Boston tops the list of the” drunkest” cities in America compiled by The Daily Beast January 4, using information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chicago ranks worse than her St. Louis neighbors to the south, but not as bad as Milwaukee to the north. Four of the top ten cities were in Texas and Massachusetts. Los Angeles and New York didn’t even crack the top 25, and “Sin City,” Las Vegas, didn’t make the top ten, entering the list at number 14.
To compile the second annual list of the drunkest cities in the U.S., The Daily Beast first analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, the market-research arm of the firm better known for credit reports. Experian provided data on the average number of alcoholic the residents of more than 200 cities across the country reported to have consumed per month in a 2012 Experian survey.
The website explains, “As well, we (The Daily Beast) considered the percent of the population that are either binge drinkers or heavy drinkers for each metro area, according to the most recent data available from the CDC.” The average number of drinks was given twice the weight of the heavy- and binge-drinking population for the final rank for the website’s ranking, which is not a CDC statistical measure.
The top ten biggest alcohol-abusing areas among the 200 in the survey are:
1. Boston, Massachusetts
2. Springfield, Massachusetts
3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4. Reno, Nevada
5. San Antonio, Texas
6. Chicago, Illinois
7. Austin, Texas
8. St. Louis, Missouri
9. San Diego, California
10. Tucson, Arizona
Adults in Boston drink on average 15.5 drinks per person per month, with 7.4 percent of the over-21 population deemed “heavy drinkers” and 20.1 percent deemed “binge drinkers,” according to CDC definitions.
The survey makes no distinction between alcohol abuse or the disease of alcoholism. The CDC calls “heavy drinking” an average of more than two drinks per day for men or more than one drink per day for women. “Binge drinking” is defined as consuming at least five drinks during a single occasion for men, or at least four drinks during a single occasion for women.
Milwaukee held the crown last year, the first year of the report.