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Top Countries Without Sanitation

An open sewage drainage in Zambia.
Children play over an open sewer in the slum of N-gombe in Lusaka, Zambia. (Image credit: WaterAid / Anna Kari)

According to the United Nations, about 2.6 billion people on Earth go without access to sanitary toilet and sewage facilities. In many cases, people still practice "open defecation," or going in the bush near villages. This practice can be deadly, as bacteria from excrement often get tracked back into the community, contaminating water supplies and spreading disease. [Read full article]

Here are the top countries with sanitation problems, by raw number of people in each country without access to sanitation. All numbers are from the World Health Organization/UNICEF joint monitoring program. 

1. India (818 million)

2. China (607 million)

3. Indonesia (109 million)

4. Nigeria (103 million)

5. Pakistan (98 million)

6. Bangladesh (75 million)

7. Ethiopia (71 million)

8. Congo, DR (50 million)

9. Brazil (39 million)

10. Tanzania (32 million)

11. Sudan (27 million) 

12. Kenya (27 million) 

13. Philippines (22 million)

14. Vietnam (22 million)

15. Ghana (20 million) 

16. Nepal (20 million) 

Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.