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The City in Every State with the Heaviest Drinking

Excessive drinking claims the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year and is responsible for about 1 in every 10 deaths among working age adults. Alcohol abuse also takes a heavy economic toll. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that excessive alcohol consumption cost the U.S. economy an estimated $250 billion in 2010 -- primarily in lost productivity, medical bills, and motor vehicle accidents.

Excessive alcohol consumption, according to the CDC, includes binge drinking -- defined as four or more drinks in a single occasion for women and five or more for men -- and heavy drinking, which is defined as at least eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.

An estimated 18% of American adults drink excessively. However, binge and heavy drinking rates are not uniform across the country and can vary greatly from state to state and city to city. Across U.S. metro areas, excessive drinking rates range from fewer than 1 in every 10 adults to more than 1 in every 4 adults.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the CDC to identify the metropolitan areas reporting the highest levels of binge and heavy drinking in each state.

Excessive drinking patterns vary considerably by region. The states with the lowest excessive drinking rates are concentrated in the South, while most of the states with the highest excessive drinking rates are in the Midwest.

Because excessive drinking rates vary so much by state, excessive drinking in a state抯 metro area reporting the highest rate may not be especially high compared to the rest of the country. The heaviest drinking metro areas in 13 states have lower excessive drinking rates than the U.S. rate of 18.0%.

Areas where residents report more excessive drinking often share several socioeconomic characteristics. For example, heavier drinking populations tend to have higher median incomes than areas where the population drinks less. Of the 50 metro areas on this list, 34 have a higher median household income than the state a whole.

Heavier drinking metro areas also tend to be relatively well educated. Of the 50 metro areas on this list, 34 are home to a larger share of adults with a bachelor抯 degree than their respective state as a whole.

The overall health of a population is tied to a range of economic and lifestyle factors. While excessive drinking is never healthy, the metro areas with the highest excessive drinking rates are often home to healthier populations than their respective state's population. Of the 50 cities on this list, 44 are home to a larger share of adults who report being in good health than the share across the state as a whole.

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