The ‘Drunkest Cities in America’ Were Just Named. One State Has SEVEN in the Top 10

There’s a new study showing which cities are the “drunkest” in America, and one state is doing a major walk-of-shame.

The study, using University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and County Health Rankings and Roadmaps data, was compiled by Wall Street 24/7.

The publication took a look at binge and heavy drinking stats, bar densities, and DUI stats and found that the “The Drunkest Cities” included seven from Wisconsin. Seven. The state also placed five other cities in the top 20.

Wisconsin is home to a fertile brewing industry, and Miller Brewing has a big presence. Residents can also look forward to the re-opening of a Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery this summer. Wisconsin is USA Today’s pick for 7th best state for craft beer makers. People love their suds.

But it appears a lot of people in Cheesehead Nation are getting tipsy.

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As one college student told Fox6Now News:

“Beer and cheese. Beer and cheese. Beer and cheese. It’s like a rite of passage or something — is how people treat it.”

Independent Journal Review took a look at each of the cities on the list and found a perhaps not-so-odd coincidence. Each city was also host to a major university and quite a few craft breweries. And, as an added bonus, a couple of the “drunkest” cities were home to universities that made the annual “Biggest Party School” lists compiled by Playboy Magazine and others online.

10. Mankato/North Mankato, Minnesota

The study observes:

“Mankato is one of a few U.S. metro areas where more than 50% of the population is male. This could partially explain the relatively high rate of excessive drinking in the Mankato metro area.”

But we’d note that Mankato is also home to Minnesota State University, Mankato and South Central College.

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9. Eau Claire, Wisconsin

The notes on Eau Claire show:

“For every 10,000 residents, there are 6.4 bars, the second most of any U.S city.”

Perhaps the presence of the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and nine breweries has some bearing on the city’s ranking.

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8. Ames, Iowa

Wall Street 24/7 has some good news for the place we know best from presidential campaigning:

“While adults in Ames may be more likely than most to drink excessively, they also appear less likely to engage in risky behavior associated with drinking.”

The 8th “drunkest” city in America is also home to eight breweries.

It’s also home to this favorite activity at Iowa State University:

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7. Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Fond Du Lac is a bucolic haven, but the nation’s 7th “drunkest” city counts University of Wisconsin, Fond Du Lac as its biggest higher ed presence.

Here’s a recent student activity:

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6. La Crosse, Wisconsin

The study shows that La Crosse is one of “only six U.S. cities where more than one-quarter of adults drink excessively.”

The city boasts at least seven microbrews and the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse:

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5. Fargo, North Dakota

There are 63 places to get a drink in the metro Fargo area including 12 breweries.

The study says that amounts to:

“2.8 bars for every 10,000 residents — enough to put Fargo among the top 50 U.S. cities with the most bars per capita.”

It’s also home to North Dakota State University and Rasmussen College. Bottoms up!

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4. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison’s 25.5% rate of binge drinking puts it at fourth on the list of “drunkest” cities in America.

The home of the state capital, Madison, boasts 18 microbreweries and plays host to the 8th biggest party school in America as adjudged by Playboy Magazine. Madison is also home to the College Niche 7th ranked party school in America. That school? The University of Wisconsin, Madison:

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3. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay is home to the Packers NFL franchise, a tremendous source of pride to CheeseHead Nation. The city has at least six microbrews. But the amount of binge drinking in America’s Dairyland is probably not a source of pride:

“More than one in every four adults report heavy or binge drinking on a regular basis in the Green Bay area, nearly the highest excessive drinking rate in the country.”

Notably, Green Bay is also home to the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay:

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2. Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin

When people aren’t marveling at the adorable Oshkosh B’gosh clothes for little punkins, at least 26% are heading to one of the 13 breweries or other bars to “drink excessively.” Or they’re partying at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh or Lawrence University:

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1. Appleton, Wisconsin

According to the Wall Street 24/7 survey:

“For every 10,000 area residents, there are 4.4 drinking establishments, the ninth highest concentration of bars of any U.S. area.”

The city is also the home to about eleven microbrews and three major universities, among them, all together now, the University of Wisconsin, Fox Valley:

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In case you didn’t notice, every city in the top 10 was in Middle America. In fact, only one city in a coastal state made the cut: Corvallis, Oregon. Congrats?

Rounding out the top 20 drunkest American cities:

  • 11. Wausau, Wisconsin
  • 12. Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • 13. Missoula, Montana
  • 14. Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • 15. Racine, Wisconsin
  • 16. Janesville-Beloit, Wisconsin
  • 17. Milwaukee/Waukesha/West Allis, Wisconsin
  • 18. Lincoln, Nebraska
  • 19. Iowa City, Iowa
  • 20. Corvallis, Oregon

The publication also took a look at the “driest” cities. The top two driest cities were in Utah, home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What do you think?

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