Do You Live in One of America’s Drunkest Cities?


October 5, 2022

Drunkest Cities in America Cheers by Jakob Montrasio

Do you live in one of America’s Drunkest Cities? A new study by real estate data company Clever has the scoop.

According to the study, titled The Drunkest Cities in America: 2022 Data, Milwaukee is the the booziest city in the U.S., followed by New Orleans, Portland, Denver and Providence, R.I. Rounding out the top 10 are Boston, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Austin.

The study shows Denver to be the best city for craft beer, Las Vegas for happy hour, and San Francisco for cocktails (based on Google Trends data). Unfortunately, Cleveland has the highest rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths at 40.4% — 49.6% higher than the national rate of 27%. Miami has the lowest rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths at just 12.5%.

The most sober city in the study’s top 50? Memphis, followed by Birmingham, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

The America’s Drunkest Cities study analyzed data from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, U.S. Census Bureau, Walk Score,, Yelp, and Google Trends.

The weighted rankings evaluated various criteria, including:

  • 10x: Safety score, a normalized score based on the percentage of adults binge drinking and percentage of driving deaths involving alcohol. The lower the safety score (and higher the percentages), the drunker the city.
  • 5x: Number of bars per 100,000 residents
  • 4x: Google Trends for 15 drinking-related terms/topics (such as “happy hour,” “bars near me,” “hangover cure,” etc.)
  • 2x: Number of breweries per 100,000 residents
  • 2x: Number of wine bars per 100,000 residents
  • 1x: Walkability score

These metrics not only measure the overall popularity of drinking (number of bars, breweries, etc.) but also overall safety surrounding the consumption of alcohol in each city. For example, the data included a metric for walkability because cities where walking is a more accessible mode of transportation can facilitate less drunk driving (in theory).

Other findings:

  • The average cocktail is the most expensive in Miami ($17) and the least expensive in Milwaukee ($8).
  • New Orleans has the most bars, breweries, and wineries per capita (57.3), while Riverside, California, has the fewest (2.5).
  • Minneapolis is the least-safe city for drinking (safety score of just 25.2 out of 100), while Memphis is the safest (100).
  • People in Denver search the most on Google for alcohol-related terms such as “bars near me,” “happy hour,” and “cocktails.”
  • Phoenix ranks No. 1 for a sober lifestyle based on Google searches.