Food by VICE

Rich, Educated People Drink the Most Out of Any of Us

It may feel like the biggest boozers around are your deadbeat neighbors who are always throwing back beers on the stoop, but the rich and college-educated are drunk and loving it.

by Hilary Pollack
Jul 30 2015, 10:00pm

Foto von Matt Weibo via Flickr

There are a lot of different ways to get drunk in this world.

There's killing a 12-pack at a cookout in your weed-dealer cousin's backyard. There's having a few too many glasses of cheap chardonnay during a failed attempt at seeming "classy" on a Tinder date. And then there are an elite few who can down $16 basil gimlet after $19 Aviation all night long without a second thought about the ensuing bill.

And they're getting drunker than the rest of us.

READ: Being a Private Chef for a Gazillionaire Is Essentially Indentured Servitude with Perks

Judging by the "locals" corner at your icky dive of choice, or, say, that "pub" down the block where you occasionally watch hockey games, you'd assume that the real boozers among us are the guys who just can't seem to keep a job for more than four months. This is wrong. According to a new poll from Gallup, the lushest of lushes have Ivy League degrees and know the rules of polo and wear silk socks.

Using data gathered from 1,009 American adults as part of its annual Consumption Habits poll, the study found that the wealthy and highly educated are the most likely group to drink out of any demographic in the US. Almost 80 percent of adults with this degree of status fancy a drink, while only about half of the least-educated and lowest income groups do.

In other words, if you make more than $75,000 per year, there's a 78 percent chance that you get down with Jack and Johnnie. Make that 80 percent if you're a college graduate. But if you make less than $30,000 annually or barely made it out of high school, there's only a 45 percent or 52 percent likelihood that you drink, respectively. These two factors are more influential on your likelihood of being a drinker or a teetotaler than your gender, age, race, region, or even religion.

READ: Your Adolescent Binge-Drinking Has Ruined Your Brain Forever

One reason: obviously, when you're rich as hell you can feel free to get a bottle of Champagne for the brunch table on a whim, or to have a three-martini business lunch without fear of losing your post at the gas station. Plus, the well-off go out to eat more, vacation more frequently, and tend to be more social with their coworkers. Ha! Isn't life grand?

And the biggest drinkers aren't in their roaring 20s, but in the 30-year-old to 49-year-old age bracket. Men are also bigger drinkers than women—which makes sense because men are so rich, rich, rich! Who doesn't love an ice-cold martini after a swim in their Scrooge McDuck-style indoor pool of gold coins?

Almost half of higher-income and highly educated drinkers told researchers that they had had a drink within the last 24 hours, even. Just 18 percent of lower-income drinkers had.

That being said, the rich may drink more often, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're drinking more in each sitting. Income didn't have a strong effect on the tendency to binge-drink—though college grads are actually less likely than the diploma-less to admit to overindulging. But, hmm. Maybe they just think more highly of their wine and cheese parties than of getting turnt on the stoop, or are more concerned with protecting their reputations.

As for the drink of the people, it's our trusty old pal: beer. Forty-two percent of respondents mostly drink beer, while 34 percent opt for wine and just 21 percent for hard liquor. That's across the board.

The highest-income Americans, however, are more likely to go for wine. No surprises there.

Now, that was fun. But could you summon the butler and ask him to bring over the Montrachet?