Surveys say West Virginians drink 58 swimming pools of beer over holidays

West Virginia


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Several recent studies converge to reveal that, as expected, Americans consume massive amounts of beer over the holidays. With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Americans and West Virginians alike are far from done with their holiday drinking for the year.

According to USA Today, 42% of Americans who drink said they prefer to drink beer, and West Virginians alone are expected to consume over 58 Olympic swimming pools worth of beer, that’s over 300 million pints, by the end of the year.

Per capita, West Virginians consume 27.3 gallons of beer per year, with a large portion of that occurring during the holidays. Another study by PR Pioneer estimated that almost 7 gallons of the 27 will take place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Despite the striking numbers concerning West Virginia’s drinking habits, West Virginia isn’t even one of the top states for drinking. According to the study, West Virginia drinks the 24th most beer per capita compared to Montana, the highest per capita beer consumer, which drinks 40.8 gallons a year. That’s an average of almost a pint of beer per day for the entire year.

Higher than average per capita beer consumption does not necessarily mean unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits. However, the states where the population drinks the most beer on a per capita basis also tend to have higher rates of unhealthy drinking habits than the national rates, according to USA Today.

The study revealed that West Virginians have an excessive drinking rate of 11.8%; this might come as a surprise to some West Virginians, but that is actually the lowest rate of excessive drinking in the country. The national average is around 18%.

The CDC defines excessive drinking among adults in two categories: binge drinking—four or more drinks on a single occasion for women and five or more for men, and heavy drinking—eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more for men.

The CDC warns of a number of risks included with excessive and binge drinking, including car accidents. You can read a full list of risks here.

To see how much every state is expected to drink by the end of the year, click here. To see how much every state is expected to drink just over the holidays, click here.

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