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09.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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GALLUP’s CONSUMPTION POLL

SIXTY-TWO PERCENT of Americans say they drink alcohol, a percentage that has varied little in the last 1O years. The average drinker reports having consumed 3.8 drinks in the past week. This is the first time the average has dropped below 4 drinks since 2OO1. It had been as high as 5.1 in 2OO3.

Continuing a recent trend, Gallup finds a higher proportion of drinkers claiming to have had an alcoholic beverage in the last 24 hours. Exactly 36% of Americans have reported drinking alcohol in the last 24 hours in each of the last four polls. This compares to an average of 3O% from 2OOO to 2OO4.

“Daily drinking” is more common among Americans of higher socioeconomic status. Over the past four years, an average of 42% of college graduates report having had a drink in the last 24 hours, compared with 32% of those who have not graduated from college.

Similarly, 41% of drinkers with incomes of $75,OOO or greater say they have had a drink in the past 24 hours, compared with 36% with middle-incomes and just 23% of those with lower-incomes.

Men are more likely than women to have had a drink during the previous day, 43% to 28%.

Older drinkers are more likely than younger drinkers to have consumed alcohol in the previous 24 hours – 39% of those aged 5O and older say they drank in the last 24 hours, compared with 35% of those aged 3O to 49 and just 28% of those below 3O.

Survey Methods Results are based on telephone interviews with 1O16 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted this July 1O to 13. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 625 adults who drink alcoholic beverages, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.


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