Quick Facts Alcohol in Minnesota - Minnesota Department of Health

Alcohol Quick Facts

Alcohol Use among Adults in Minnesota

In 2020, most adult Minnesotans (58.8%) said they drink alcohol.

  • 63.2% of men 18 and older reported alcohol use.
  • 54.5% of women 18 and older reported alcohol use.

Excessive Drinking

Excessive alcohol use can result in harms such as motor vehicle injuries, violence, heart disease, cancer, alcohol poisoning, and poor birth outcomes. Excessive drinking includes binge drinking (4 or more drinks on one occasion for women, 5 or more drinks for men), heavy drinking (8 or more drinks in a week for women, 15 or more drinks in a week for men), and any drinking by pregnant women or people under age 21.

  • Minnesota had one of the highest binge drinking rates in the nation in 2020, with 18.4% of adults reporting binge drinking.
  • The percent of adults who said they binge drank in the past month has not changed much since 2011, with more men (22.6%) saying they binge drink than women (14.3%).
  • Women and men ages 18 to 44 years (21.8% and 29.8% respectively) were more likely to say they binge drink than those older than 44 years (8.6% of women and 16.2% of men). However, the proportion of women reporting binge drinking increased over time.
  • 13.1% of pregnant women said they drank alcohol in the last month; more than 3.9% said they binge drank in the past month.

If you are concerned about your drinking or the drinking of your loved one, please talk with your health care provider.

Youth Alcohol Use

  • While alcohol use among adults in Minnesota has not changed much over the past seven years, youth alcohol drinking has declined.
  • 17% of 9th and 11th grade students said they have used alcohol within the last 30 days in 2019, down from 21% in 2013.
  • 7% of 9th and 11th grade students said they binge drink (drank four or more drinks on an occasion for females and five or more drinks for males).

Youth who use alcohol at a young age are more likely to experience alcohol dependence or abuse alcohol later in life than people who begin drinking at or after age 21.

Alcohol-Related Harms                          

Alcohol is used more often and by more people than any other drug, and alcohol contributes to more deaths, injuries, and illnesses than any other drug.

Alcohol-related Mortality

The estimated number of alcohol-related deaths has increased over the past 18 years. These deaths include fully alcohol-attributable deaths such as alcohol poisoning and alcoholic liver disease, as well as partially alcohol-attributable deaths such as motor vehicle crashes and several types of cancer.

  • There were an estimated 2,151 alcohol-related deaths each year between 2015 and 2019, compared to 1,127 alcohol-related deaths each year during 2001 to 2005.
  • Men are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than women. In 2019, 68% of alcohol-related deaths were among men.
  • Deaths caused directly by alcohol use increased significantly over the past 20 years.
  • Fully alcohol-attributable deaths increased by 158% between 2000 and 2019.
  • The rate of alcohol-attributable deaths increases with age, with the largest increase over time seen among those 50 years and older primarily due to chronic causes of death.

Hospital Treatment for Alcohol-related Conditions

The number of alcohol-related diseases and injuries requiring hospital treatment has increased over the past 20 years.

  • In 2020, alcohol contributed to 35,889 inpatient hospitalizations and 43,217 emergency room visits.
  • About 3% of all inpatient hospitalizations in Minnesota were for alcohol-related conditions.

Additional resources

For more information

Contact Kari Gloppen at kari.gloppen@state.mn.us for alcohol-related data information.

Contact Dana Farley at dana.farley@state.mn.us for alcohol and drug related policy information.

Updated Wednesday, 23-Mar-2022 12:25:55 CDT