Almost 12% of Estonian Homes Still Lack Flush Toilets, Census Finds ({{commentsTotal}})

An outdoor toilet in Tartu
An outdoor toilet in Tartu Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

And nearly 13 percent have neither a bath nor a shower, according to the 2011 Population and Housing Census.

Both figures, however, mark a significant improvement in living conditions - and fragrances - compared with the findings of the previous census taken in 2000. At that time, only 74.9 percent of homes had a flush toilet and 70.9 percent boasted bathing facilities.

Part of the flush toilet equation may be explained by the prevalence of so-called dry toilets in rural areas, while public saunas have traditionally filled the gap in personal hygiene requirements.

In a release of household-related census findings last week, Statistics Estonia said that the availability of basic amenities and comforts of the average home had improved during the 11 years between the two censuses, with 70 percent boasting “all the basic amenities” as of the end of 2011 compared with 65 percent in 2000.

In 2011, 94.6 percent of households had a piped water supply compared with 85.6 percent in 2000, while the percentage of households with central or electrical heating rose from 67.9 percent to 71.5 percent over the 11 years.

Eurostat figures for 2011, which are based on overall population rather than numbers of households, show the EU average for lacking an indoor flushing toilet at 3.1 percent and for lacking a bath or shower at 2.8 percent. For Estonia they came out at 9.6 and 10.5 percent. 



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