Mapping Places in America Where Prohibition Never Ended

Blue: Alcohol is not prohibited. Red: Alcohol is prohibited. Yellow: Some alcohol controls/alcohol prohibited in some municipalities. Data from March 2012. (Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons)

If you think that Prohibition is a thing of the past, think again. There are a surprising number of places in the U.S. where the sale and consumption of alcohol is still illegal.

The above map illustrates the places in the United States where alcohol is banned: red indicates that alcohol is forbidden from being sold, blue indicates it is allowed, and yellow indicates that the county is "partially dry;" either wet communities exist within dry counties or vice versa.

While Prohibition was repealed in 1933, many municipalities opted to keep the ban in place. Thirty-three states allow for localities to prohibit the sale of alcohol, and in some cases consumption and possession. Kansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are dry states by default and require individual counties to opt in to sell alcohol. 

The prohibition of alcohol comes with its own set of problems. Research conducted by economists at the University of Louisville shows that meth lab seizures in Kentucky are significantly more likely to occur in dry counties, and that drug-related crime was similarly associated with legal access to alcohol in Texas.

Though the prohibition of alcohol in this many places might seem contrary to contemporary public opinion, a 2014 CNN survey found that one in five Americans believe that the use of alcohol should be illegal. 

Map Monday highlights interesting and unusual cartographic pursuits from around the world and through time. Read more Map Monday posts.