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Does Everyone in the U.S. Have Access to Plumbing Facilities?

Updated May 17, 2024
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You probably think nothing of stepping into a fully-functioning restroom, whether at home or away, but if that's the case, you're not one of the more than 1.6 million Americans who don't have such access. According to the American Community Survey, as of 2014, nearly 630,000 U.S. households did not having complete plumbing facilities -- meaning a shower or bathtub, hot and cold running water, and a flush toilet.

Alaska has the highest rate of households without complete plumbing, and some 9,500 Alaskan households have no plumbing facilities at all. On the other extreme, Floridians can boast that 99.8 percent of homes offer at least running water.

Globally, of course, the lack of toilet facilities is an even more severe problem. According to The Week, as of 2015, approximately 1 billion people -- 13 percent of the world -- had no choice but to defecate outside.

Some bathroom reading:

  • On average, people use the toilet about 2,500 times every year -- or a total of three years in a lifetime.

  • Research shows that only 1 in 20 people wash their hands for the recommended 15 seconds, and 20 percent don't wash their hands at all after using the toilet.

  • Older toilets (those manufactured before 1980) use up to seven gallons of water in a single flush, but modern toilets use far less, at around 1.5 gallons.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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