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Raise a glass to North Dakota, the nation's top beer drinking state

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North Dakotans drink more beer than any other state’s residents.

The Fargo Forum reports that for the second straight year, North Dakota is the No. 1 state for beer consumption per capita, with residents drinking 43.3 gallons of beer on average in 2013. North Dakota's consumption dropped from 45.8 gallons for each resident in 2012.

Minnesotans drank 28.7 gallons per capita on average. The 2012 report by the Beer Institute ranked Minnesota in 29th position for the amount of beer consumed. In the national rankings, residents of Utah swallowed the least amount of suds.

Wall Street 24/7's story entitled "States that drink the most beer" cited research from Beer Marketer's Insights. It found that states in the Upper Midwest rank high in the national rankings. South Dakota, where residents averaged 38.1 gallons of beer per year, ranked No.4, Wisconsin was in sixth place, with per capita adult consumption at 35.8 gallons, and Iowa ranked tenth, with residents averaging 33.2 gallons per person per year.

The study arrives at its rankings by looking at the amount of beer shipped to a state and dividing it by the state’s residents. The beer blog GreatBeerNow, noted that the average U.S. beer consumption per adult per year in 2012 was 28.2 gallons. The blog notes that this means "the average adult over the age of 21 is consuming about 10 ounces of per day, or roughly one six pack per week."

North Dakota took the No. 1 spot possibly because of the state’s traditional affinity for beer related to its German and Scandinavian roots and the influx of oil workers, said Eric Shepard, executive editor of Beer Marketers’ Insights.

“The oil workers driving up the per capita (beer consumption) in North Dakota is a no-brainer,” he said, especially “when you’re talking about a small state.”

“Interestingly, while excessive alcohol use is hardly a healthy behavior, many of the states with the highest beer consumption rates were also likely to practice a range of healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating well," the Wall Street 24/7 story noted, writing that residents of South Dakota were on the top 10 list of Americans who are likely to eat healthy and residents of North Dakota were ranked in the top tier of states where residents are the most likely to exercise regularly.

USA Today added that Americans have increasingly moved away from beer consumption in favor of wines and spirits. U.S. beer consumption fell slightly from 28.3 gallons per drinking-aged adult in 2012 to 27.6 gallons last year.

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