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How Many Toilets Are There in the World?

The United Nations observe the World Toilet Day on 19th November of every year.

The day, created by the World Toilet Organization in 2001, is always celebrated with different poop-themed shows and videos, depending on the theme of each year.

 It is also accompanied by stories from world-renowned business and political leaders, who all aim to encourage the public to observe proper sanitation at all levels.

Unfortunately, while the primary goal of World Toilet Day is to inspire and accelerate sanitary changes, one thing remains clear: almost half of the world’s population lacks safe toilets.

The observation has left many people wondering how many toilets are there in the world as of 2023.

Before we answer the question, let’s look at a few astonishing facts:

Lack of Proper Sanitation Is Still a Challenge for Many

As the world prepares to observe this year’s World Toilet Day with a theme of Accelerate Change, it is clear that many families are still facing sanitation challenges.

These challenges are characterized by a lack of access to safe defecation systems and clean water.

According to 2023 toilet data, almost 3.5 billion people do not have safe toilets in their homes, while almost 419 million people still rely on open toilets.

The number has increased significantly over the years, although more efforts are seen in reducing open defecation cases.

For instance, in 2018, almost 2.3 billion people lacked access to safe toilets, while almost 892 million people relied on open toilets.

The issue of poor sanitation seems to affect developing countries more than their developed counterparts.

According to the Global Citizen observation, almost 93.3% of South Sudan’s, 28% of Russia’s,  and 9.5% of Ireland’s population do not have access to safe toilets.

Also, almost 774.3 million people in India do not have proper toilets in their homes. That means only 45% of the Indian population has toilets.

So, How Many Toilets Are There In The World In 2023?

Going by the data above, we can say that almost 43% of the world’s population does not have safe toilets.

This means that considering the current world population of almost 8.1 billion people, only 4.6 billion people (57%) have safe toilets in their homes.

Further, according to the Religion and Living Arrangements report, the average individual lives in a household of 4.9 people around the world.

That means a population of 4.6 billion people has approximately 938.8 million households. This roughly reflects about 938.8 million toilets, assuming each household has one toilet.

The overall number of toilets around the world, however, is way above the 1 billion mark.

That is because, besides the average number of households, institutions such as schools, hospitals, religious centers, and public facilities like hotels also have toilets.

Also, since toilets are treated as a luxury in some households, it means poor households may find building proper sanitation systems expensive and only opt for open defecation.

Rich households, on the other hand, may see toilets as a basic requirement and have more than one.

What Is The Impact Of The World Toilet Day On Poor Sanitation?​

To meet their Sustainable Development Goal 6: safe toilets and water for all by 2030, United Nations governments and institutions are working tirelessly to fulfill their sanitary promises to their people.

Therefore, World Toilet Day’s campaign in 2023 is to inspire and encourage everyone to take simple but strategic steps like the hummingbird to accelerate the sanitation train.

The move will see an increase in the number of toilets in the world by 2030, with almost 100% of the population able to access safe toilets and clean water.

Kenyalogue Contributor


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