by 42.

What place drinks the most? ›

List Of Countries That Drink The Most Alcohol
  • #8: Austria. ...
  • #7: Seychelles. ...
  • #6: Uganda. ...
  • #5: Germany. ...
  • #4: Latvia. ...
  • #3: Czech Republic. ...
  • #2: Georgia. ...
  • #1: Romania. Coming in at number 1 on the list of countries with the highest alcohol consumption is Romania.
Feb 27, 2024

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