Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What state has most liquor stores per capita? Nebraska. And we're #5 in bars

In 2011, the Daily Beast named Omaha the seventh drunkest
city in America. Photo: Delgoff, Flickr
But hey, you can't smoke in any of them because the state is concerned about your health.*
     North Dakota has the most bars per capita, which we attributed to the number of oil industry man camps, but apparently the state's reputation for boozing was earned long before the recent exploitation of shale oil near Williston.
     AKSARBENT was surprised that Wisconsin wasn't atop any lists — until we saw the one naming the metro areas in the U.S. with the most bars per capita (the last column in the chart should have been labeled "people per bar"): every one of the top six was within, or included, parts of Wisconsin (the Duluth MSA includes Superior, WI). In fact, of 29 metro areas listed, Wisconsin single-handedly accounted for 13, almost half.
     It would appear that metro areas in the upper Midwest are MAJOR drunk zones. All of the top 29 cities were in five contiguous states: Nebraska, Iowa, South and North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
     New York, New Orleans, LA, San Francisco and Boston didn't make the cut. Neither did any city in supposedly hard-drinking Texas. Remarkable.
     Lincoln and Omaha were, respectively, #27 and #21 on the list.
*Loaded CDC studies notwithstanding, the supposition that smokers cost society more in their sprint to the grave than nonsmokers, who take much longer to die and collect far more benefits on the way, is no longer unchallenged, but politicians in Omaha and Lincoln evidently didn't get the memo or their dogs ate it.
     In Omaha, smokers, but not drinkers, are being billed for another round of UNMC empire-building even though as far back as 1989 (before confiscatory increases in tobacco taxes) the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded, in a published study on sin taxes, that smokers more or less covered their "cost" to society, but drinkers did not.

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