Over 6 in 10 Americans Drink Alcohol -- Gallup

Americans consumption of bev/al remains steady at about 60% of adults. That's according to the latest Gallup Poll in a series dating back to 1938.

Majorities of Americans have said they had “occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer” over the more than eight decades Gallup has tracked this measure. However, higher readings, peaking at 71%, were recorded between 1974 and 1981.

Who drinks? Middle-aged adults, those with higher incomes, college-educated adults and those who attend church less frequently than once a week are all associated with higher drinking rates than their counterparts, Gallup found.

Interestingly, the survey results show the more you make the more likely your are to drink. Some 53% of those who earn less that $40,000 enjoy bev/al now and then, 58% of those between $40,000 and $100,000 – but a whopping 79% of those earning $100,000 or more consume bev/al.

The level of education also plays a role.  Some 74% of college graduates drink, Gallup found, but only 46% of those who did not graduate from college.

Why does about 40% of the population abstain from alcohol all together?  24% say they have no reason to or don't desire to, 16% say they don't like it, 14% say it is unhealhful or not good for the body. 13%  say they were afraid of   the consequences or had had a bad experience previously. 11%  cited poor health, and 10% said drinking was against their religious beliefs.

Among those who do drink, 69% say they did so within the past week, including 32% who say their last drink was in the past 24 hours and 37% told Gallup their last drink was two to seven days ago.

Also, among those who drink alcohol, 119% say they sometimes drink more than they think they should.  Gallup notes that combining the 13% of nondrinkers who say they don' t drink because of past problems with alcohol and the 19% of drinkers who report drinking more than they should sometimes, the result suggests a 16% of the U.S. adults either  struggle with alcohol abuse now or did so in the past.

Beer continues to be the No. 1 alcoholic beverage, as it has in most years since 1992  .  In the current survey, 37% of drinkers say they drink beer most often, 31% say liquor and 29% prefer wine.

However, Gallup noted, beer is less dominant now than in the past.  In the 1990s and early 2000s, nearly half said beer was their favorite beverage. Since 2018. however, while beer has remained No.1, liquor has moved into the No.2 spot with nearly 30% saying it is their drink of choice.  In the current survey, 31% of drinkers – a record – say liquor is their favorite alcohol drink, making wine the No. 3 favorite.


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