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1.1 billion     Worldwide 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open.

Millennium Development Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Target 7C: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation


Indicator 7.9: Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility

Worldwide, 1.1 billion people still defecate in the open. By far the great majority of people practicing open defecation live in rural areas, but this number is declining. However, partly because of rapid increases in the urban population, a growing number of people in urban areas defecate in the open.

The proportion of the world population that practices open defecation declined by almost one third from 25% in 1990 to 17% in 2008. A decline in open defecation rates was recorded in all regions.

Source: WHO: Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water, 2010

Reference:, p.22