This Kentucky City Was Ranked The Drunkest In America

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.

Kentucky’s Performance

Kentucky has the 17th lowest share of adults who report excessive drinking at 17.3% compared to 19.0% nationwide. The metro area in Kentucky with the highest share of the adult population reporting drinking excessively is Lexington-Fayette. About 19.8% of adults in the city consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol. Though this is the highest share in the state, it ranks 125 among all 384 metro areas in the U.S.

Comparison with Other States

The drunkest county in Kentucky is Kenton. About 24.2% of adults there report excessive drinking, which ranks 76 among all 3,142 counties in the country.


Excessive drinking can have serious consequences for individuals and communities, such as increased risk of violence, risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, injuries, alcohol dependence, heart disease, liver disease, certain types of cancer, and mental health problems. Kentucky’s performance on excessive drinking rates is below average compared to other states, but there is room for improvement especially in Lexington-Fayette metro area. By promoting responsible alcohol consumption and preventing harmful effects of excessive drinking, Kentucky can improve its health and well-being outcomes for its residents and visitors.

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