Statistics

Hangovers are costing the US economy 'billions a year'

By James Evison contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hangovers are costing the US economy 'billions a year'

Related tags: Drinking culture

Excessive alcohol consumption cost the US economy almost $250 billion in 2010, a new report has claimed.

While employers in the UK may bemoan the lack of productivity among staff, which has led to Great Britain being named one of the least efficient workforces in the EU, it turns out the USA has some heavy issues of its own - hangovers, that is.

According to research by the US Centers for Disease Control, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine​, excessive alcohol use cost in 2010 the US economy approximately $249 billion, which is about $2.05 per drink.

The total cost was created from the cost to government, and costs for binge drinking, underage drinking, and drinking while pregnant were estimated for the U.S. for 2010 and allocated to states.

In what will inevitably be a study looked at in detail within the UK and its health lobby, the US Government paid for $100.7 billion (40.4%) of these costs.

Binge drinking accounted for $191.1 billion (76.7%) of costs; underage drinking $24.3 billion (9.7%) of costs; and drinking while pregnant $5.5 billion (2.2%) of costs. The median cost per state was $3.5 billion.

Binge drinking was responsible for >70% of these costs in all states, and >40% of the binge drinking–related costs were paid by government.

Two of every $5 of the total cost was paid by government, and three quarters of the costs were due to binge drinking. 

Somewhat alarmingly, the study claimed the cost was probably an underestimate, as it only accounted for tangible costs, and not intangible costs like 'pain and suffering'.

Related topics: Health & safety

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