This survey came out on St. Patrick’s Day. Rather than pass it along then — there was enough celebrating going on already — I thought I’d sit on it until
an appropriate moment a slow news day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Bridgeport-Stamford area has the 7th highest rate of binge drinking in the country.
While a 2009 survey showed that 15% of American adults binge drink — meaning 5 or more drinks at a time on one or more occasions in the previous 30 days for men, 4 or more for women — the average for our soused slice of Fairfield County is 21.5%.
The binge drinking capital of the US is, of course, Hilo, Hawaii. Second place is taken by nearby (probably) Kapaa, Hawaii.
Then come the stumbling citizens of Fargo, North Dakota; Butte-Silver Bow, Montana and Bozeman, Montana, followed by Milwaukee.
I understand #6 — a beer company boasted that it “made Milwaukee famous” — and I understand why people in places like Fargo drink to excess. You would too if you had to listen to that accent all day.
But Hawaii? When I hear “The Aloha State,” binge drinking is not the first image that pops into mind.
And Bridgeport-Fairfield-Westport-Norwalk-Darien-Stamford? Don’t we have better things to do, like tearing down homes and ignoring stop signs and rebuilding cities and playing golf and figuring out how very wealthy and very poor people can live next to each other without ever interacting? Who has time to drink?
(And remember, the CDC surveyed adults, not teenagers — the true binge drinking champs.)
Hot on the heels of this we-really-need-a-Valium news comes another survey. Also around St. Paddy’s Day, Gallup released its list of the U.S. cities that rate highest for overall well-being. In other words, happy places.
Based on interviews with over 350,000 Americans — who answered questions about physical and emotional health, lifestyles and work — Gallup determined that the Bridgeport-Stamford region is the 9th happiest in the country!
Boulder, Colorado was 1st — no argument there — followed by a grab-bag of places: Lincoln, Nebraska; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; Provo-Orem, Utah; Honolulu; Madison, Wisconsin (they must have missed all the pissed-off people in the Capitol building); Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Gainesville, Florida.
So there you have it. Westporters — along with Bridgeporters, Norwalkers, Stamforders and Fairfieldites — are among the most drunken yet happiest Americans of all.
We’ll drink to that. 😉