Anchorage ranks 9th among nation's 'drunkest' cities

Casey Grove

Anchorage was the ninth drunkest city in the U.S. in 2009, according to a first annual compilation by The Daily Beast, a news and commentary website that ranked 40 cities based on several different data sets.

The data included statistics from more than 200 metropolitan areas on the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed by residents in a month. They also used information on heavy and binge drinkers in those areas and data on liver disease per capita from the Centers for Disease Control.

Milwaukee, Wis., and Fargo, N.D., took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, both with 21.8 percent of adults reported as binge drinkers.

The CDC considers binge drinking to be a "pattern of drinking" that brings an adult's blood-alcohol content above 0.08 percent, the legal limit to drive in most U.S. cities. That typically happens when, during a two-hour period, a man consumes five or more drinks or a woman consumes four or more drinks, according to the CDC.

Anchorage residents reported drinking an average of 13.66 alcoholic beverages per month in 2009, according to The Daily Beast. "Binge drinkers" accounted for 17.1 percent of Anchorage drinkers, with "heavy drinkers" registering 6 percent.

Alcoholic liver disease affected 6.7 livers per 100,000 residents, according to the website.

In an earlier ranking, the magazine Men's Health put Anchorage as the country's 41st drunkest city out of 100.

The magazine used criteria similar to The Daily Beast but also considered the number of alcohol-related car wrecks, the number of drunken driving arrests and the stringency of drunken driving laws in each state.

The Men's Health list has an entirely different top 10, with Fresno, Calif., headlining.

These rankings might only be worth a grain of salt, though, or a flake of snow.

The Daily Beast posted another list Wednesday: America's snowiest cities. On this one, Alaska's largest city landed eighth. That was behind three towns in upstate New York that took the top spots. Then The Daily Beast has Duluth, Minn.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Eerie, Pa.; and Casper, Wyo., ahead of Anchorage.

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