Very interesting. As latitude increases (i.e., a state is further north), the state’s population is likelier to drink more.
There are two states in particular worth discussing. Hawaii is a clear outlier. Despite having the lowest latitude of all 50 states, it has an incredibly high percentage of people who drink excessively. (Maybe sitting on the beach all day lends itself to excessive drinking?) The alcohol consumption in Alaska, on the other hand, is about what we would expect given that it has the highest latitude of all 50 states. While it’s not an outlier (because it falls almost exactly on the best-fit line), it may be an overly influential point on how the best-fit line is drawn.
So, we removed Hawaii and Alaska and restricted our analysis to the 48 contiguous states.
Not only does the relationship hold, it gets a little stronger.