When you think of drinking in New Jersey, what comes to mind? Hoboken, with so many bars packed into one square mile that they had to institute a special night of municipal court to handle all the peeing in public cases?

Photo via Image Source
Photo via Image Source

Maybe you think of young rowdies down the Shore getting drunk in a rented home, or maybe you’re more urbane and think of a specialty cocktail in Atlantic City.

But, how do we stack up against the other 49 states when it comes to drinking? Fortunately, someone decided to find out.

To identify America’s drunkest states, those in which the highest percentage of residents 18 and older report indulging in binge or heavy drinking with a 30-day period, 24/7 Tempo data from the 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Statistics on the share of driving deaths that involve alcohol and the metro area in every state with the highest percentage of adults drinking excessively also came from the 2023 CHR, and were aggregated from county-level data for the most recent years available.

When looked at through that lens, New Jersey lands smack dab in the middle: we’re the 25th drunkest state.

Man drawing beer from tap
Photo via kzenon

Here are the stats they uncovered for New Jersey’s drinking habits:

Adults who drink excessively regularly: 18.6%
Alcohol-related driving deaths: 22.8% — 9th lowest
Drunkest metro area: Ocean City (23.3%)

That last one is particularly eye catching since it says that the Garden State’s drunkest city is actually a dry town.

I’ve seen that cited in other stories and always found it hard to believe since there are so many hardcore partying towns at the Shore, but I guess that liquor store on the causeway leading into OC must be doing pretty good business.

Wisconsin is the drunkest while Utah is the least drunk state.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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