From after-work happy hours to nights out with friends, bars play a steady role in the social lives of many Americans. Through gritty dive bars or swanky cocktail lounges, we explore new cities and relish in the warmth of local neighborhoods.

Bars are also a critical component of the hospitality industry, and provide stable employment for professionally trained bartenders and aspiring experts alike. While it’s unsurprising that states with cities that contain large metro populations (like New York or Texas) would have a greater number, it’s interesting to note that the bar scene flourishes to different degrees nationwide.

Location, general population size, and post-Prohibition liquor laws all play a factor in the number of bars a state can house — the latter especially true for control states, which oversee liquor sales instead of providing private licenses. To avoid being classified as a bar meant only for alcohol sales, restaurants in New Hampshire, for example, serve alcohol more frequently.

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Supporting data sourced from the United States Census Bureau shows that several of the 17 control states (along with New Hampshire) have fewer bars, likely due to how they are classified and reported. The data, which tracks county business patterns, come from a range of sources including the Economic Census, the Annual Survey of Manufactures, and Current Business Surveys, and records from administrations like Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service.

But even with the foggy legalities surrounding alcohol distribution, the number of bars or establishments serving alcohol is bound to increase. So, which states are packed with watering holes? Take a look below to find out to satisfy your curiosity — you may be surprised to see just how many occupy your current or home state.

Source: United States Census Bureau 

Data Year: 2019

Note: Outliers may be a representation of how data is reported to the United States Census Bureau

MAP: The number of bars in every state in the U.S.

The Number of Bars By State

State # of Bars
Alabama 249
Alaska 146
Arizona 613
Arkansas 113
California 3,370
Colorado 780
Connecticut 298
Delaware 68
Florida 1,732
Georgia 424
Hawaii 179
Idaho 352
Illinois 2,792
Indiana 875
Iowa 871
Kansas 293
Kentucky 307
Louisiana 787
Maine 133
Maryland 442
Massachusetts 702
Michigan 1,316
Minnesota 865
Mississippi 104
Missouri 646
Montana 522
Nebraska 530
Nevada 661
New Hampshire 21
New Jersey 880
New Mexico 111
New York 3,389
North Carolina 765
North Dakota 379
Ohio 1,784
Oklahoma 409
Oregon 858
Pennsylvania 2,345
Rhode Island 229
South Carolina 368
South Dakota 315
Tennessee 343
Texas 2,806
Utah 151
Vermont 102
Virginia 195
Washington 951
Washington D.C. 174
West Virginia 304
Wisconsin 2,732
Wyoming 161


The Number of Bars Per Capita By State

State Per Capita (100,000)
Alabama 5.08
Alaska 19.96
Arizona 8.42
Arkansas 3.74
California 8.53
Colorado 13.54
Connecticut 8.36
Delaware 6.98
Florida 8.06
Georgia 3.99
Hawaii 12.64
Idaho 19.70
Illinois 22.03
Indiana 13.00
Iowa 27.61
Kansas 10.06
Kentucky 6.87
Louisiana 16.93
Maine 9.89
Maryland 7.31
Massachusetts 10.18
Michigan 13.18
Minnesota 15.34
Mississippi 3.49
Missouri 10.53
Montana 48.84
Nebraska 27.40
Nevada 21.46
New Hampshire 1.54
New Jersey 9.91
New Mexico 5.29
New York 17.42
North Carolina 7.29
North Dakota 49.73
Ohio 15.26
Oklahoma 10.34
Oregon 20.34
Pennsylvania 18.32
Rhode Island 21.62
South Carolina 7.15
South Dakota 35.61
Tennessee 5.02
Texas 9.68
Utah 4.71
Vermont 16.35
Virginia 2.28
Washington 12.49
Washington D.C. 24.65
West Virginia 16.96
Wisconsin 46.92
Wyoming 27.82