Pour decisions? The better educated you are, the more you drink

Americans with a graduate degree spend 10 times more per year on booze than high school dropouts do.
Image:
A woman finishes a drink at Farmers Creek Antiques and Mac's Wine Cellar in Maquoketa, Iowa on May 25, 2019.Katina Zentz / Telegraph Herald via AP file

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By Alyssa Newcomb

Cheers to the weekend!

While some people may choose to celebrate the end of the work week with a few alcoholic beverages, it turns out one group is spending more money than others.

Americans with a graduate degree spend $992 per year on alcohol, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that examined how Americans spend their money. That’s nearly 10 times as much as the $102 high school dropouts spend each year on booze.

The data, which is from 2017, was compiled into a handy visualization by Visual Capitalist, which spotlighted the differences in how people spend their money based on their level of education.

Those with a high school diploma spend $276 per year on alcohol. College graduates reported spending $760.

People with a higher education report higher incomes, which explains why they may have more cash to spend on alcohol. The average income for a person with a graduate degree is $116,018, compared to the $81,629 earned by people with a four-year degree. Those with a high school diploma reported an average salary of $29,330, while high school dropouts made $17,979.

While money is just one factor, those averages could also be affected by people who don’t drink. A Gallup survey found that those who do not pursue higher education are less likely to drink. Eight in 10 college graduates said they sometimes drink, while just half of people who reported a high school diploma as their highest level of education said they drink.

However, beer and wine companies may have a problem. Overall, worldwide alcohol consumption fell 1.6 percent this year, according to IWSR, a market intelligence group focused on the global alcohol industry.

Alcohol companies are now seizing an opportunity to appeal to people who are focused on health and wellness by offering lower or non-alcoholic versions of their adult beverages. Heineken sells a brew called 0.0, which tastes like beer, but without any of the alcohol.

While beer and wine were down, IWSR reported growth in spirits. The biggest driver was gin, which posted an 8.3 percent increase over the past year.