These Are The 10 Drunkest Places In Illinois


It’s not the big cities or college towns that are getting ‘Illinois drunk’ the most.

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Is there anything wrong with being called the drunkest city in your state? Especially in Illinois, which NPR said is the 6th highest in the nation for binge drinking. It’s pretty clear that you all like to get your drink on just about every chance you can get up there in The Land Of Lincoln.

How do you decide how much a place drinks? By the number of available places to buy booze, and by how often people are talking about drinking, that’s how.

Plus, we thought why not add in a stereotype? Cause, you know, drinking is one reason for divorce, and something that divorced people do a lot of.

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where partiers might live in Illinois, and then put out a list.

Because, the data never lies, does it?

So, hold our beers and watch this. After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The Drunkest Cities in Illinois:

  1. Loves Park
  2. Alton
  3. Libertyville
  4. Geneva
  5. Grayslake
  6. Blue Island
  7. Chicago
  8. Springfield
  9. Lisle
  10. Schaumburg

Many of these are mid-size cities in Illinois with many bars in town or nearby, where there’s a higher than average divorce rate. Studies have indicated that when one or both partners in a marriage are alcoholics, that couple is three times more likely to divorce.

Read on below to see where your town ranked.

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What drunken criteria did we use?

In order to rank the drunkest cities in Illinois, we had to determine what criteria defines someone who drinks a lot.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Number of bars and pubs per capita
  • Number of wineries per capita
  • Number of liquor stores per capita
  • Each city’s drunk related tweets within the last week
  • Each city’s divorce rate

For geo-located tweets, we measured the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general are: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

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1. Loves Park

Sahara Tavern and Liquors, Loves Park, IL. Google maps

Population: 23,968
Divorce rate: 9th highest in the state
Bars per capita: 14th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 13th in Illinois

Wow, Loves Park, you are tore up from the floor up! We’re impressed. Based on the data, it sounds like you are all having a really, really good time.

When you have the 13th most liquor stores per capita in the state, and the 14th most bars, it’s pretty obvious that you all like to get your drink on. And, when you consider that 14% of you are divorced, it’s clear that there’s a lot of…down time at your house.

Loves Park is just outside of Rockford (but Loves Park folks all probably know the back roads, right? Wink, wink). We did see that last year was the highest for drunk driving arrests in Loves Park.

While we didn’t see a ton of drunk tweets coming from Loves Park, we did see this:

“A Loves Park woman is arrested for drunk driving just after 8 a.m. Wednesday near schools.”

Wow, lady. You must be their ringleader.

2. Alton

CTW’s Lounge, Alton, IL. Google maps

Population: 27,868
Divorce rate: Highest in Illinois
Bars per capita: 2nd in Illinois
Liquor stores per capita: 40th in the state

What do you think you’re gonna get when you have the highest divorce rate in the state, and the 2nd most bars per capita in the state? A lot of heavy drinking, that’s what.

We’re not sure if the drinking was the reason that nearly 1 in 5 people in Alton headed towards splitsville, or if the Big D is the reason so many bars are needed, but let’s face it. Many, many people down here near the Mississippi River are drinking lots.

While we didn’t scrape Twitter for “hate my ex” in Alton, we did see this interesting note: Alton bills itself as the ‘wedding capital of the midwest.’

That’s just bad luck.

3. Libertyville

Downing’s, Libertyville, IL. Google maps.

Population: 20,388
Divorce rate: 57th in the state
Bars per capita: 6th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 11th in Illinois

Here’s what’s interesting about Libertyville – you are all able to hold things together. You have a very low divorce rate, despite having one of the highest number of bars and liquor stores in the state.

Are there lots of counselors per capita in your area? Do you all just ‘stay together for the kids?’ Or, is the bar scene there so merry go lucky that couples don’t go home pissed at one another, even after 6 shots of tequila?

We’re not rooting for divorces at all, in fact it’s just the opposite. But you guys would’ve won this whole thing had more of you decided to part ways more often.

4. Geneva

Old Towne Bar, Geneva, IL. Google maps

Population: 21,588
Divorce rate: 76th highest in the state
Bars per capita: 1st in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 13th in Illinois

What did we just say about Libertyville? And then we see the numbers on Geneva? Wow. Most bars and one of the lowest divorce rates. Bravo, Geneva spouses. You are all some very patient people.

You know the saying, money solves all problems? Well the people in Geneva are rich. Like $100,000 a year rich. So, maybe Geneva residents are functional drinkers, or they’re the type that can hold their own. A little top shelf Glenlivet never hurt anyone right?

Geneva is just outside of the Chicago suburb sprawl.

5. Grayslake

Emil’s, Grayslake, IL. From their Facebook page

Population: 20,943
Divorce rate: 10%
Bars per capita: 18th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 12th in Illinois

Grayslake is right next door to Libertyville, and about three beers north of downtown Chicago. Hopefully, the drinkers of Grayslake are taking public transportation, though.

Maybe not. This gem came from Twitter: “After driving around Grayslake for 45 mins dropping everyone off, I’m finally home. And I think I’m still drunk.”

You all have lots of bars, pubs and liquor stores here. And a higher than normal number of drunk-related Tweets. We counted 15 in the last week – but several from the same person.

Who will remain nameless. You know who you are.

6. Blue Island

The Forge Pub, Blue Island, IL. Google maps

Population: 23,460
Divorce rate: 11%
Bars per capita: 4th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 28th in Illinois

Blue Island is south of Chicago, but not in south Chicago. Here, 1 in 10 residents are divorced, and when you have the 4th highest number of bars per capita, there are probably lots of desperate bleary-eyed people working on their second marriages here.

Here’s to that!

7. Chicago

O’Leary’s Public House, Chicago, IL. Google Maps.

Population: 2,702,471
Divorce rate: 8.7%
Bars per capita: 4th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 13th in Illinois

Okay, so obviously there are tons of bars and liquor stores in Chicago. But we’re measuring places to get booze per capita, and there are certainly millions of people in Chicago who don’t drink a drop.

That is until football season. Every Bears fan needs to have a beer or 12 to get through another frustrating Sunday.

Seriously though, the divorce rate in Chicago is really low. Good for you, Chicagoans. While many, many, many of you are completely wasted every night of the week, a majority of you are responsible members of the Chicago community.

8. Springfield

Stadium Bar and Grill, Springfield, IL. Google maps

Population: 115,982
Divorce rate: 15%
Bars per capita: 9th in the state
Drunk tweets per capita: 25th in Illinois

Springfield is the capital of Illinois, but not the capital of drunken people. That’s good.

Anyone who has been to Springfield can attest to the fact that tons of people are out getting wasted here. And Twitter proves it. In fact, there were almost as many drunken tweets coming from Springfield as there were from Chicago.

“Either these people are homeless, and Illinois is heartless, or they are drunk, and lllinois is lawless. Either way, Springfield sucks.”

and

“Downtown Springfield – the beauty, the history, and the drunk homeless people humping the Abe Lincoln statues.”

And these are the people who can only afford a 40. Think of how the people in the bars are acting here.

9. Lisle

Squirrel Cage Tavern, Lisle, IL

Population: 22,483
Divorce rate: 9.6%
Bars per capita: 21st in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 6th in Illinois

Lisle was ranked as one of the best places for the rich and single by Money Magazine. That means, according to the data, there are tons of drunk, rich white kids running around Lisle looking to make their mark on the community.

The divorce rate is low here. You can tell why – either no one is settled down yet (why would you – you can hook it up without having to tie the knot) or, no one divorces because of money.

Hey, if your man is drunk at the bar all the time, but he’s loaded, you just look the other way, right Lisle ladies?

10. Schaumburg

Tilted Kilt, Schaumburg, IL. Google maps

Population: 74,276
Divorce rate: 9.7%
Liquor stores per capita: 18th in Illinois
Bars per capita: 15th in the state

Schaumburg, another Chicago suburb, is apparently full of drinkers. Or at least people that drink a lot. They have a high number of both bars and liquor stores in the state.

We saw a high number of tweets coming from Schaumburg for people going to ‘parties’. Several were birthday parties for kids.

Any chance to throw a few back, right Schaumburgers?

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Illinois where there are a high number of divorced people, bars and liquor stores, and where people are talking about drinking the most often, this is an accurate list.

And while you might think the larger cities and college towns are ‘more drunk’ than these places, when you measure the percentage of people who have access to alcohol, and who are separated, it makes sense. Cause, the data never lies, does it?

If you’re curious enough, here are the least drunk places in Illinois. Or the most sober, if you will:

  1. Dekalb (Pop. 44,340)
  2. McHenry (Pop. 26,862)
  3. Hanover Park (Pop. 37,990)
  4. Cicero (Pop. 83,776)
  5. North Chicago (Pop. 31,667)

We also wrote about the worst places to live in Illinois if you didn’t happen to see it. Click here to read it.

City Population Rank
Loves_Park 23968 1
Alton 27868 2
Libertyville 20388 3
Geneva 21588 4
Grayslake 20943 5
Blue_Island 23457 6
Chicago 2702471 7
Springfield 115982 8
Lisle 22453 9
Schaumburg 74276 10
Kankakee 27560 11
Villa_Park 22212 12
Belleville 44118 13
East_Peoria 23321 14
Rock_Island 38808 15
Lombard 43180 16
Crystal_Lake 40867 17
Bloomington 76527 18
Quincy 40647 19
Carbondale 25961 20
Champaign 81083 21
Niles 29720 22
Des_Plaines 58302 23
Westmont 25101 24
Rockford 152948 25
Collinsville 25370 26
Galesburg 32038 27
Wheeling 37575 27
Elk_Grove_Village 33166 29
Peoria 114754 30
Danville 32977 31
Pekin 33700 32
Freeport 25529 33
Edwardsville 24093 34
Crest_Hill 20724 35
Algonquin 29924 36
Granite_City 29916 37
St._Charles 33046 38
Evanston 74619 39
Woodstock 24781 40
Melrose_Park 25241 41
Moline 43390 42
Glen_Ellyn 27503 43
Northbrook 33095 44
Gurnee 31222 45
Tinley_Park 56340 46
Arlington_Heights 75221 47
South_Elgin 21873 48
Glenview 44478 49
Roselle 22814 50
Batavia 25693 51
Berwyn 56376 52
Decatur 76091 53
Plainfield 39030 54
Oak_Lawn 56524 55
Lockport 24672 55
Naperville 142143 57
Oak_Forest 27922 58
Orland_Park 56607 59
Palatine 68338 60
Harvey 24959 61
Bloomingdale 22028 62
Elmhurst 44385 63
Machesney_Park 23231 64
Downers_Grove 48621 64
Mundelein 31506 66
Elmwood_Park 24876 67
Dolton 23230 68
West_Chicago 27079 69
Oak_Park 51781 70
Wilmette 27202 71
Carol_Stream 39869 72
Skokie 64588 73
Lansing 28270 74
Joliet 147098 75
New_Lenox 24369 76
Charleston 21952 77
Elgin 109513 78
Chicago_Heights 30328 79
Burbank 28851 80
Highland_Park 29909 81
Calumet_City 37070 82
Vernon_Hills 25144 83
Addison 36977 84
O’Fallon 28377 85
Waukegan 88982 86
Bolingbrook 73383 86
Oswego 30302 88
Buffalo_Grove 41667 89
Darien 22163 90
Zion 24400 91
Normal 52986 92
Woodridge 32926 93
Carpentersville 37758 94
Mount_Prospect 54144 95
Rolling_Meadows 23645 96
Park_Forest 22424 97
Maywood 24177 98
East_Moline 21585 99
Morton_Grove 23194 100
Belvidere 25544 101
Romeoville 39175 102
Hoffman_Estates 52066 103
Wheaton 53155 104
Glendale_Heights 34159 105
Huntley 23897 106
Homer_Glen 24428 107
Urbana 41299 108
Round_Lake_Beach 28133 109
Aurora 196569 110
East_St._Louis 27116 111
South_Holland 21994 112
Lake_In_The_Hills 28894 113
Bartlett 41017 114
Park_Ridge 37266 115
Streamwood 40201 116
North_Chicago 31677 117
Cicero 83756 118
Hanover_Park 37990 119
Mchenry 26862 120
Dekalb 44340 121

4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Drunkest Places In Illinois

  1. Not very scientific. Libertyville is not the 3rd drunkest town in Illinois. We have a thriving downtown with numerous restaurants with liquor licenses (not bars) that attract patrons from as far away as Chicago on weekends.

  2. How is Dekalb the least drunk place when Northern Illinois University is there? While it is true that there are not a lot of bars, there is A LOT of drinking going on.

  3. Nice try, that photo is not the ‘Squirrel Cage’ in Lisle. How are we suppose to believe the rest of your info if you can’t get this right?

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