Milwaukee tops U.S. cities for drinking

August 25, 2006

Milwaukee, sometimes called "The Nation's Watering Hole," has been named the hardest-drinking city in America in a new Forbes.com ranking.

"America's Drunkest Cities" evaluated 35 candidate cities based on availability of data and geographic diversity, Forbes said, with the candidates chosen from among the largest metropolitan areas in the continental United States.

The study ranked each city on the basis of state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. Each area was assigned a score based on its ranking in each category and Milwaukee came out No. 1.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey 2004 show more than 70 percent of adult Milwaukeeans reported they had had at least one alcoholic drink within 30 days. Twenty-two percent said they had engaged in binge drinking -- having five or more drinks on one occasion -- and 7.5 percent were reported as heavy drinkers.

High percentages of alcohol consumption and abuse can translate into serious trouble for a city, including increased public health costs, Forbes said.

Minneapolis-St. Paul was No. 2, followed by Columbus, Ohio; Boston; and Austin, Texas.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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