Fully 61 percent of American adults say they drink alcohol, according to a government report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
HealthDay News reports that men are more likely to drink alcohol than women, as are people with more education. Even so, close to 25 percent of Americans say they have never once had a drink, abstaining their entire lives.
Highlights of the report, titled "Health Behaviors of Adults: United States, 2005-2007," include:
68 percent of men say they drink, compared with 55 percent of women.
31 percent of women say they have never had a drink, compared with 17 percent of men.
White men and women are more likely to drink than are other ethnicities. Fully 70 percent of white men drink, compared with 57 percent of African-American men, 55 percent of Asian men and 58 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native men.
Among women, 59 percent of whites drink, as do 40 percent of blacks, 32 percent of Asians and 45 percent of American Indian or Alaska Natives.
63 percent of non-Hispanic adults said they drink, compared with 51 percent of Hispanic adults.
Nearly 75 percent of those with graduate degrees drink, compared with 44 percent of those who didn't graduate from high school.
Those who have more money also drink more. Just 45 percent of adults in families with incomes below the poverty level reported drinking, compared with 73 percent of those who have incomes four or more times above the poverty level.