Global population with access to improved drinking water sources by region 2017

The statistic shows the proportion of the population with access to at least basic and limited drinking water services in selected world regions in 2017. That year, 92 percent of the population in Northern Africa had access at least basic drinking water services.

Access to safe drinking water

Improved drinking water refers to a source that can be adequately protected from outside contamination, mostly by fecal matter. An improved sanitation facility keeps human waste out of reach, for example, by using a flush toilet or a septic tank. These protected sources include rainwater, protected springs, and piped water into a dwelling. Global investments in water supply infrastructure are expected to increase. Investment targeting distribution infrastructure is projected to reach 61 billion U.S. dollars by 2016.

In most regions of the world, 90 percent of the population has access to at least basic drinking water services. However, only 61 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa and 55 percent of the population in Oceania have basic access. In sub-Saharan Africa, about 18 percent of people only have access to unimproved water sources and eight percent only have access to surface waters. Unimproved water sources include bottled water and tanker-trucks. Currently, eight out of ten people living in rural areas still lack even basic drinking water services, however, between 2000 and 2017 some 1.8 billion people gained access to at least basic service. Rural coverage of safely managed water services has also increased. A lack of access to safe water is considered one of the top risks based on impact to global societies.

Proportion of the population with access to at least basic and limited drinking water services globally in 2017, by region

At least basic*Limited
World90%3%
Australia & New Zealand100%-
Northern America & Europe99%-
Latin America & the Caribbean96%-
Eastern Asia & South-eastern Asia93%1%
Western Asia & Northern Africa92%5%
Central Asia & Southern Asia92%1%
Sub-Saharan Africa61%13%
Oceania55%2%
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Sources

Release date

June 2019

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2017

Supplementary notes

* Figures for "basic" and "safely managed" were added up for the values for "at least basic".
Figures for unimproved water and surface water were not included.

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Statistics on "Water"

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