Overall, roughly two in three Americans drink alcohol — which has been true historically since 1939. But dig a little deeper and drinking habits start to vary widely among some Americans, particularly between those who are wealthy (eight in 10 drink) and those who are not (only five in 10 do), reports Gallup in its latest annual poll of American consumption.
Education is another divider, with those who are college graduates being more likely to drink than those who are not.
And while beer remains the drink of choice for 42 percent of Americans, 38 percent of those with a household income of $75,000 or more (the highest category in the poll) prefer wine and 36 percent prefer beer, while 41 percent of those who make $30,000 or less (the lowest category) choose beer and 29 percent go for wine.
The gap between incomes could simply be the result of access to alcohol, as Americans with higher incomes can afford to drink more and do things that involve drinking, like socialize with co-workers, go on vacation and dine out, reports The Guardian. This is reflected in another finding: 47 percent of higher earners say they imbibed in the previous 24 hours, while only 18 percent of lower earners did. The numbers are nearly identical among college grads and non-grads.
The Gallup poll was conducted by phone in early July and includes responses from 1,009 adults.
(In related news, another study says longer workdays lead to excessive drinking.)