muhs acton club

September 4, 2006

We’re #1 — Milwaukee named the nation’s Drunkest City

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 12:56 am

How exactly do you measure drunkeness in a city?

From the Forbes.com article:

Each city was ranked in five areas: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. Each area was assigned a ranking in each category, based on quantitative data, and all five categories were then totaled to produce a final score, which was sorted to produce our rankings.

And an in depth article on the methodology

Regarding alcoholism, their index is somewhat suspect:

Alcoholism: Cities were ranked based on the number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held in the area, as a proportion of the number of residents over the legal drinking age. Higher-ranking cities reported more meetings per capita.

Firstly, the meetings almost certainly do not accurately reflect the seriousness of the problem — only one kind of reaction to the problem.  Also, it doesn’t take under-age drinking into consideration.

Same objection to the ‘State Law’ criterion.  That’s just a reaction to a perceived problem.

“Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adults who reported having had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days…” 

This isn’t much.  Also, there may be a pyschological aversion to being seen as a teetotaller.

(To really pick the nits, one might suggest that this would include many religious folks who consume wine at weekly mass…)

Heavy Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adult men who reported having had more than two drinks per day, and adult women having had more than one drink per day

Gender discrimination!  Everyone is entitled to equal inebriation for equal alcohol consumed!

Binge Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adults who reported having had five or more drinks on one occasion

Just cuz a person had one binge drinking session doesnt classify him/her as a ‘Binge Drinker’, in my opinion.

In conclusion, our award — while quite prestigious — might not have truly been earned.  This is a wakeup call for Milwaukeens to get in touch with the traditions of their city.  And drink a lot more.

From JSOnline: A few figures on Milwaukee and its liquor:

In the city of Milwaukee, there are more than 1,000 outlets for beer, wine and liquor, according to the city’s License Division. These include about 978 locations with Class B tavern licenses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Milwaukee in 2002 had 261 taverns and 67 liquor stores. Those 328 businesses generated more than $148 million in sales, or about $250 for every man, woman and child who lived in the city that year. And that doesn’t include alcohol that was sold at grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants.

the jsonline story: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=487336

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