The Racial Gap in Binge Drinking Among College-Age Blacks and Whites Is Getting Smaller

The most recent survey of incoming college students conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA shows that young blacks are far less likely than young whites to drink alcohol. Other surveys have shown that drinking alcohol is not as prevalent among African-American college students as it is for their white peers.

But a recent study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and published in The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry finds that the racial gap may be closing. The report found that binge-drinking rates for black males in the 21-23 age group had increased since 1979 whereas there was no similar increase among whites. The study also found increases in binge drinking among black females in both the 12-17 and 18-20 age groups. But there was no increase in binge-drinking behaviors among white females in these age groups.