Beer City binge drinking

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Grand Rapids may be indulging a bit too much.

According to a report, Grand Rapids has the fifth-highest rate of adults age 18 or older who binge drink, among midsize cities.

The report noted 20.7% of Grand Rapids residents have a problem with excessive drinking, compared to Madison, Wisconsin, which ranked No. 1 with 27.4% of the adult population binge drinking.

The report defined binge drinking as consuming four standard drinks in a two-hour span for females and five for males.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40 million Americans — about one in six adults — indulge in binge drinking. Binge drinking has been on the rise over the last decade with more than 8 million new binge drinkers since 2010.

While binge drinking historically has been about twice as common in men compared to women, new CDC data suggests the gap is narrowing. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of binge drinkers rose by 2.9 million, of which two-thirds were female.

The analysis also found 49% of binge drinkers in the U.S. and 86% in Grand Rapids reported being in good physical health. Given the known health impacts of binge drinking, individuals who drink heavily are either unaware of their current health problems or are at a higher risk of health complications in the future.

The association between binge drinking and having a college education was 38% nationwide and 37.7% for Grand Rapids. There also was a statistically significant link between binge drinking and working in the management and business sector.

Regional variation across the nation remains substantial at the state level, ranging from 11% in Utah to 24% in Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. In general, Midwestern states reported the highest levels of binge drinking.


Data on the proportion of adults above 18 years who binge drink came from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey.

Data regarding age, education, race, work sector and income were gathered from the U.S. Census’s 2018 American Community Survey One-Year Estimates.

Small and midsize rankings


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