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1.6 Million Americans Don’t Have Indoor Plumbing. Here’s Where They Live

1.6 Million Americans Don’t Have Indoor Plumbing. Here’s Where They Live

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Apr 25, 2014
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04/25/2014

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 As it turns out, a lot of people.  According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. !he Census "ureau says that the average household contains #.6 individuals, which means that today, in #0$%, in the wealthiest nation on &arth, upwards of $.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.
BY
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 APRIL 23
!he 'ew (esearch Center)s e*cellent +act!ank blog reported !uesday  that the Census "ureau is considering dropping a number of uestions from its  American Community Survey . !he ACS has been a perennial target of (epublican lawmakers
 
,  who say that itsuestions on everything from household income to commute times constitute an invasion of privacy.'erhaps hoping to stave off some of these concerns, the bureau is reviewing a number of uestions, including the one that has been sub-ect to the most ridicule from the rightousing uestions /a/c, which cover the plumbing facilities in a household, including the presence 1or lack thereof2 of a flush toilet. Setting aside privacy issues for the moment, can such a uestion possibly have relevancy in the year #0$%4 5r to put it more bluntly ho doesn)t have a flushing toilet4 As it turns out, a lot of people. According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following a toilet, a tub or shower, or running  water. !he Census "ureau says that the average household contains #.6 individuals,  which means that today, in #0$%, in the wealthiest nation on &arth, upwards of $.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.
 
An outhouse near McCall, Idaho. Photo by Flickr user Charles Knowles, used under a Creative Commons License.
 As the map below shows, there is considerable geographic variation. Counties containing 7ndian reservations have astonishingly high percentages of households  without plumbing  $% percent of households in Shannon County, S.8., don)t have full plumbing. 7n Apache County, Ari9., the rate is more than $: percent. Sparselypopulated census areas in Alaska also have very high percentages.
 
Counties along the (io ;rande in !e*as have high rates of unplumbed households, as do a smattering of counties in Appalachia, particularly in eastern <entucky and  western =irginia. !he southwestern portion of Alabama is another hot spot.>ooking beyond the present day, it)s worth remembering that indoor plumbing is a fairly new development for many communities. 7n $?@0 fully one uarter of .S. households did not have a flush toilet  this means that the era of outhouses is well  within living memory for many Americans. !he town 7 live in, 5ella, Bd., was reliant on outhouses until $?/%. And it)s smack in the middle of the Acela corridor, between "altimore and ashington.So the American Community Survey)s uestions on the issue aren)t simply a laughing matter or an abstract e*ercise in privacy invasion  it)s about a real problem that still affects millions of people. Among other things, the government uses this data to allocate Section / and other federal housing subsidies to assess the uality of housing

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