630,000 American households don't have flush toilets

April 23, 2014
There are 630,000 households without a flush toilet. Extrapolated to typical households size in the U.S., that's about 1.6 million people. There's a lot of geographic variability and the article includes and interactive map. The American Community Survey is used to guide about $416 billion in federal spending.  

The Pew Research Center reports that the Census Bureau is thinking about killing questions in its American Community Survey, which has been attacked by Republicans as an invasion of privacy. Some of those questions in the housing section ask about the presence, or lack of, indoor plumbing facilities. How is such a question still relevant in 2014? Pretty relevant, as it turns out.

Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham writes:

Who doesn't have a flushing toilet? As it turns out, a lot of people. According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. The Census Bureau says that the average household contains 2.6 individuals, which means that today, in 2014, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, upwards of 1.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.

There's a lot of geographic variability in the lack of indoor facilities and the article includes an interactive map. The Post's article is definitely worth checking out.

Did you know that in 1950 about a quarter of the U.S. population did not have access to a flush toilet? The Census Bureau's American Community Survey is used to guide about $416 billion in federal spending.

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