Is there anything wrong with being called the drunkest city in your state? Especially in Michigan, where you guys are …really good at your alcohol consumption.
I mean 25% of you have admitted to binge drinking at least once in the last month, according to CBS.
Hey, we’re not judging. Drinking is fun. We’re just making observations.
So, how do you decide which city drinks the most? 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 the biggest partiers might live in Michigan, and then put out a list.
You’re probably thinking ‘Show me the proof!” 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 Michigan:
- Traverse City
- Mount Clemens
- Benton Harbor
- Grand Haven
- Bay City
Many of these are mid sized cities in Michigan 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.
What drunken criteria did we use?
In order to rank the drunkest cities in Michigan, 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 area: #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.
1. Traverse City
Divorce rate: 16%
Bars per capita: 1st in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 1st
Hot damn, Traverse City, 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.
Of course, when you have the most bars per capita, the most liquor stores per capita, and the 4th highest divorce rate in the state, what else are you gonna do here?
Plus, there are 12 breweries in TC.
And, it sounds like you guys are talking about drinking a lot, too. We counted 27 drunk related tweets in the last week. This was a good one:
“My parents tricked me into going to bar with them so they could get me drunk and tell me they might be moving to Traverse City.”
Maybe you should go with them!
2. Mount Clemens
Divorce rate: 16%
Bars per capita: 7th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 8th in the state
You’re probably thinking, ‘Mount Where?” But, yes, Michiganders, this under the radar place is drinking a lot more than you are.
Where is Mount Clemens? It’s a quiet, blue collar suburb about 3 beers north of Detroit. But we’re pretty sure that you folks in Mount Clemens probably know all the back roads, right (wink, wink?)
Here, they have the 3rd highest divorce rate in the state. Can you blame them? They’re out drinking all the time. When do they have time time to work on their relationship?
Divorce rate: 12.5%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 4th in Michigan
Ferndale is just about right next door to Mount Clemens. In fact, they probably bump into one another at the bars all the time. But it sounds like Ferndale should give Mount Clemens some relationship advice, since they have a much lower divorce rate.
Here in Ferndale, there are lots of bars and liquor stores within a small area. Most of the boozy behavior takes place along 9 Mile Road. Here, there are a large number of dance clubs, bars and restaurants,
If you live in the greater Detroit area, and you haven’t popped into Ferndale, you’ve been missing out on some fun apparently.
Divorce rate: 18%
Bars per capita: 14th in MI
Liquor stores per capita: 17th
Wow, Muskegon couples. Almost 1 in 5 of you has already made it to splitsville. We’re not blaming you, with all of the opportunities to drink there.
Was it the drinking that drove away your spouse, or are you frolicking at the bar scene because you’re single and alone? Either way, there are probably some really interesting moments that take place around midnight in Muskegon area bars.
5. Benton Harbor
Divorce rate: 13%
Bars per capita: 7th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 6th
Christ, Benton Harbor, you’re a mess. You’re broke, many of you are out of work, and you’re hitting the bottle? We get it; there isn’t a lot to do down there, especially during the winter months.
Perhaps you need to check out a few of the art galleries in town. They do have free wine, sometimes.
Benton Harbor has the 7th highest number of bars in town, and the 6th most liquor stores. You know your town is a drinkin’ town when the city’s website has a bunch of bars listed on its Places of Interest page.
Divorce rate: 11.4%
Bars per capita: 11h in MI
Liquor stores per capita: 12th
We’re impressed, Kalamazoo. Despite all of the drinking that you do, you’re really keeping it together, relationship wise. You have the lowest divorce rate on this list. Maybe that’s because a larger percentage of your population are college students.
There are 8 breweries in Kalamazoo, and a high number of bars and liquor stores.
Divorce rate: 15.5%
Bars per capita: 15th in MI
Liquor stores per capita: 18th in the state
We’re pretty sure you guys expected to see a lot more U.P. cities on this list. Because everyone knows that the Yoopers can pretty much drink anyone under the table. But the the fact is, that, according to the data, there aren’t as many bars and liquor stores up here as there are down state.
But we get it. You guys make up for it in a big way. We’ve heard stories about you guys pulling kegs home on sleds in January. Then you all like to get on your roof and jump off into the 10 foot drifts.
Actually, that sounds like fun.
There were only a few drunk related tweets in this area, but this one is a gem:
“There is drunk and then there is escanaba drunk.”
Divorce rate: 15%
Bars per capita: 21st in Michigan
Liquor stores per capita: 5th
While you’re waiting to get a decent job, you might as well spend time in the bars in Flint. Actually, inside of a bar in Flint might be a lot safer than wondering around on the streets at night.
Flint led the state in the number of drunk related tweets. Most were kinda’ sad – people talking about drunk drivers with kids in the car – or people talking about house parties.
9. Grand Haven
Divorce rate: 14.6%
Bars per capita: 5th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 35th
If you’ve ever been to Grand Haven, the numbers probably won’t surprise you. There are quote a few bars and restaurants on the main drag. And, since it’s more of a quiet, lakeside town, there aren’t very many liquor stores.
The number of people that hit the Big D is really high in Grand Haven; nearly 1 in 6 couples have split up here.
If you’re one of them, things will get better. Heck, head on down to the tavern right now. The next Mrs. You is probably sitting at the end of the bar waiting for you to come talk to her.
Here’s to that!
10. Bay City
Divorce rate: 13.4%
Liquor stores per capita: 22nd in MI
Bars per capita: 11th
Where in the world is Bay City? It’s just about far enough north of Saginaw that you could probably pound your drink before you got home.
Bay City’s ‘About Our City’ official webpage is https://www.downtownbaycity.com/WineWalk.htm. So they obviously want you to come to Bay City and drink a lot of wine. They’re not hiding it at all.
There are three breweries in Bay City, and a number of places to get hammered here. If you know someone in Bay City, tag them in this post. Odds are they’ll check Facebook as soon as their hangover wears off.
There You Have It
If you’re measuring the locations in Michigan 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 Michigan. Or the most sober, if you will:
- Forest Hills (Pop. 25,867)
- East Grand Rapids (Pop. 10,694)
- Jenison (Pop. 16,538)
- Haslett (Pop. 19,220)
- Allendale (Pop. 17,579)
We also wrote about the worst places in Michigan if you didn’t happen to see it. Click here to read it.