Map: Is Alcoholics Anonymous Mainly for the Rich?

By Ben Feuerherd 06/04/13

This color-coded map of Brooklyn shows much higher access to AA meetings in wealthier neighborhoods.

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All are welcome. But are all attending?
Adrienne Erin

The official line of Alcoholics Anonymous is that the “only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” This may be true in theory, but in practice a number of other factors apply—including economic standing. How do socioeconomic conditions influence AA membership? For starters, finding—and attending—meetings may be a lot easier if you live in a more affluent neighborhood. This map of Brooklyn, put together by Adrienne Erin of WebpageFX, is divided by neighborhood and color-coded according to median income. Patterns also show the ratio of people per AA meeting in each neighborhood. Notably, the areas with the highest median income—Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights—have more AA meetings available. Neighborhoods like East Flatbush, Coney Island, Crown Heights and East New York have a significantly lower median income and significantly lower concentrations of meetings. Click on the map below to view it in more detail:

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter