Deadly Showers: Urbanization, Water, and Sanitation

Trends in Water and Sanitation

The United Nations have set Millenium Development Goals for improving water and sanitation access across the world by 201510. Although some say we will meet the goal for water access, we are still far behind the sanitation goal13. The number of people without access to inadequate sanitation is still increasing.

Most of the progress in water and sanitation improvement has been in rural areas, which still have worse conditions than most urban areas. But note the following problems with urbanization.

  • Although the rate of safe water and sanitation is improving in both rural and urban areas, the total number of city dwellers without safe water and sanitation is increasing. This is because the improvements are not keeping pace with the high rate of urbanization many countries are experiencing14.
  • Within cities there is a severe disparity between the slums and other urban areas. And although the percentage of people living is slums is decreasing, the total number is still growing13.

Populations without Safe Water and Sanition
projected to 2015
Millenium Development Goal for 2015
Please proceed to the next tab, Countries.
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Death* Rate
Total Child Diarrheal Deaths*
Urban Population
Annual Urban Growth
GDP per capita:

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*All Deaths reflected on this page are from diarrheal disease in children one month to five years old.

All data in the graph is from Gapminder Foundation6.
Urban Sanitation