Does Columbus Have A Drinking Problem?

According to 24/, the answer is yes. Maybe. Compared to the rest of Ohio, anyway.

24/7 Wall St. used recent data from the Center for Disease Control to determine the drunkest city in all 50 states. The study found that the Midwest had the highest rates of excessive drinking.

Of course, I don’t want to make light of the very real problem of alcoholism. But we all know some of these statistics have to be the result of having amazing craft breweries all over the city. Which came first here, the chicken or the egg? But let’s get back to the stats.

What qualifies as excessive drinking?


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17.6 million people suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence. That’s one in twelve adults. But that doesn’t even begin to cover the several million more people who binge drink.

College students are way more likely to drink and drink heavily, as I’m sure most people who went to college can attest to. Half of all college students who booze do so by binge drinking. In case you forgot, we have one of the biggest college campuses in the country, and that definitely impacts the results of this study.

Heavier drinking areas tend to have higher median incomes and higher levels of education. So it’s not surprising that Columbus wins the title of the drunkest city in the state.


According to their data, roughly 19.6% of adults in the Columbus metro area drink excessively. That’s higher than any of the other 11 metro areas statewide. Although binge drinking isn’t always indicative of alcohol dependency, it’s still a problem.

Sure, maybe you don’t have to open a beer by 11 a.m. every day, but it’s not great that you get blackout drunk at Aunt Carol’s wine-themed birthday and don’t remember calling all of your ex’s. Trust me on this one, guys.


This has been a lot of doom, gloom, and percentages, but it isn’t all bad news. Columbus is absolutely home to residents who party a little too hard, but it isn’t affecting the general health of the city.

At least not as negatively as it could be. Only 14.5% of the adults in the metro area are in fair or poor health, which is below the nationwide average of 15%.

So silver lining, right? We could always be worse!

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