New study: New study finds the number of Americans who don’t use a toilet is at historic low point in more than 50 years
In the wake of a national conversation about public restrooms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the number who don a toilet at least once a week has dropped to its lowest point in 50 years.
The decline was also driven by the decline in the number and frequency of Americans in the survey, according to a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the University of California, San Francisco.
In 2013, more than 17 million Americans were counted in the NCHS survey.
That number fell to just under 13 million in 2014.
While the NSHS has a wide variety of surveys, the CDC found that its data on Americans’ use of public restrooms has remained fairly stable over the past four years.
“While the number in 2014 has decreased slightly from 13 million to 12.4 million, it remains well below the 15 million estimated in 2010,” the study says.
As for the CDC’s study, it is the first to look at the use of toilets in the past decade and the third to track that data.
The study used data from the NDSS, the National Survey of Families and Households and the American Community Survey to calculate the total number of people who say they don’t urinate or defecate in public places.
“In the past several years, the number that is more common to report to us is the use and the frequency of toilets,” said Dr. Jennifer Mascarenas, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University.
It also shows that the trend toward less frequent use of restrooms, which is driven by changes in public attitudes toward restrooms, has been steady for the past two decades, said Drs.
Karen Dolan and Peter J. Hotez, who were co-authors of the study.
Since 1980, when Gallup first asked Americans how often they used a toilet, the proportion who used a public restroom has declined from 63 percent to 53 percent, said Mascarelli.
Even as more Americans are using public restrooms in the U.S., the rate of the decline is still below the rates in the late 1960s and 1970s, when more than 80 percent of Americans were in the habit of using a toilet.
Mascarello said the decline could have been partly attributed to more Americans using public bathrooms because of the social changes that were taking place in the 1980s and 1990s.
But the decline was likely also driven in part by changes to toilet technology, said Hotezz, who is also at Johns and is an expert on public health.
He said people may be more cautious with toilets because they don