Clean Water Statistics

(Updated December 2022)

It’s hard for us to imagine not having access to clean, safe water and safely managed sanitation services. Yet so much of the world’s population doesn’t have access to these things. We here at The Barbecue Lab want to do our part to raise awareness to these issues, and while the effort may seem small, together we can make a difference in the lives of so many around the world.

Quick Clean Water Statistics

  • Globally 1 in 3 people do not have access to safe drinking water
  • Globally 1.8 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water
  • There are approximately 2 million Americans who do not have access to safe drinking water
  • 1 in 4 Americans receive water from a source that violates standards of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • 2.5 billion people - which accounts for 35% of the world’s population - do not have access to safe and effective sanitation 
  • 1 in 5 people die everyday from water-borne illnesses from ineffective sanitation practices
  • 90% of people who die from contaminated water are children under 5 years old
  • Women and girls in affected areas spend up to 6 hours a day hauling water. 
  • 2.5% of the water on the globe is fresh water and only 1% of the Earth’s freshwater is accessible and okay to drink.
  • Humans are able to use only 0.3% of the water on Earth

Clean water is only part of the battle in dealing with the worldwide crisis, accessibility and safely managed sanitation are key components in order to sustain clean water sources. Unfortunately, just like we saw with world hunger there are many places around the world today that do not have access to clean water partially due to violence, instability and poverty. 

What percentage of the world's population faces a lack of clean drinking water? 

1 in 3 people, or 33% of the world’s population, does not have access to clean drinking water. 

What countries don’t have clean water?

According to lifewater.org, here are the top 10 countries without clean water. Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, The Republic of Chad, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, United Republic of Tanzania, Somalia, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF report that the lowest coverage of improved sanitation were sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, and Eastern Asia. 

What percentage of Americans have no clean water?

There are approximately 2 million out of 328 million people who do not have access to clean drinking water in the United States. In other words, 0.6% of the American population does not have access to clean drinking water. Most of the people without access live in rural areas. 

What percentage of water is clean?

Humans are able to use 0.3% of the water on Earth. Only 2.5% of the earth’s water is freshwater, but only 1% of that water is accessible for us to use. 

What percentage of water is not drinkable?

99.7% of Earth’s water is not drinkable. Most of the water on earth is salt water. 

Clean Water Statistics


Resources and Downloads

Data Sources

  • wfpusa.org
  • respectfood.com
  • brandsforcanada.com