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Share of low income populations in the U.S. with unaffordable water bills 2018

In 2018, the share of low income residents in New Orleans, Louisiana living in areas with unaffordable water bills amounted to almost 80 percent. Water bills that exceed four percent of a households income are deemed unaffordable. This was followed by Cleveland, Ohio, where an estimated 74 percent of the cities low income population lived in areas with unaffordable bills.

Water bills increased dramatically in the United States between 2010 and 2018, with bills rising by 830 and 640 U.S. dollars in Cleveland and New Orleans respectively.

Share of low income population living in areas with unaffordable water bills in the United States in 2018, by city*

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Release date

June 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Low income residents are classified as those living below 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL)

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