Charleston has always been known as a drinking city, but newly available statistics show exactly how much alcohol is behind the reputation: Its consumption levels far exceed the national average, contributing to a situation that public health researchers describe as worrisome.
But the numbers that trouble researchers are also deeply reflective of Charleston’s history and culture, which is currently being promoted on an unprecedented global scale. To better understand the incipient clash between a centuries-long tradition of private drinking and rabid public interest in the city that spawned it, The Post and Courier is taking a two-part look at the state of local alcohol consumption, starting with this review of relevant data.
According to statistics compiled independently by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Education, Charleston’s alcohol consumption patterns are oddly upper Midwestern in nature. The city’s imbibing habits most closely mirror those of places such as Milwaukee, where nearly half of the population claims German ancestry and enough snow falls every year to bury an average fourth-grader.
Read it all from the local paper.