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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


In 2022, 24/7 Wall St. ranked Wisconsin as the nation’s “drunkest” state based on self-reporting, with 25.2% of Wisconsin residents drinking excessively. In 2021, 41 of the 50 most heavily drinking counties were located in Wisconsin.

The state and county rankings are based on data from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Excessive drinking is defined as adults who reported heavy or binge drinking within the previous 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men on a single occasion. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming more than one drink per day on average for a woman or consuming more than two drinks per day for a man.

Wisconsin also ranks high in total alcohol consumption per capita at 8th in the nation, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


24/7 Wall St: Drunkest States in America

24/7 Wall St: 24/7 Wall St. Drunkest Counties in America

National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Excessive Drinking

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.