If you care, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that "moderate" drinking for men is defined as two drinks or less per day, and no more than one drink per day for women. The CDC also points out that two-thirds of drinkers regularly drink their way right past those suggested stopping points.

If you had to wager a guess, based upon what you know about Illinois and the people who live here, would you bet that Illinois ranks among the biggest drinking states, the least drinking states, or are we a tee-totaling quiet state that would like our neighboring states to hold it down?

Man drinking traditional pint of real ale beer.
Getty Images

Before We Get To Illinois' Drinking Numbers, Would You Like To Guess Which Country Holds The Title For Highest Alcohol Consumption?

According to OurWorldInData.org, the global average consumption of alcohol in 2020 (the latest year for which numbers are available) was 6.18 liters per person. Since we're Americans, I'll convert that into gallons for you: 1.6 gallons.

The country at the top when it comes to alcohol consumption isn't a place that I would have thought of--The Seychelles.

The people who live on the archipelago in the Indian Ocean drink, on average, 20.80 liters (5.49 gallons) per year. Coming in 2nd place is Uganda with 15.09 liters (4.2 gallons), then comes Czechia, with 14.45 liters, or 3.8 gallons. Rounding out the top ten, you've got:

  • Lithuania: 13.22 liters (3.4 gallons)
  • Luxembourg: 12.94 liters (3.4 gallons)
  • Germany: 12.91 liters (3.4 gallons)
  • Ireland: 12.88 liters (3.4 gallons)
  • Latvia: 12.77 liters (3.3 gallons)
  • Spain: 12.72 liters (3.3 gallons)
  • Bulgaria 12.65 liters (3.3 gallons)
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A baby cup snake at Wrigley Field (Getty Images)

Alright, Enough About What They're Pounding Down In Other Countries, Let's Get To Illinois' Drinking Numbers

According to a very comprehensive piece at TheCenterSquare.com, Illinois' drinking numbers really put us right in the middle of the pack of all 50 states:

According to data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Illinois residents consumed 2.42 gallons per resident 14 and older in 2020, the 25th highest among states. Nationwide, alcohol consumption was 2.45 gallons per person the same year.

The health risks posed by excessive alcohol consumption go beyond chronic conditions. A reported 28.8% of all driving deaths in Illinois between 2016 and 2020 involved alcohol.

Here's how Illinois' 2.42 gallons measures up against our Midwestern neighbors:

    • Wisconsin: 3.11 gallons
    • Iowa: 2.50 gallons
    • Michigan: 2.53 gallons
    • Indiana: 2.34 gallons
    • Missouri: 2.68 gallons
    • Minnesota: 2.85 gallons
    • Kentucky: 2.12 gallons

What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?

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