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Weekly Churchgoers Are Divided Evenly, 50-50, on Drinking Alcohol: Gallup

Michael Foust | Crosswalk Headlines Contributor | Published: Jan 03, 2023
Weekly Churchgoers Are Divided Evenly, 50-50, on Drinking Alcohol: Gallup

Weekly Churchgoers Are Divided Evenly, 50-50, on Drinking Alcohol: Gallup

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they drink alcohol, although weekly churchgoers are split evenly on the issue, according to a new Gallup survey.

The poll found that 63 percent of U.S. adults say they drink alcohol, while just over one-third (36 percent) say they never drink. Gallup asked Americans if they “have occasion to use alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine or beer” or if they are “a total abstainer.”

The number of Americans who drink has registered around 63 percent in recent years after rising to 71 percent in the 1970s and dipping as low as 55 percent in 1958.

Alcohol usage is highest among households with high incomes, Gallup says. For example, 80 percent of Americans who make more than $100,000 say they drink, while only 20 percent in that income bracket are teetotalers. The percentage of Americans who say they drink falls to 63 percent among households with an income of $40,000 to $99,999 and to 49 percent among those who make less than $40,000, Gallup says.

“The drinking rate among U.S. adults differs more by household income than by any other standard demographic characteristic,” a Gallup analysis found.

Americans who graduated from college (76 percent) are more likely than those who didn’t go to college (51 percent) to say they drink.

Religion also is a key indicator of alcohol usage, Gallup says.

Weekly churchgoers are split evenly on the issue, with 50 percent saying they drink alcohol and 50 percent calling themselves total abstainers. Among churchgoers who attend monthly or nearly weekly, 63 percent drink.

“Whether people drink … varies significantly by their religiosity,” the analysis said.

Among Americans who drink alcohol, 35 percent prefer beer, 31 percent wine and 30 percent liquor.

“For many years, beer was the strong favorite of U.S. drinkers, mentioned by close to half as the alcoholic beverage they most often drink,” the analysis said. “It still leads, but by a thinner, four-percentage-point margin over wine.”

Photo courtesy: ©Unsplash/kmellis


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.



Weekly Churchgoers Are Divided Evenly, 50-50, on Drinking Alcohol: Gallup