15% of Americans are participating in Dry January 2021

Jamie BallardData Journalist
January 08, 2021, 5:00 PM UTC

January is often a time when people evaluate their lifestyle choices and perhaps decide to make some changes. Some may be considering their relationship with alcohol by taking a one-month break from booze for “Dry January.”  

A YouGov poll from late December found that 15% of Americans said they would participate in Dry January. Among US adults who drink, 23% are participating in Dry January. Millennials (27%) and members of Generation X (23%) who drink are slightly more likely than Baby Boomers (17%) who drink to say they’re abstaining from alcohol this month.  

The fact that almost one-quarter of adults who drink alcohol are participating in Dry January marks an increase from last year, when 10% of US adults overall and 16% of those who drink said they were participating.  

Less-frequent drinkers are the most likely to be giving up alcohol for January 

Additional data from YouGov Profiles finds that 26% of adults describe themselves as a “special occasion drinker,” while 25% say they are “social drinkers.” Fewer describe themselves as “weekend drinkers” (14%), “after-work drinkers” (9%) or “daily drinkers” (6%). 

Weekend drinkers (17%) and special occasion drinkers (14%) are the most likely to say they’re participating in Dry January. Among social drinkers, 12% say they will take part, as do 11% of after-work drinkers and daily drinkers (10%).  

See full results here.  

Methodology: 14,616 US adults were asked “Do you plan to participate in Dry January (abstaining from drinking any alcohol for the month of January 2021)?” with responses options for “Yes, I plan to participate,” “No, I do not plan to participate,” “Don’t know” and “N/A - I don’t ever drink alcohol.” The sample has been rebased to only include adults who drink alcohol. The rebased sample of US adults who reported drinking alcohol is 10,080. The survey was conducted between December 22 - 29, 2020. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.   

Image: Getty