Page last updated: Monday, January 2011
US drinking trends

The latest Gallup poll on US alcohol consumption found that 67% of US adults drink some alcohol.
Beer remains the favourite beverage among drinkers, followed by wine and then spirits.
Despite some yearly fluctuations, the percentage of Americans who say they drink alcohol has been
remarkably stable over Gallup’s 71 years of tracking it.
A majority of Americans in most demographic subgroups of the population drink, though in some
groups drinking is more prevalent than in others. One of the most significant predictors of alcohol
consumption is church attendance. Those who seldom or never attend church are substantially more
likely than more frequent church attenders to say they drink; and those who have no religious identity, Catholics, and non-Christians are more likely to drink than Protestants. The poll found that 59% of older Americans drink alcohol, substantially lower than the percentages among those who are younger. Additionally, those with the lowest education levels and lowest incomes are less likely to drink than others.

Beer remains the preferred beverage of choice among Americans who drink alcohol. Beer’s popularity has slipped slightly over the years. In 1992 and 1994, 47% of drinkers named it as their preferred drink, compared with 41% this year. Beverage preferences vary widely across demographic groups, with beer most preferred among men, younger drinkers, and those in the Midwest. Wine ranks as the preferred beverage among women and older Americans. Men under 50 are among those who most strongly prefer beer. Older women are the biggest fans of wine, while
roughly equal numbers of women under 50 choose wine and beer.
Drinkers aged 18 to 34, are very likely to choose beer as their preferred beverage, and among whom wine is slightly behind even liquor. Drinkers 55 and older clearly choose wine as their preferred beverage Although beer is the top choice in all four major regions of the country, residents on the two coasts are somewhat more likely to prefer wine than are those living elsewhere. Beer remains most popular in the Midwest.

For more information, visit www.gallup.com/ poll/141656/drinking-rate-edges-slightly-yearhigh.aspx
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