Populations that are politically liberal end up drinking more per capita, a new study finds. Economists measured the alcohol consumption habits of people in conservative states and people in liberal states.
Studying the states from 1952 to 2010, researcher Dr. Pavel Yakovlev found, “As the American states become more liberal over time, they tend to consume more alcohol, specifically beer and spirits, per capita.” According to the researchers’ calculations, if the mostly Republican Michigan were to become as liberal as the blue state Vermont, Michigan’s citizens would each consume an extra two gallons of beer each year.
Researchers measured the “citizen ideology” by examining the voting patterns of congressional representatives. The increase in drinking may be explained by liberals “seeing drinking as an expression of openness that also encompasses tobacco, drugs and sex,” suggests The Guardian.
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