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Per capita alcohol consumption from beer in the U.S. 1850-2018

The per capita alcohol consumption from beer in the United States has gradually decreased since the 1980s. In 2018, per capita alcohol consumption of beer was 1.05 gallons of ethanol (pure alcohol). Light beer is by far the most popular category of beer in the United States.

Binge drinking

Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a two-hour period. In 2017, around 18 percent of adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. At that time, the average largest number of drinks consumed during a binge drinking episode was around 7.1 drinks. Binge drinking has serious health risks from increasing the chances of experiencing unintentional injuries to developing cancer.

Alcohol and health

Long-term health risks from excessive alcohol use include heart disease, stroke, liver disease, cancer, as well as mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Since the year 2000, the death rate from alcohol-related liver cirrhosis in the U.S. has increased. Liver cirrhosis results from long-term damage to the liver, perhaps from alcohol abuse, that results in normal tissue being replaced with scar tissue and therefore causing the liver to not function properly.

Alcohol consumption per capita from beer in the U.S. from 1850 to 2018

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

1850 to 2018

Age group

14 years and older

Supplementary notes

Based on population aged 15 and older prior to 1970 and population aged 14 and older thereafter.

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Statistics on "Beer industry in the United States"

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