The annual Gallup Poll into American drinking habits was recently released. According to this year’s results, 67% of adults imbibe, a 1% increase from last year, and the highest percentage in 25 years. Also, the percentage of American abstaining hitting what looks to be the second-lowest number, 33%. Only around 1978-81 looks to have had fewer abstainers, which is great news since studies have shown that moderate drinkers tend to live longer than abstainers.
As has been the case in all but one suspect year, beer is the most consumer alcoholic beverage. I suspect, because even in the year people “reported” drinking more wine — 2005 — beer still outsold wine 4 to 1.
There’s some other interesting data about the demographics of current alcohol consumers. For instance, not surprisingly, there are more older abstainers. People with more education also drink more, and those with the least education comprise the majority of abstainers. Protestant Christians, followed by Catholics, have the largest number of abstainers.
And finally, by age and gender, men drink more beer, as do older people, regardless of gender. Somewhat surprisingly, the area of the country with the highest percentage of beer drinkers is the Midwest, followed by the East coast, the West coast with the South having the least.