Poll finds people with higher incomes drink moreBy Annie Hayes
Eight out of 10 upper-income, educated adults in the US say they consume alcohol, compared with half of lower-income Americans, poll results have revealed.
According to Gallup’s annual poll of American consumption habits, income and education levels mark the biggest differences in drinking habits among Americans, and are larger than differences caused by gender, age, race, region and religion.
Of the random sample of 1,009 adults polled, 78% of those with an annual household income of US$75,000 or more said they drink, compared with 45% of those earning US$30,000 per year or less.
In addition, 80% of adults who are college graduates admit they drink, while only 52% of those educated to high school level or less admitting to consuming alcohol.
Overall, 64% of Americans said they drink alcohol.
The gap between higher- and lower-income Americans could come from access to alcohol, according to the study.
It states: “Americans of higher socio-economic status certainly have greater economic resources, and can likely afford to buy alcohol when they want to drink.
“They also are more likely to participate in activities that may involve drinking such as dining out at restaurants, going on vacation or socialising with coworkers (given the higher drinking rates among working compared with nonworking Americans).
“The direct connection between drinking and engaging in these activities is not clear from the data, but such a connection could help explain why upper-income Americans are more likely to drink alcohol than other Americans.”
In addition, of Americans who make US$75,000 or more annually, 47% said they last drank an alcoholic beverage within the last 24 hours, whereas in the category of Americans who make less than U$30,000, 18% had consumed alcohol in the same period.
Of the college graduates, 45% said they had drunk within the past 24 hours, compared with 28% of Americans with a high school diploma or less.
Earlier this month, a study revealed that people aged 50 and over in England classed as ageing “successfully” are more likely to drink at harmful levels.