Alcohol consumption in the United States has been on an uptick for years, with 70% of adults 18 and older admitting to indulging over the last year. Nearly every social function of any kind, even barbershops, have alcohol available for purchase.

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released their 2023 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report, and they discovered not only does their state have the most heavy/excess drinkers, but two counties in Iowa, one of which being Dubuque, overindulge more than any of the others.

This is a massive, comprehensive study that examines a variety of factors, including overall health of every county in all 50 states, as well as socioeconomic barriers, access to hospitals, and more.

Per the University of Wisconsin's findings, a quarter of adults in Iowa reported excessive drinking (eight or more drinks a week for women; fifteen or more for men). Conversely, binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks on one occasion for women, five or more for men.

Photo Credit: Valentina Rusinova, Getty Images
Photo Credit: Valentina Rusinova, Getty Images

Using an interactive map of the Iowa counties, you can see that both Buchanan and Dubuque Counties reported 27% of adults excessively drinking. Those were the two highest percentages in the Hawkeye State (most report anywhere from 21-25%).

In addition to Iowa reporting an above-average rate of adults drinking excessively, it was found that 27% of motor vehicle crash deaths involved alcohol between 2016 and 2020. Here are some additional percentages of adults who reported excess drinking in significant counties in Wisconsin:

  • Columbia County (north of Madison): 29% of adults
  • Ozaukee County (north of Milwaukee): 29% of adults
Photo Credit: bhofack2, Getty Images
Photo Credit: bhofack2, Getty Images

Both of those counties were among the highest percentages in the entire country, the study found.

Meanwhile, Utah County in the state of Utah had merely 8% of adults reporting excess drinking habits. That's not terribly shocking, given Utah has some of the strictest alcohol laws in the entire country. For example, wine is not sold in grocery stores, but only authorized state liquor stores.

Kansas, Mississippi, and Indiana reported the lowest percentages of driving deaths with alcohol involvement, according to the County Health Rankings. Only 19% of driving deaths involved alcohol.

See the findings of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute's 2023 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps study on the County Health Rankings' website.

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