Hamilton Is The Drunkest County In Tennessee

The Metro Area In Tennessee With The Highest Share Of The Adult Population Reporting Drinking Excessively Is Chattanooga And Hamilton Is The Drunkest County In The State. 

Chattanooga, Tennessee At Night

Photo Credit: Eli Duke / CC

Published April 6, 2021

By Hristina Byrnes [24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square] –

Alcohol is enjoyed responsibly by millions of Americans every day, but many people also report heavy alcohol use. Approximately 19.0% of adults in the U.S. report regularly consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol. In some states, excessive drinking rates are higher.

To identify the states with the lowest and highest adult excessive drinking rates, including binge or heavy drinking, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the adult excessive drinking rate in every state from the 2020 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

Excessive drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes binge drinking, which is defined as four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five or more for men, and heavy drinking, which is defined as eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.

Tennessee has the 6th lowest share of adults who report excessive drinking at 14.3% compared to 19.0% nationwide.

The metro area in Tennessee with the highest share of the adult population reporting drinking excessively is Chattanooga. About 16.9% of adults in the city consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol. Though this is the highest share in the state, it ranks 269 among all 384 metro areas in the U.S.

The drunkest county in Tennessee is Hamilton. About 17.5% of adults there report excessive drinking, which ranks 1,604 among all 3,142 counties in the country.

Roadway fatalities involving alcohol are one of the most common causes of preventable death in the United States. Nearly 28% all fatal car accidents in the U.S. involve an alcohol-impaired driver.

Not surprisingly, states with higher excessive drinking rates are more likely to have deadly roadway accidents involving alcohol. In Tennessee, 25.1% of fatal car accidents involve alcohol. These are America’s 50 worst cities to drive in.

In the short term, excessive drinking can increase the likelihood of violence, risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, and injuries. The potential long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption include alcohol dependence, heart disease, liver disease, certain types of cancer, and mental health problems, including depression. This is the least healthy county in every state.

StateExcessive drinking rateAlcohol-related driving deathsRankDrunkest cityCity excessive drinking rate
Utah12.2%22.5%7th lowestSalt Lake City15.6%
West Virginia12.3%27.4%17th lowestMorgantown16.5%
Mississippi13.6%20.0%2nd lowestHattiesburg16.3%
Alabama13.9%27.6%19th lowestDaphne-Fairhope-Foley18.0%
Oklahoma14.1%26.4%13th lowestOklahoma City15.4%
Tennessee14.3%25.1%9th lowestChattanooga16.9%
Georgia14.4%21.5%4th lowestSavannah17.1%
Arkansas15.8%26.3%12th lowestFayetteville-Springdale-Rogers17.2%
New Mexico16.2%30.5%20th highestAlbuquerque16.5%
Idaho16.6%30.2%23rd highestCoeur d’Alene20.3%
Maryland16.6%28.9%20th lowestCalifornia-Lexington Park19.0%
Arizona16.7%25.4%10th lowestPhoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale18.0%
Delaware16.8%30.3%22nd highestDover16.6%
North Carolina16.9%29.5%23rd lowestJacksonville22.3%
Connecticut17.1%32.0%16th highestBridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk19.4%
Florida17.1%23.3%8th lowestJacksonville19.8%
Kentucky17.3%26.1%11th lowestLexington-Fayette19.8%
South Carolina17.4%33.1%12th highestCharleston-North Charleston21.0%
Virginia17.4%30.2%24th highestBlacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford19.4%
Washington17.4%32.1%15th highestBellingham22.7%
Indiana17.6%19.7%the lowestSouth Bend-Mishawaka19.8%
New Jersey18.1%21.9%6th lowestTrenton19.0%
Oregon18.6%30.9%19th highestCorvallis21.3%
Kansas18.7%21.9%5th lowestLawrence24.0%
New York18.8%20.9%3rd lowestBuffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls22.2%
South Dakota19.0%36.7%4th highestSioux Falls19.7%
Pennsylvania19.2%26.8%14th lowestState College24.0%
California19.2%29.6%24th lowestSanta Cruz-Watsonville23.2%
Nevada19.3%29.4%22nd lowestReno24.3%
Vermont19.5%34.7%8th highestBurlington-South Burlington21.5%
Texas19.5%26.9%15th lowestAustin-Round Rock23.4%
Louisiana19.6%33.1%13th highestBaton Rouge21.5%
Michigan19.6%29.0%21st lowestGrand Rapids-Wyoming21.8%
Rhode Island19.6%36.2%7th highestProvidence-Warwick19.9%
Missouri19.8%27.4%18th lowestColumbia24.2%
Wyoming19.8%34.2%9th highestCasper18.3%
Ohio20.2%32.7%14th highestColumbus20.6%
Maine20.2%36.7%5th highestPortland-South Portland22.1%
Colorado20.5%34.1%10th highestFort Collins22.0%
New Hampshire20.7%30.5%21st highestManchester20.2%
Montana20.9%45.1%the highestMissoula25.3%
Hawaii21.1%31.2%18th highestKahului-Wailuku-Lahaina21.1%
Alaska21.3%38.1%3rd highestFairbanks22.8%
Massachusetts21.3%30.0%25th lowestBoston-Cambridge-Nashua22.2%
Illinois21.4%31.9%17th highestBloomington21.8%
Minnesota21.7%30.0%25th highestMankato-North Mankato24.4%
Nebraska21.7%34.0%11th highestLincoln25.0%
Iowa22.1%26.9%16th lowestDubuque24.0%
North Dakota24.1%43.2%2nd highestFargo25.1%
Wisconsin24.2%36.2%6th highestMadison27.8%
Source: 24/7 Wall St.
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