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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, 04 August 2010 14:17

America gets the High on Beer

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults drink alcohol, a slight increase over last year and the highest figure recorded since 1985, with beer remaining the favourite beverage among drinkers, followed by wine and then liquor, according to a new Gallup Poll conducted through a phone interview with around 1000 participants.

In the 71 years since Gallup started tracking this trend in 1939 in the post prohibition era of 1920-33 and the end of the Great Depression that lasted from 1929-1939, the number of American drinkers has remained pretty stable, with a few exceptions.

In 1958, Gallup recorded the lowest percentage, with only 55 % of Americans claiming they drank alcohol. Nearly two decades later in 1976 - 1978, the poll jumped to an all-time high of nearly 71% of Americans consuming alcohol.

The Poll also concludes that men under 50 are among those who prefer beer more strongly, explaining why the ads in sports and other programming are aimed at young men. Older women are the biggest fans of wine, while roughly equal numbers of women under 50 choose wine and beer.

The older skew in preference for wine is starkly apparent when one looks at drinkers in the age group of 18 to 34, who are highly likely to choose beer as their preferred beverage, and among whom wine is slightly behind even liquor. .

Beer has lost some of its sheen with the consumption slipping slightly over the years. In 1992 and 1994, 47% of drinkers named it as their preferred drink, compared with 41% this year. However, it remains the preferred beverage of choice among alcohol drinking Americans since 1992, except 2005 when wine edged into the top spot. (DelWine had reported it then)

An interesting observation made by Gallup is that one of the most significant predictors of whether a person drinks has to do with church attendance. People who seldom or never attend church are substantially more likely to admit to drinking than people who go to church on a regular basis.

Results of this poll are based on telephone interviews during a two-day period last month, with a random sample of more than 1,000 adults- older than 18 years.

Although no comparable survey has been done in India, it seems that these findings should be on the same lines accept the correlation between imbibing alcohol and going to religious places.


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