Sober findings

San Antonio among America's booziest cities, sobering new study says

San Antonio among America's booziest cities, sobering new study says

Group of people drinking beer at a bar cheers
San Antonio has one of the country's highest percentage of drinkers. Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

At this point, locals are pretty accustomed to seeing San Antonio nab top spots on various lists. Not only is it one of the best cities in the country for Hispanic entrepreneurs, it's home to one the best neighborhoods in all of Texas to live, boasts one of the best real estate markets for homebuyers, and is one of nation's best summer travel destinations.

But this new ranking is unlikely to make it to a convention and visitors bureau pamphlet. According to a June study released by alcohol abuse resource site Alcohol.org, Alamo City has the 22nd highest percentage of drinkers in the country.

The rankings, which compared census figures with data culled from public information trove City-Data, actually highlight cities with the highest percentage of non-drinkers. But San Antonio — and the rest of Texas — failed to crack the top 50 on the list of non-imbibers.

Instead, the state nabbed 12 out of the 50 cities with the lowest percent of non-drinkers, led by Laredo at No. 4, Austin at No. 5, and Plano at No. 10.

According to the study, only 10.3 percent of San Antonians choose not to imbibe, which means 89.7 percent do. It’s important to note, though, that the list does not reveal the volume of drinking in each city. All adults that drink alcohol — from problem drinkers to those who only crack open a bottle on special occasions — were included in the data set.

One reason why some cities are boozier than others may have something to do with geography. The Alcohol.org analysis noted that the cities with the most teetotalers tended to be clustered around beaches or large bodies of water (Honolulu has the most non-drinkers at 21.20 percent). Conversely, the majority of cities with the least non-drinkers were located on the arid Southwest. Arizona has the most slots on that top 10 list, with Gilbert coming in at No. 1.

Municipalities in the Lone Star State were scattered across the most drinking cities list.

  • Laredo, No. 4
  • Austin, No. 5
  • Plano, No. 10
  • Dallas, No. 14
  • Irving, No. 15
  • El Paso, No. 16
  • San Antonio, No. 22
  • Houston, No. 24
  • Fort Worth, No. 29
  • Corpus Christi, No. 31
  • Garland, No. 35
  • Lubbock, No. 37

Of the state’s 10 most populous cities, only Arlington was not named. Overall, Texas outdrank the nation with the most slots on the list.