Alcohol Sales During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Here we present such data as are available on per capita alcohol sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. We do so as a service both to the general public and to researchers who are interested in how recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the nation’s alcohol consumption.

NIAAA routinely reports apparent per capita alcohol consumption by state in its Surveillance Report series (https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/research/surveillance-reports). Those data come from various state sources that monitor sales, primarily for taxation purposes. In some states (10 states so far), the data are reported monthly for spirits, wine, and beer and are currently available for the months of March 2020 through November 2020. We report here those data available as of March 4, 2021 with the intention of updating this information as data from additional states and for subsequent months become available. Some of the estimates reported in the current report may differ from those published in the previous month due to updates and revisions based on data received after publication.

We provide a summary report (see Figures 1 through 19) and a corresponding data file that researchers can input into their analyses. The state sales data do not distinguish between on- and off-premise locations, so the data presented below are based on total monthly sales (on- and off-premise sales combined) of alcoholic beverages in each state. Similar to the NIAAA’s annual surveillance report on apparent per capita alcohol consumption, this summary report presents sales data that have been converted to gallons of ethanol (pure alcohol) and divided by each state’s population of people ages 14 and older to obtain per capita ethanol estimates that are comparable across states, beverage types, and years.

List of Figures

Figure 1. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in March 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 2. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in March 2020 compared to the prior 3-year March average (i.e., average of March 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 3. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in April 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 4. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in April 2020 compared to the prior 3-year April average (i.e., average of April 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 5. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in May 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 6. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in May 2020 compared to the prior 3-year May average (i.e., average of May 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 7. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 8. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 compared to the prior 3-year June average (i.e., average of June 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 9. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 10. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 compared to the prior 3-year July average (i.e., average of July 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 11. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 12. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 compared to the prior 3-year August average (i.e., average of August 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 13. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 14. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 compared to the prior 3-year September average (i.e., average of September 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Figure 15. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Figure 16. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 compared to the prior 3-year October average (i.e., average of October 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Figure 17. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Figure 18. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 compared to the prior 3-year November average (i.e., average of November 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Figure 19. Percentage changes in monthly per capita sales of alcoholic beverages (in gallons of ethanol) in 2020 compared to the prior 3-year average in 10 states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Tennessee).

 

Figure 1. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in March 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer in March 2020

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 1

 

Figure 2. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in March 2020 compared to the prior 3-year March average (i.e., average of March 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer in March 2020 compared to the prior 3-year March average

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 2

 

Figure 3. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in April 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer in April 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 3

 

Figure 4. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in April 2020 compared to the prior 3-year April average (i.e., average of April 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer in April 2020 compared to the prior 3-year April average in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 4

 

Figure 5. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in May 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in May 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 5

 

Figure 6. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in May 2020 compared to the prior 3-year May average (i.e., average of May 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer in May 2020 compared to the prior 3-year May average in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 6

 

Figure 7. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

 

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 7

 

Figure 8. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 compared to the prior 3-year June average (i.e., average of June 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in June 2020 compared to the prior 3-year June average (i.e., average of June 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 8

 

Figure 9. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 9

 

Figure 10. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 compared to the prior 3-year July average (i.e., average of July 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in July 2020 compared to the prior 3-year July average (i.e., average of July 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 10

 

Figure 11. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 11

 

Figure 12. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 compared to the prior 3-year August average (i.e., average of August 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in August 2020 compared to the prior 3-year August average (i.e., average of August 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note:Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 12

 

Figure 13. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

 

Note: Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 13

 

Figure 14. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 compared to the prior 3-year September average (i.e., average of September 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of November 30, 2020.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in September 2020 compared to the prior 3-year September average (i.e., average of September 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note:Monthly data are not available for spirits in Oregon, wine in Kansas, and beer in Wisconsin. Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 14

 

Figure 15. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html

Data for Figure 15

 

Figure 16. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 compared to the prior 3-year October average (i.e., average of October 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in October 2020 compared to the prior 3-year October average (i.e., average of October 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html

Data for Figure 16

 

Figure 17. Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Image
Per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 in states with data available as of March 4, 2021.

Note: Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html

Data for Figure 17

 

Figure 18. Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 compared to the prior 3-year November average (i.e., average of November 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021

Image
Percentage changes in per capita sales of spirits, wine, and beer (in gallons of ethanol) in November 2020 compared to the prior 3-year November average (i.e., average of November 2017, 2018, and 2019) in states with data available as of March 4, 2021

Note: Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html

Data for Figure 18

 

Figure 19. Percentage changes in monthly per capita sales of alcoholic beverages (in gallons of ethanol) in 2020 compared to the prior 3-year average in 10 states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Tennessee).

Image
Percentage changes in monthly per capita sales of alcoholic beverages (in gallons of ethanol) in 2020 compared to the prior 3-year average in 10 states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Tennessee).

Note: Source of State Population Denominators: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Bridged-Race Population Estimates, United States July 1st Resident Population by State, County, Age, Sex, Bridged-Race, and Hispanic Origin. Vintage 2019 postcensal population estimates (released on 7/09/2020). Available on CDC WONDER Online Database at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/bridged-race-v2019.html.

Data for Figure 19