Turns out, the majority of Americans don’t actually drink that much. In fact, up to 60 percent of people report having less than one drink per week, reads a chart in Philip J. Cook’s new book, Paying the Tab, which analyzes the economic costs and benefits of alcohol in the United States. But while that might seem like a promising statistic when it comes to domestic alcoholism, don’t speak too soon.
As The Washington Post points out, the top 20 percent of drinkers account for well over 80 percent of yearly alcohol sales, and the top 10 percent account for more than half of alcohol consumed. Put in more quantifiable terms, on average the latter group drinks the equivalent of more than two bottles of wine, per person, every single day. That said, it’s easy to see just how dependent the alcohol industry is on these heavy problem drinkers to turn a profit. And how brands like Natural Light are still in business. [The Washington Post] [Photo:Flickr/Don LaVange]