D.C. Singles Are Nations Biggest Drinkers

According to one survey, the heaviest drinkers in America are single people in Washington, D.C. :

Hot on the heels of last week’s revelation about D.C. singles, yet another dating site has a superlative to bestow on the nation’s capital: America’s biggest boozers.

In the latest “study” pitting Washingtonians against residents of other major U.S. cities, HowAboutWe.com found that 34 percent of D.C. singles rate themselves “heavy drinkers” — the highest percentage in the country.

Tied behind D.C. were New York and Chicago, with 33 percent apiece.

In a surprising twist, singles in Las Vegas claim to be the nation’s lightest drinkers.

Yea I’m not so sure about that one myself, nor am I sure about Cleveland also being on the list of lightest drinkers. I mean, it’s Cleveland what else are you going to do except drink? (I kid, I kid)

Anyway here are the complete lists:

America’s Heaviest Drinkers:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. New York City
3. Chicago
4. Austin, TX
5. Boston
6. Denver
7. San Francisco
8. Portland, OR
9. Philadelphia
10. St. Louis, MO

America’s Lightest Drinkers:

1. Las Vegas
2. Tampa, Fla.
3. Phoenix, AZ
4. Detroit
5. Miami
6. Atlanta
7. Dallas
8. Sacramento
9. Los Angeles
10. Cleveland

Yea I don’t believe those L.A. people either.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    Certainly, everyone in DC I know drinks like a fish. Combination of heavy stress, enough money to afford decent booze, and lack of social conventions against alcohol consumption is my guess.

  2. Rob in CT says:

    America’s Lightest Drinkers:

    1. Las Vegas


    What, people are too busy snorting coke instead or something?

    I call bullsh*t.

  3. Peterh says:

    If one were to compare the list of heavy drinkers to a list of best mass transit, I believe you’ll see a correlation and vise versa…….and while I’m inclined to agree with Doug regarding LA, my friends and I tend to be pretty damn cautious these days about mixing in driving…..better to just drink at home…..

  4. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Rob in CT: Gambling and drinking don’t mix well–and the gambling is not just for the tourists there (as it is in Korea, for example), but the booze comps are just for the tourists. Redo your math.

  5. Contracts says:

    I will buy LA in one respect — none of the bottom 10 have significant subway or light rail systems. Most are driving towns. I expect that plays a fairly major role. By contrast, at least 5 of the top 10 cities have extensive public transportation systems.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    That “lightest” list just doesn’t look right. Where’s Salt Lake City? Arizona and Florida I get because the population skews so heavily towards senior citizens, but Detroit? Cleveland? Hmm. At the risk of starting a firestorm here, over the years I’ve heard it said that on average, American blacks are less likely to drink or take drugs (due to culture) then their white counterparts. Could that explain Detroit, Cleveland and Atlanta?

  7. superdestroyer says:


    You mean public transportation. The masses in DC drive to work just like most other cities.

    The difference in places like DC and NYC is the transient nature of the 20-somethings. The same thing can be said of Austin, Boston, or San Francisco.

  8. Dave says:

    @Rob in CT: actually, there are a lot of Mormons in Las Vegas, which may help explain its rank.