New research suggests that over half of the nation’s top 20 drunkest cities are in Wisconsin.
A total of 12 cities from the state made it into the ranking, according to media reports.
At the top of the list was Appleton, Wisconsin, where 26.8 percent of adults admitted to either binge drinking or heavy drinking. In fact, the top four cities all came from Wisconsin.
In Madison, Wisconsin, which came in fourth, 25.5 percent of adults admitted to binge or heavy drinking on a regular basis. The city also has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic accidents with 38.7 percent.
“Excessive alcohol use isn’t a laughing matter, and it isn’t something to be proud of,” Jan O’Neill of Health Rankings and Road Maps, which provided some of the data, told Madison.com.
The study was compiled through the use of self-reporting surveys, meaning that rates could be even higher if not everyone was willing to acknowledge the amount they consume.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than five drinks for a man and four for a woman in one sitting.
Heavy drinking refers to the amount of alcohol drunk each week. A man is considered to be a heavy drinker if he has 15 or more drinks, and a woman eight or more, during a week.
Wisconsin was previously known to be a state where people drink comparatively heavily. It placed third in the rankings of states with the highest number of bars and bars per capita.
“It is an issue that local communities can, and are, addressing,” O’Neill added.
On the other side of the results, Provo-Orem, Utah, registered only 9.2 percent of adults who were binge or heavy drinkers. Four of the top 20 driest cities were in the state, which has a high Mormon population–a religion which forbids alcohol consumption.
The national average is 18 percent.
Seven of the 20 driest cities came from Tennessee, with areas in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and West Virginia also represented.
However, It’s not all good news for the cities with lower rates of excessive alcohol consumption. The study found in general that these cities had higher smoking rates, while the cities with higher rates of alcoholic consumption tended to smoke less.