A Glimpse At The Data

Many people defecate in the open despite having “access” to a latrine


Having access to a latrine does not mean all household members use it

Pie chart

This pie chart shows the fraction of households in our study in which no one defecates in the open, everyone defecates in the open and some people defecate in the open.  Data sources, like the Census, which only ask whether the household has “access” to a latrine, miss a large group of households for which latrine access exists, but not everyone in the household uses it.



Many people who own a latrine still defecate in the open

Hindu - color infographic

This infographic, originally published in The Hindu by Rukmini S., shows the fraction of men, women and adults, living in households that own a latrine, who nonetheless defecate in the open.



Young women and the elderly are most likely to use a latrine

This graph only includes people in houses that own a working latrine.  It shows the fraction of men and women at each age who defecate in the open.  It shows that men who have access to a latrine at home are more likely to defecate in the open than women who do, and that young women and the elderly are most likely to use a latrine.  It shows that the least powerful people within households are the ones who have the most demand for latrine use.



Government latrines are less likely to be used than privately constructed ones
govt vs private latrine usage

Focusing only on households that own a latrine, this graph shows open defecation according to whether the household received government support to build its latrine or not. For both men and women, people who live in households with a latrine that was built with government support are more than twice as likely to defecate in the open than people who live in households with privately constructed latrines. The latrines that are least likely to be used are those latrines that were fully constructed, rather than partially supported, by the government.