As I mess with the 2016 county health data, I wondered (me, being me) which of the Georgia counties do the best (or worest) in excessive drinking. Of course my county, home of UGA, would score highest. Right? Nope. Not even close. Indeed there's a surprise or two in the data.
Below are the Top Ten Georgia counties in terms of percent who engaged in excessive drinking.
1. Chattahoochee (south of Columbus)
2. Liberty (south of Savannah)
3. Camden (on the coast)
4. Forsyth (exurb of Atlanta)
5. Bryan (also south of Savannah)
6. Oconee and Fulton (tie, Athens burb and ATL)
8. Effingham and Cherokee (tie, outside Savannah and Atlanta)
10. Chatham and Cobb (tie, Savannah and Atlanta)
Let's face it. If you had to live in some of the counties above, you'd drink too. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Forsyth and Oconee. White exurbs do well on this list. Drinking is all ya got, I suppose.
The least drinking is found in Clay County, with only 9 percent drinking to excess. That's down in the southwest corner and is the fifth-least populous county in the state. And maybe no liquor stories. Or they have better things to do down there.
And yet, and yet. Athens-Clarke County, home of UGA, only comes in tied at #26 in terms of excessive drinking, which is both shameful and a relief. Other nearby counties of note are Barrow (#18), Jackson (#30), and Oglethorpe (#40).