More Indians have access to drinking water, basic sanitation

But demographic inequalities persist

June 25, 2019 02:20 pm | Updated June 26, 2019 05:01 pm IST

A schoolboy drinking water from a tap. File. Photo: M.A. Sriram

A schoolboy drinking water from a tap. File. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Between 2000 and 2017, India, like many other nations, has been able to provide access to drinking water and better sanitation facitilites to a larger percentage of the population. With a push from Swachh Bharat, open defecation has dropped drastically. However, demographic inequalities persist.

Better over time About 60% of India's population had access to basic sanitation facilities in 2017 compared to just 16% in 2000. However, the number was lower compared to the overall global percentage.


Demographic divide India's rural-urban disparity is less compared to the global average; but in India's case, percentage differences translate to a higher absolute number of people due to the large population.


Poorer people are worse off Gaps between the rich and poor are stark in India, with 82% of the poorest quintile still defecating in the open. The gap was narrowest in access to drinking water.


Regional differences A much smaller percentage of people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to basic drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. India is part of Central and Southern Asia.


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