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
Doesn't drink 8.3
1-4 drinks 58.4
5 or more 33.3
Doesn't drink 31.7
1-4 drinks 46.3
5 or more 22.0
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.
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