Where bars outnumber grocery stores

us-gallery Flowing Data created maps for other countries, too.
The more bars, the darker the brown and the more grocery stores, the darker the green. It's kind of what you'd expect, but now you can really see that high bar concentration in Wisconsin, whereas a lot of the country has at least three times more grocery stores.

The caveat is that the data is from Google Places and is not scientifically-verifiable--and in any case does not necessarily reflect alcohol consumption rates.

Notable Replies

  1. Well, that's how you know you're in Wisconsin rather than Minnesota or Michigan. Look around at the one-stop-light-town intersection. If there are bars on three of the four corners, you're in Wisconsin!

  2. Having lived in southern Indiana I'm surprised by how green it is. Admittedly in Indiana you could buy liquor in drugstores (and I remember seeing a drugstore within a grocery store selling hard stuff) but bars were where people went to drink on Sunday when stores weren't allowed to sell any alcohol at all.

  3. Although it is somewhat dying out (because of other entertainment options such as home theaters, video games, etc.), there is the traditional Wisconsin culture of using bars as social venues where whole families (including young children) show up for an evening to chat and play Euchre -- I remember being about 10 when we visited California for the first time from Wisconsin and my parents were shocked that the bartender angrily yelled "get those kids out of here!" as we walked in.

  4. The crazy patchwork quilt of state liquor laws couldn’t not have a significant effect. But population density/distribution must work into it also: Maybe one mega-mart could serve an entire rural county’s grocery needs, because people are used to driving everywhere so driving 20+ miles once or twice a week to do the shopping isn't a big deal. However, people don’t want to drive that far to go drinking (and neither do we want them to,) so towns that are far too small to support a grocery store will often support two or three bars.

  5. I lived a few years in a town of 400, with seven bars and seven churches. That has to be a record, both ways.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

3 more replies