May 14/Rochester, N.Y./Business Wire -- Whether it is a martini at the end of a hard day, a nice glass of chardonnay when gathered with friends or a cold beer on a hot summer day, Americans enjoy a cocktail or two. Three in 10 (29%) U.S. adults drink alcohol, including beer or wine, at least once a week, with 6% saying they drink daily. One in five Americans (20%) drink at least once a month, while 12% say they drink several times a year, 6% drink at least once a year and 8% drink alcohol less often than once a year. One-quarter (25%) of U.S. adults say they never drink alcohol.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,401 U.S. adults surveyed online between April 13 and 21, 2009, by Harris Interactive.
Who is more likely to drink??
Men are more likely to drink alcohol at least once a week than women are (40% versus 19%). Women, however, are more likely to say they never drink alcohol (29% vs. 22%). Among generations, one-third (33%) of Echo Boomers (those aged 18-32) say they drink at least once a week compared to 26% of Gen Xers (those aged 33-44).
Easterners are much more likely to drink daily and at least once a week compared to other regions of the country. Over one-third (37%) of those living in the East drink alcohol at least once a week compared to 26% of Midwesterners, 28% of Southerners and 29% of Westerners. Also over one in 10 Easterners (12%) drink daily, compared to just 3% of both Midwesterners and Westerners.
There is also a political difference -- one-third of Democrats (33%) and three in 10 Independents (30%) drink alcohol at least once a week but only one-quarter (26%) of Republicans say the same.
What are they drinking?
Among those who drink alcohol at least several times a year, two-thirds (67%) drink beer, while half (49%) say they drink domestic wine. Two in five (41%) drink vodka, one-third (32%) drink rum and 29% drink foreign wine. Further down in drink popularity, one-quarter (24%) drink tequila, 18% drink champagne, 16% drink other whiskey such as Canadian or Irish whiskey, 15% drink bourbon 14% each drink gin and cordials, and 13% drink scotch.
Those in the East and in the West are more likely to drink many of these types of liquor than those in the Midwest and South. For example, Easterners are much more likely to drink foreign wine (42%), cordials (23%) and scotch (20%). Westerners, however, are much more likely to drink tequila (32%) and champagne (27%).
Genders also have different drinks. Four in five men (81%) drink beer compared to just half (51%) of women. Over half of women drink domestic wine (56%) compared to 43% of men. Women are also more likely to drink vodka (43% vs. 39%), tequila (25% vs. 23%) and champagne (20% vs. 17%). Men, on the other hand, are more likely to drink foreign wine (31% vs. 26%), bourbon (21% vs. 7%) and scotch 19% vs. 5%).
Cocktails after work, having a few brews while watching a baseball game, or a nice wine with dinner are just some of the traditions Americans have when it comes to alcohol. Two-thirds of Americans drink at least once a year, and one may wonder if the number is any different in how frequently people are drinking due to economic pressures.
From the May 26, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition