Saturday, September 29, 2007

Do blacks drink less than other groups? Surveys usually indicate the whites and Hispanics drink more than blacks. This is sometimes used to argue that blacks also engage in less problem drinking. (A black student once berated me for suggesting that blacks are less likely than whites to be arrested for DUIs because they drive less: she said any idiot knows that blacks drink less). The General Social Survey can shed some light on this question. Respondents were asked what was the maximum number of drinks they had in one day over the past year. Here are the percentages at different levels (Caution: the sample size is only 41 for blacks and 36 for Hispanics):


Maximum drinks in one day in the past year--percent in each category

Hispanics
Doesn't drink 8.3
1-4 drinks 58.4
5 or more 33.3

Blacks
Doesn't drink 31.7
1-4 drinks 46.3
5 or more 22.0

Whites
Doesn't drink 18.0
1-4 drinks 65.4
5 or more 16.6

These data help clarify the issue: blacks are more likely to be teatotallers and heavy drinkers, with fewer who are moderate.

And the Inductivist does it again: while answering a question about another topic, he runs across numbers that make Hispanics look bad. Of the three groups, they have the most heavy drinkers and the fewest abstainers.

5 comments:

tommy said...

And the Inductivist does it again: while answering a question about another topic, he runs across numbers that make Hispanics look bad.

Don't feel bad. It isn't a difficult thing to do, I'm afraid.

Peter said...

I'm hesitant to jump to any conclusions based on such a small sample, but it occurs to me that religion may be responsible for the relatively high proportion of black non-drinkers. They're more likely to belong to fundamentalist churches, many of which have strict no-alcohol policies.

dearieme said...

Memory says that in Britain, Scotland has proportionately more teetotallers and more heavy drinkers than England. Some people guess that the teetotallers are teetotal in reaction to the heavy drinking that they witness. But perhaps there is a religious element too.

Anonymous said...

Stay out of Finland. The place was full of drunks last time I was there.

Steve Sailer said...

My impression is that blacks and whites are pretty similar in drinking habits.

One interesting thing is that young blacks almost never smoke cigarettes these days.