The rumors of liquor’s demise have been great exaggerated according to Gallup. The polling institution released their annual report of Americans’ drinking habit last week. The total numbers are holding remarkably steady with 20 year trends. However, liquor consumption crept up into a statistical tie wine for second place on the list.
Gallup regularly conducts Consumption Habits surveys. The most recent results are based on telephone interviews with U.S. adults (defined as aged 18 and older) conducted between July 1-12.
29% of drinkers reported liquor as their preferred drink. The stat is an increase over the 19% reported last year.
However, that 2018 number is a dip from the 26% reported in 2017. Looking at the numbers long term to discount outliers, the percentage held steady in the low twenties for most the last two decades.
Liquors largest following was in the “Aged 18 to 34” demographic.
Wine held steady as the preferred beverage of 30% of drinkers. Long term, the number is way up from single digit showings in the 1960’s and 20-something numbers in the 80’s. However, the stat is low as far as 21st century polls go, including a peak at 36% in 2006.
Specific demographics favor wine. The drink scored 45% with female drinkers and 44% with drinkers over the age of 55-years-old. Likewise, the metrics showed that greater income and greater education correlated with greater oenophilia.
Brews maintained their plurality with 38% of the total vote. The category enjoyed a 55% preference among men. In both the “Aged 18 to 34” and “Aged 35-54” categories, beer was the top candidate clocking 41%. Midwesterners overwhelmingly picked suds as their favorite (49%).
Still, one should note that beer in the midst of steady decline. For example, in 1993, 47% of Americans picked beer as their favorite beverage.
68% of Americans of legal drinking age said that they “have occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer.” According to Gallup, that rate has been relatively consistent for the last two decades.
The poll also indicated that U.S. residents average 4 drinks a week. That number has also been relatively static for the last decade. It is a drop from the modern peak of 4.6 drinks a week during the aughts.