A study done by The Coalition Against Drug Abuse determined that Boston tweets more about alcohol than most major US cities.
The Coalition analyzed 451,484 vice-related tweets in US cities with populations of more than 200,000. According to their report, Boston averaged 2,674 alcohol-related tweets per 1,000 residents, giving it the No.3 spot on the list.
Pittsburgh and Las Vegas topped the list, with 3,227 and 2,932 alcohol-related tweets per 1,000 residents, respectively.
The Coalition reports that they searched for phrases that referred to “alcohol,” “liquor,” “booze,” “beer,” “rum,” “tequila,” “whiskey,” “vodka,” and “drunk”:
We retrieved all geotagged tweets occurring over a 20-day period that mentioned any of the above phrases. To account for the fact that cities range greatly in their populations, we used population data to get an idea of per capita popularity of different vices on twitter.
Interestingly, Pittsburgh and Las Vegas also make the list of the top 10 US cities with the most bars per residents, but Beantown does not.
Perhaps our bevy of beer-related tweets has something to do with Boston’s large college-aged population?
One thing is for sure: Bostonians like their beer. According to the Brewers Association, Massachusetts has 57 craft breweries, ranking the Bay State 16th in the nation. At least seven of those breweries are in Boston. We’re also home to the American Craft Beer Fest, the East Coast’s “largest celebration of American craft beer,” and we house one of America’s oldest taverns, Bell-in-Hand. (Not too shabby.)
According to the Coalition’s website, the study was done in order to shed light on whether certain US cities were becoming “capitals for certain activities” that could be considered vices (according to social media, at least.) In addition to alcohol, they searched for tweets regarding “marijuana,” “cocaine,” “prescription drugs,” “MDMA,” “heroin,” “meth,” “gambling,” and “sex.”
Boston also made it into the “Top 5 Vice Capitals” list for overall vice-related tweets. The City on a Hill came in 5th place.
Sam Adams would be proud.