- Alcohol consumption in the US has risen since 1995 and hit 7.9 billion gallons in 2020 due to Covid-19.
- Beer is the most popular drink in America, followed by wine and spirits. Domestic spirits consumption increased the most from 2019 to 2020.
- New Hampshire has the highest alcohol consumption per capita at 4.83 gallons per year, possibly due to cheaper prices for neighboring state residents. Utah has the lowest consumption.
- California consumed the most alcohol in 2020 at 85.7 million gallons, followed by Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois. Wyoming, Alaska, and South Dakota consumed the least.
Recent data on alcohol consumption in the US shows that New Hampshire & California have the highest alcohol consumption depending on the measurement method. The data found by the team at Alcohol Delivered Illustrates the difference between alcohol consumption per capita vs. consumption overall.
Alcohol consumption is a beloved pastime for many Americans. Recent statistics published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicate that U.S. residents have been drinking more alcohol since 1995, with consumption rates skyrocketing to 7.9 billion gallons in 2020 alone. This marks a significant increase of over a million gallons from the previous year, largely attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
When it comes to preferred alcoholic beverages, beer remains the drink of choice for Americans, with approximately 6.4 billion gallons consumed in 2020. Wine and spirits came in second and third place, with Americans consuming 931 million and 635 million gallons, respectively. Interestingly, the pandemic not only affected the quantity of alcohol consumed but also impacted the type of alcohol that Americans drank. Domestic consumption of spirits increased by nearly 46 million gallons from 2019 to 2020, while wine consumption increased by 22 million gallons. In contrast, beer consumption saw little to no change.
Regionally, the West Coast is the booziest area in the United States, with an annual per capita consumption of 2.56 gallons. On the other hand, while the South consumed the most alcohol by volume in 2020 at 245.1 million gallons, it is actually the region that drinks the least per capita, with only 2.34 gallons per year. The Northeast and the Midwest drink roughly the same amount per capita, consuming 2.48 and 2.49 gallons per year, respectively.
The States That Drink the Most Alcohol Per Capita
New Hampshire tops the list of states that consume the most alcohol per capita, with around 4.83 gallons consumed annually. However, it’s worth noting that some of these gallons are consumed by residents of neighboring states who come to New Hampshire for cheaper prices due to the state’s lack of sales tax. New Hampshire also ranks highest in beer and spirits consumption per capita, while Washington, D.C. has the highest wine consumption. On the other hand, Utah, known for having the strictest alcohol laws in the country, consumes the least amount of alcohol per capita, with only 1.36 gallons.
|Rank||State||Gallons of Ethanol Per Capita*|
The States That Drink the Most Alcohol Overall
It’s not surprising that the most populous states in the U.S. are also the biggest alcohol consumers by volume. In 2020, California topped the list with 85.7 million gallons consumed. Following closely behind are Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois, respectively. Meanwhile, Wyoming, Alaska, and South Dakota are among the states that consume the least amount of alcohol by volume.
*This information relies on an approximation of the typical amount of ethanol present in spirits that are either sold or shipped in gallons of pure alcohol. Using this approximation, estimates for per capita consumption are calculated. Specifically, the ethanol content is estimated to be 0.129 for wine, 0.045 for beer, and 0.411 for spirits.