Ranked: The U.S. States That Drink the Most (and Least) Alcohol

We've ranked the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia according to which drink the most—and least—alcohol.
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Ranked: The U.S. States That Drink the Most (and Least) Alcohol Getty Images/Newsweek

Although a cold beer after a hard day's work seems like an American tradition, the U.S. is a comparatively dry country compared to the rest of the world. In a recent study by the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranked 48th in the world in terms of volume of alcohol drunk.

But the amount consumed at a state level varies, with each place having clear habits when it comes to picking their poison.

Data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that New Hampshire chugs the most beer per capita. The average citizen of the Granite State consumes 1.87 gallons of alcohol each year through beer alone.

This fits in with the wider trend of rural states drinking more beer than the national average. However, it's not the whole story—New Hampshire's neighbors may be drawn to the state on their beer-buying missions as it has no sales tax, thereby making local beer consumption seem artificially high. This may also be why New Hampshire also seems to consume the most spirits per capita.

Idaho residents drink the most wine, consuming 12,360 gallons of the stuff every year. The state has a long history of wine production, dating back to the mid-19th century. According to the Idaho wine commission, 372,000 gallons of wine were produced in the state in 2016.

People in Utah tend to drink the least alcohol overall. The state has some of the most restrictive laws around alcohol purchasing in the country. Until recently, state law required that, in restaurants, alcohol was to be mixed and poured out of view of customers.

Utah's large Mormon population frowns upon alcohol consumption, although sales of alcohol have been rising in recent years, according to Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. This may be to do both with the relaxing of alcohol laws, as well as new residents drawn from out of state by Utah's strong economy.

Utah still has a long way to go to catch up with the nation's most hard-drinking state. Using data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, we've ranked the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia according to which drink the most—and least—alcohol.

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51. Utah. Total (thousands of gallons): 3,119. alcohol per capita (gallons): 1.34. Beer (thousands of gallons): 32,457. Beer alcohol per capita (gallons): 0.63. Wine (thousands of gallons): 3,416. Wine alcohol per capita (gallons): 0.19. Spirits (thousands of gallons): 2,962. Spirits alcohol per capita (gallons): 0.52. Getty Images