Visualizing The Vices Of Young America

An infographic reveals how much money a year millennials are spending on coffee, booze, and fast food, state by state.

Visualizing The Vices Of Young America
[Image: Addiction via Flickr / Patrick McFall]

When it comes to vices, modern-day America is an embarrassment of riches. Millennials grew up in places where Taco Bells and Dunkin Donuts flank liquor stores, where it’s easier to find a Big Mac than a good gym. After being weaned on Mocha Frappuccinos, what vices do these kidults now spend their money on?


Money managing app Level Money gathered and analyzed anonymous user data from January to June of this year to see exactly how its millennial users–those with birth years ranging from the late ’80s to the early aughts–are spending their money on booze, fast food, and coffee, state by state. Their findings are illustrated in an infographic and a report that reveal which regions have the drunkest, the greasiest, and the most caffeinated young people, along with the shift in brand loyalties from previous generations to this one.

Somewhat surprising is the revelation that Chipotle is the second most popular fast food merchant among its millennial base, after McDonald’s, despite being far less popular among the general, Level-using population. Burger King, conversely is less popular among millenials than it is among the non-millenial population.

Looking at geographic trends, Oklahoma millennials spent the most on fast food–more than 66% of the general population there buys fast food at least once a week, with millennials spending an annual average of $1,193.55–compared to virtuous Vermont youth, who spent the least, at an annual average of $430.70.

On the liquor end of things, Massachusetts, Colorado, and New York raked in the most money from millennial boozing; New England’s $12 beers add up, apparently. South Dakota, Alabama, and Mississippi millennials spent the least money on liquor of the 50 states. (Alabama, incidentally, has one of the highest beer taxes in the union. )

Maine millennials splurged the most on caffeine fixes, at an average of $300 per person per year, beating out even jittery New Yorkers, who were only the eighth biggest spenders on coffee. In the slower-paced south, Mississippi millennials spent just $47 annually on coffee. Conspicuously absent from Level Money’s tally of vice spending is tobacco, despite millennials’ growing taste for e-cigarettes.

Read more over at the Level Money blog.

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.