A Gallup poll reveals the drinking habits of Americans. 

Elisabeth Sherman
September 13, 2017

A new Gallup poll has revealed the drinking habits of Americans. Half of the women surveyed said that they preferred wine to beer and liquor, while only 11 percent of men said they preferred wine. They'd rather crack open a brew: 62 percent of men identified as beer drinkers. In an earlier Gallup survey, however, forty percent of Americans named beer as their alcoholic drink of choice.

The data comes from Gallup's Consumption Habits Survey from 2001 to 2017 and included interviews with 11,544 adult drinkers. The survey also found some striking differences in the way different age groups consume alcohol. For instance, baby boomers probably drink more frequently than millennials: 45 percent of men aged 50 and older said they had a drink within the last 24 hours, while only 37 percent of men 18 to 49 said the same.

Surprisingly, the poll revealed that men might actually drink more than women. Only 26 percent of younger women surveyed reported that they had a drink within the past day, compared 37 percent of their male counterparts.

Even when Gallup took into account age and gender, people who drink beer reported indulging in more drinks overall than people who prefer wine—perhaps because, with a lower alcohol content, drinking say, five beers, is easier than drinking five glasses of wine. Still, in the age of ubiquitous rosé, it might be surprising to learn that most Americans still favor a reliable beer over a glass of wine.

Tellingly, men 50 and over—who drink more frequently than their younger counterparts—are more likely to embrace evidence that moderate drinking is actually healthy.

There are some gaps in Gallup’s findings though: “Gallup's data do not indicate whether people are consuming drinks in one sitting or over the course of a week,” the survey indicates.” This is a significant lack of information: If those people surveyed were spreading their drink consumption out over a week, for instance, they could simply be social drinkers. If however, the drinks are consumed are one sitting, there’s a chance more people than we’re aware of are binge drinkers.

Still, there's no direct evidence that Americans are binge drinkers. In fact, it's mostly good news: Americans still love their beer.