Booziest Counties In North Carolina

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

There aren’t a lot of American states that have had a more thorough connection with the drinks industry than the Tar Heel State has over the years, from the days of the American Revolution through Prohibition and today’s microbrewing and distilling era.  

While that connection has brought the state ample beer and distilling options, it’s also presented an open-ended opportunity to drink excessively, which has led to an elevated level of excessive drinkers in certain counties.  

Thanks to, paused North Carolina sports betting updates and utilized the 2024 annual data by county of North Carolina that includes the percentage of adults who reported either binge or heavy drinking.  
The CDC defined binge drinking as 4 or more drinks in one occasion for females, while it is 5 or more in one occasion for males. Heavy drinking is defined as 8 or more drinks per week for females and 15 or more drinks per week for males.

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Top 10 Booziest Counties In North Carolina

Overall Rank


% of Excessive Drinkers 


Wake County 



New Hanover County 



Onslow County 



Currituck County



Orange County 



Mecklenburg County



Watauga County 



Buncombe County 



Camden County 



Durham County 


Which NC Counties Drink The Most?

Based on our findings, the NC counties with the worst drinking problems are Wake County, with 21.48% of the region’s population being excessive drinkers, while New Hanover County (20.97%), Onslow County (20.39%), Currituck County (20.10%) and Orange County (19.57%) round out the Tar Heel State top five.  

Throw in others like Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County (19.26%), Watauga County (19.11%), Buncombe County (19.02%), Camden County (18.98%) and Durham County (18.96%) and you have the full rundown on the counties in North Carolina with the highest percentages of problem drinkers.  

As the state’s brewing and distilling scene continues to expand, it’s worth remembering the importance of setting limits on one’s drinking, as certain counties in NC have done less successfully based on the data that we’ve collected from the Tar Heel State.  

As BetCarolina brings you coverage of all things in the Tar Heel State, be sure to check out our best North Carolina sportsbook promos before you place your next bet!

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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