• A new 50-state ranking attempts to list all the U.S. states based on how hard they party.
  • The rankings are based on a variety of metrics including the number of bars per capita, self-reported drinking habits, and college party school rankings.
  • At the very top of the list is a state that you might not associate with partying, and certainly isn’t known for being particularly trendy or exciting.

None of us have done much partying over the past 14 months or so, but if we think back to before the Covid stuff went down you probably have some kind of an inkling of what U.S. states are more party-oriented than others. When you think of places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York City, you think of cities that “never sleep,” but apparently that doesn’t mean much when it comes to ranking states based on how hard they party.

In a new 50-state ranking published by BestLife, the site lists every U.S. state based on a “Party Index Score” that they calculated using a variety of publicly-available data. The metrics included in the score include self-reported excessive alcohol intake by individuals of each state, the number of gallons of alcohol consumed per capita, and the number of bars per capita. The prevalence of marijuana smoking and the ranking of a state’s colleges in a top party school ranking was also incorporated.

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As we always do with these kinds of lists, let’s take a glance at the bottom of the list, in reverse order, to see what states party the least, according to the data.

  1. Arkansas
  2. Utah
  3. Alabama
  4. Mississippi
  5. Kentucky
  6. Maryland
  7. New Mexico
  8. North Carolina
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Arizona

Okay, I guess this makes sense… maybe? I’m sure there are plenty of fun-loving people in all of these states, but none of them are really known for having bustling nightlife. So, I can see why these states fall on the list in the places they do.

Now let’s take a look at the very top of the list. These are the states that are the real partiers, according to the information used to make the rankings. With all that data factored in, the top of the list must be a totally obvious pick, right? Party central, essentially. Just non-stop, action-packed fun-having. I can’t wait to see what it is…

  1. Wisconsin !?!?!?
  2. North Dakota
  3. Montana
  4. Wyoming
  5. South Dakota
  6. Iowa
  7. Ohio
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Vermont
  10. Rhode Island

I added the good old “!?!?!?” at the end of Wisconsin, but suffice it to say, all of these states came as a shock to me. Wisconsin more so than any other, of course, but that’s really just because I actually live there.

It’s abundantly clear that the weight applied to alcohol-related metrics is really what is driving the positioning of these states on the list. Wisconsin has a huge number of bars, a lot of excessive drinking, and the fact that the University of Wisconsin – Madison is considered the top party school in the country appears to have catapulted America’s Dairyland straight to the top.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go have my hourly beer bong.

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Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.