Fact of the Day: Liquor Store Density

PA State Liquor StoresRep. Mike Turzai’s proposal (HB 11) to allow private retailers to sell wine and spirits would approximately double the number of liquor stores (not including wine kiosks and wineries) in the state, to 1,250.

But even at that level, Pennsylvania would remain among the states with the fewest liquor stores based on population—more than 10,000 residents for every liquor store. Nationally, there are 4,461 residents per liquor store, and less than 2,000 residents for every wine retailer (off-site outlets, which exclude bars and restaurants).

For Pennsylvania to be at the national average, the state would have to offer more than 2,800 spirits licenses, and 6,600 wine retail licenses.

Population Per Alcohol Retail Store (Off-Site Vendor)
Spirits Wine
Pennsylvania (Currently) 19,926 16,470
Pennsylvania at 1,250 stores 10,106 10,106
National Average 4,461 1,897
Number of Outlets for PA to be at National Average 2,832 6,660
Sources: Spirits Stores: NABCA, Beverage Information Group, and state websites, compiled by DISCUS
Wine Retail: Adams Handbook Outlet tables – “Off Premise Vendors,” 2010
Population: US Census, Population Estimates, www.census.gov
Prepared by Commonwealth Foundation, www.CommonwealthFoundation.org