You would think people with a better education and a bigger bank account would understand the damage excessive alcohol consumption can have on our health and well-being. But Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll has found that eight out of every 10 Americans who earn a higher-income and have a college education drink alcohol, compared to only half of Americans with a lower-income and a high school diploma or less.

Researchers from Gallup conducted telephone interviews from July 8 to July 12, 2015, talking to 1,009 adults aged 18 and older throughout the U.S. Results showed that 64 percent of Americans said they drink alcohol, the majority of whom enjoy beer as opposed to wine or liquor. While 42 percent of Americans chose beer, 34 percent chose wine and 21 percent chose liquor.

Among all factors associated with alcohol consumption, socio-economic status and education seem to have a bigger impact when compared to gender, age, race, region, and even religion. Gallup researchers surmised that Americans with higher incomes and better education not only have the funds to afford drinking whenever they please, but they are also involved in activities that facilitate alcohol consumption, including dining out, vacations, and drinking with colleagues after work.

In addition to if a person drinks alcohol, income and education also influenced how a person drank alcohol. Around half of all drinkers with higher-income and a better education admitted to indulging in an alcoholic beverage in the 24 hours before the telephone interview. However, these higher-income, well-educated drinkers were less likely to admit that they overindulged in alcohol from time to time.

Although beer was considered the preferred drink among most Americans, this finding varied between socioeconomic status and educational differences. For example, 38 percent of upper-income Americans who drink prefered beer, compared to 36 percent who preferred wine. Meanwhile, 44 percent of college graduates preferred wine compared to 35 percent who preferred beer. On the other hand, lower- and middle-income drinkers without a college degree tended to prefer beer over wine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 17 percent of men and eight percent of women in the U.S. will meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives. Although the average man experiences approximately 12.5 binge drinking episodes a year and the average woman 2.7 episodes per year, most people who binge drink are not considered alcoholics or alcohol dependent.