An estimated 2.1 per cent of the EU’s population did not have access to a flushing toilet in their own home in 2018, according to a report published by Eurostat on Tuesday.
The overall number decreased by 1.2 per cent compared to 2010.
Cyprus nestled in next to the United Kingdom and France with only 0.5 per cent of their populations not having access to a flushing toilet at home.
Romania was bottom of the flushing loo league with 27.7 per cent not having access to one. Their neighbours in Bulgaria were slightly better off at 15.3 per cent. Rounding off the bottom four were Lithuania at 10.6 per cent and Latvia and 9.9 per cent.
Unsurprisingly, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden recorded almost 0 per cent of their inhabitants not having such access.
The figures show steady improvement in the standard of living in Europe. Only a few generations ago most people in Cyprus only had access to ‘drop toilets’ otherwise known as an outhouse. These are now a relic of the past and for newer generations living in cities, perhaps even a myth. A few can still be spotted in mostly abandoned buildings in some villages.
This study was published to highlight the UN’s World Toilet Day (November 19). The campaign aims to raise awareness of issues such as the fact that about 673 million people still practise open defecation. The UN also claims that loss of productivity to water and sanitation related diseases costs many countries up to 5 per cent of GDP.