This Is America’s Largest City — Based on How Much Its Residents Drink

While we weren’t surprised, it wasn’t necessarily the city we thought it’d be

July 27, 2023 3:38 pm
Milwaukee Skyline at dusk
Can you guess the skyline of the drunkest U.S. city?
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Cities are ranked by superlatives all the time, like the best city for singles, the city with the worst traffic and the best city for expats. Now, thanks to a new report from Real Estate Witch, we know the 50 biggest cities in the United States, according to how much their residents like to drink. The website analyzed data from the “University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, U.S. Census Bureau, Walk Score,, Yelp and Google Trends” to rank the 50 most populous U.S. cities from the drunkest to the most sober. The rankings to find America’s drunkest city take a number of factors into consideration, like the number of bars per 100,000 residents, the cities’ walkability and safety scores, and drinking-related search terms that are trending. 

You might think that a party city like Miami or Vegas would take the top spot, but a Midwestern city known for its love of beer was actually named number one. Milwaukee was dubbed the drunkest city in the United States, averaging three breweries, 36.7 general bars and 2.7 wine bars per 100,000 residents, which outdoes the national average by 131%, 99% and 60%, respectively. Funny enough, none of the top 10 most populous U.S. cities even broke the top 10 on this list. Chicago was the first to appear on it, at number 12.

How did your city rank? Here are the top 20 drunkest cities in America:

  1. Milwaukee, WI
  2. New Orleans, LA
  3. Portland, OR
  4. Denver, CO
  5. Providence, RI
  6. Boston, MA
  7. Minneapolis, MN
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Austin, TX
  11. Cincinnati, OH
  12. Chicago, IL
  13. Buffalo, NY
  14. Seattle, WA
  15. San Diego, CA
  16. Raleigh, NC
  17. Columbus, OH
  18. Charlotte, NC
  19. Hartford, CT
  20. Sacramento, CA


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