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How Much Do Americans Drink on Thanksgiving?

With Thanksgiving around the corner, this is a time where families come together and enjoy each other’s company. And for a lot of Americans, the holiday also involves a lot of drinking.

From catching a football game to reconnecting with old friends, it’s likely that alcohol would be in the mix of things. The consumption of alcohol has increased so much so that there is a new term for night before Thanksgiving (or Thanksgiving eve) called Blackout Wednesday.

It is common for people to binge drink on Blackout Wednesday because most people have the next day off and don’t need to go to work or school. This day is mostly popular with college-aged youth, who tend to push their drinking boundaries as a way to de-stress from school work.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we conducted a survey across the United States, with a group of people who said they drink on Thanksgiving. The goal was to find out how much alcohol consumption was actually taking place during the holiday. We asked people if they drank 1, 2, 3 or 4+ alcoholic beverages. Here is what we found:

Survey of Americans’ Drinking Habits on Thanksgiving

Gender: Male vs Female Respondents

Of the people who responded to our survey, 44.9% were males, while 55.1% were females. But who has the most drinks on Thanksgiving, males or females?

We found that 18.9% of women who drink on Thanksgiving, said that they drink 4 or more alcoholic beverages. While, 37.9% of males who drink on Thanksgiving, said that they have 4 or more drinks. What this means is that, our male respondents will consume a combined total of 947 alcoholic beverages on Thanksgiving, while the female respondents will consume a combined total of at least 630 alcoholic beverages.

Then we wanted to find out which state has the most alcohol consumption on Thanksgiving in the US.

Alcohol Consumption Across the United States on Thanksgiving

The states with the most alcohol consumption on Thanksgiving are highlighted in dark red.

The Top 5 States with the Highest Alcohol Consumption Rate on Thanksgiving

  1. Illinois at 65%
  2. New York & California (tied) at 46%
  3. Missouri at 44%
  4. Texas at 41%
  5. Ohio at 38%

Total Percentage of Alcohol Consumption on Thanksgiving by Age Group

Breakdown of All Alcohol Consumption by Age Group

  1. 25-34 account for 24% of all consumption
  2. 55-64 account for 19% of all consumption
  3. 35-44 & 45-54 (tied) account for 18% of all consumption each
  4. 65+ account for 11% of all consumption
  5. 18-24 account for 9% of all consumption

Based on our survey results, it’s interesting how people 65 and over account for more alcohol consumption than those in the 18-24 age group. You might think that the higher consumption is due to the fact that it is illegal to drink alcohol between the ages of 18 and 20, however, with the rising levels of teenage alcohol abuse, it is surprising to have this age group at the bottom.

Number of Alcoholic Drinks Consumed on Thanksgiving by Age Group

So where does your age group fall under? When comparing all age groups, we found the following:

  • People between the ages of 45-54 have the highest chance of just having 1 drink on Thanksgiving.
  • People between the ages of 25-34 have the highest chance of having 2 drinks on Thanksgiving.
  • People between the ages of 55-64 have the highest chance of having 3 drinks on Thanksgiving.
  • People between the ages of 25-34 have the highest chance of having 4+ drinks on Thanksgiving.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily recommended number of drinks of alcohol for men is 2 and for women is 1.

Our data tells us that 52.5% of people in the 25-34 age group exceed the recommended daily amount by having 3 or more drinks on Thanksgiving. Following them is people in the 55-64 age group with 51.3% of them drinking 3 or more drinks on Thanksgiving.

After them, its age group 35-44 at 45%, 45-54 with 44.7%, 18-24 with 39.3% and lastly, ages 65 and over with 29.1%.

This survey shows how common it is for people to go above the recommended drinking levels on holidays. And with Thanksgiving just being the start of the holidays, you can be sure that there is a lot more drinking to come.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Based on what we found above, chances are you or someone you know can be struggling with alcoholism. Treatment is always available and our admissions specialists work through the holidays to help those in need.

The best gift anyone can have during the holidays is a chance to live a healthy, happy life, free of alcohol addiction. Call us today for a consultation.

Survey Methodology

We surveyed over 2,000 Americans about their consumption of alcohol over the Thanksgiving holiday. The results shown above only include those who said they drink 1 or more drinks on Thanksgiving. We posed the question of “How many alcoholic beverages do you consume on Thanksgiving?“. The participants had 5 options to choose from, which included the following:

  • I don’t Drink
  • 1 Drink
  • 2 Drinks
  • 3 Drinks
  • 4+ Drinks

The respondents identified as the following:

  • Gender:
    • Male | 48.1%
    • Female| 51.9%
  • Age:
    • 18-24 | 12.6%
    • 25-34 | 19.4%
    • 35-44 | 17.6%
    • 45-54 | 17.5%
    • 55-64 | 16.7%
    • 65+ | 16.2%
  • Regions
    • Midwest | 21.3%
    • Northeast | 17.3%
    • South | 37.5%
    • West | 23.9%

Fair Use

Feel free to share the data on this page freely. When sharing with others, please kindly refer back to the original findings

Northeast Addictions Treatment Center is closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness (COVID-19) caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). We are in full compliance with all Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Joint Commission infectious disease standards and regulations.  We have implemented every new admission to be tested with a rapid COVID-19 antibodies blood test which returns results in as little as 15 minutes. Northeast Addictions Treatment Center will continue to work proactively, always ensuring the highest safety and quality standards for our staff and the patients we serve.

For the latest news and information on the novel coronavirus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website here.

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