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Visualizing the Global Population by Water Security Levels

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water security levels in different countries

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Visualizing the Global Population by Water Security Levels

Most of the world’s population today lives in countries facing critical water security issues.

Dealing with issues such as declining freshwater availability, demand from growing populations, insufficient infrastructure, or flawed water governance can impact how easily a country’s population can access water. A combination of multiple factors quickly makes problems with water security a lived reality.

A recent Global Water Security Report by the United Nations University assessed the water security of different countries across the world.

Methodology

This study assesses water security in countries by examining 10 different underlying components, ranging from water quality and sanitation to availability, resource stability, and climate-related risks.

Each component is given a score out of 10, with a nation’s overall water security score calculated from the sum. Water security levels are assigned based on the overall scores:

  • 75 and above is classified as “water secure”
  • 65‒74 is classified as “moderately secure”
  • 41‒64 indicates a country is “water insecure”
  • 40 and below is considered “critically insecure”

Water Security Levels by Country

Water security remains a concern around the world, but is especially dire in regions like the Middle East and Africa, where 13 of the 23 nations in the critically insecure category are located.

In total, 113 countries are considered water insecure, including the world’s two most populated, India and China. An additional 24 countries are considered critically water insecure, with the largest by population including Pakistan and Ethiopia

CountryWater Security ScoreAssessed Level
🇦🇫 Afghanistan32Critical
🇦🇱 Albania60Insecure
🇩🇿 Algeria58Insecure
🇦🇴 Angola53Insecure
🇦🇬 Antigua and Barbuda56Insecure
🇦🇷 Argentina56Insecure
🇦🇲 Armenia60Insecure
🇦🇺 Australia78Secure
🇦🇹 Austria85Secure
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan60Insecure
🇧🇸 Bahamas48Insecure
🇧🇭 Bahrain67Moderate
🇧🇩 Bangladesh51Insecure
🇧🇧 Barbados44Insecure
🇧🇾 Belarus68Moderate
🇧🇪 Belgium71Moderate
🇧🇿 Belize54Insecure
🇧🇯 Benin47Insecure
🇧🇹 Bhutan56Insecure
🇧🇴 Bolivia55Insecure
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina62Insecure
🇧🇼 Botswana55Insecure
🇧🇷 Brazil69Moderate
🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam52Insecure
🇧🇬 Bulgaria67Moderate
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso49Insecure
🇧🇮 Burundi45Insecure
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde54Insecure
🇰🇭 Cambodia46Insecure
🇨🇲 Cameroon47Insecure
🇨🇦 Canada75Secure
🇨🇫 Central African Republic43Insecure
🇹🇩 Chad39Critical
🇨🇱 Chile67Moderate
🇨🇳 China64Insecure
🇨🇴 Colombia62Insecure
🇰🇲 Comoros40Critical
🇨🇬 Congo, Rep.58Insecure
🇨🇷 Costa Rica69Moderate
🇨🇮 Côte d'Ivoire51Insecure
🇭🇷 Croatia75Secure
🇨🇺 Cuba 56Insecure
🇨🇾 Cyprus80Secure
🇨🇿 Czech Republic75Secure
🇰🇵 Democratic Republic of Korea59Insecure
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of Congo50Insecure
🇩🇰 Denmark85Secure
🇩🇯 Djibouti32Critical
🇩🇲 Dominica 41Insecure
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic46Insecure
🇪🇨 Ecuador61Insecure
🇪🇬 Egypt45Insecure
🇸🇻 El Salvador58Insecure
🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea47Insecure
🇪🇷 Eritrea29Critical
🇪🇪 Estonia78Secure
🇸🇿 Eswatini41Insecure
🇪🇹 Ethiopia31Critical
🇫🇯 Fiji57Insecure
🇫🇮 Finland83Secure
🇫🇷 France81Secure
🇬🇦 Gabon52Insecure
🇬🇲 Gambia50Insecure
🇬🇪 Georgia63Insecure
🇩🇪 Germany79Secure
🇬🇭 Ghana52Insecure
🇬🇷 Greece80Secure
🇬🇩 Grenada48Insecure
🇬🇹 Guatemala55Insecure
🇬🇳 Guinea46Insecure
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau44Insecure
🇬🇾 Guyana44Insecure
🇭🇹 Haiti34Critical
🇭🇳 Honduras52Insecure
🇭🇺 Hungary75Secure
🇮🇸 Iceland83Secure
🇮🇳 India41Insecure
🇮🇩 Indonesia51Insecure
🇮🇷 Iran, Islamic Rep.48Insecure
🇮🇶 Iraq51Insecure
🇮🇪 Ireland82Secure
🇮🇱 Israel75Secure
🇮🇹 Italy78Secure
🇯🇲 Jamaica59Insecure
🇯🇵 Japan77Secure
🇯🇴 Jordan65Moderate
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan58Insecure
🇰🇪 Kenya46Insecure
🇰🇼 Kuwait75Secure
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan54Insecure
🇱🇦 Lao PDR56Insecure
🇱🇻 Latvia78Secure
🇱🇧 Lebanon59Insecure
🇱🇸 Lesotho54Insecure
🇱🇷 Liberia36Critical
🇱🇾 Libya37Critical
🇱🇹 Lithuania81Secure
🇱🇺 Luxembourg85Secure
🇲🇬 Madagascar37Critical
🇲🇼 Malawi47Insecure
🇲🇾 Malaysia75Secure
🇲🇻 Maldives49Insecure
🇲🇱 Mali43Insecure
🇲🇹 Malta62Insecure
🇲🇷 Mauritania41Insecure
🇲🇺 Mauritius43Insecure
🇲🇽 Mexico61Insecure
🇫🇲 Micronesia38Critical
🇲🇳 Mongolia60Insecure
🇲🇪 Montenegro51Insecure
🇲🇦 Morocco57Insecure
🇲🇿 Mozambique46Insecure
🇲🇲 Myanmar50Insecure
🇳🇦 Namibia51Insecure
🇳🇵 Nepal48Insecure
🇳🇱 Netherlands72Moderate
🇳🇿 New Zealand81Secure
🇳🇮 Nicaragua54Insecure
🇳🇪 Niger38Critical
🇳🇬 Nigeria57Insecure
🇲🇰 North Macedonia51Insecure
🇳🇴 Norway84Secure
🇴🇲 Oman 55Insecure
🇵🇰 Pakistan37Critical
🇵🇦 Panama61Insecure
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea34Critical
🇵🇾 Paraguay63Insecure
🇵🇪 Peru55Insecure
🇵🇭 Philippines58Insecure
🇵🇱 Poland70Moderate
🇵🇹 Portugal75Secure
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico51Insecure
🇶🇦 Qatar73Moderate
🇰🇷 Republic of Korea70Moderate
🇲🇩 Republic of Moldova57Insecure
🇷🇴 Romania70Moderate
🇷🇺 Russian Federation73Moderate
🇷🇼 Rwanda46Insecure
🇰🇳 Saint Kitts and Nevis36Critical
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia46Insecure
🇻🇨 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines42Insecure
🇼🇸 Samoa50Insecure
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe50Insecure
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia56Insecure
🇸🇳 Senegal49Insecure
🇷🇸 Serbia57Insecure
🇸🇨 Seychelles50Insecure
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone38Critical
🇸🇬 Singapore61Insecure
🇸🇰 Slovakia76Secure
🇸🇮 Slovenia76Secure
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands23Critical
🇸🇴 Somalia35Critical
🇿🇦 South Africa56Insecure
🇸🇸 South Sudan37Critical
🇪🇸 Spain77Secure
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka40Critical
🇵🇸 Palestine51Insecure
🇸🇩 Sudan30Critical
🇸🇷 Suriname57Insecure
🇸🇪 Sweden90Secure
🇨🇭 Switzerland84Secure
🇸🇾 Syria Arab Republic42Insecure
🇹🇯 Tajikistan44Insecure
🇹🇭 Thailand53Insecure
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste42Insecure
🇹🇬 Togo49Insecure
🇹🇴 Tonga43Insecure
🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago54Insecure
🇹🇳 Tunisia58Insecure
🇹🇷 Türkiye68Moderate
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan49Insecure
🇺🇬 Uganda49Insecure
🇺🇦 Ukraine62Insecure
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates66Moderate
🇬🇧 United Kingdom79Secure
🇹🇿 United Republic of Tanzania46Insecure
🇺🇸 United States of America80Secure
🇺🇾 Uruguay60Insecure
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan46Insecure
🇻🇺 Vanuatu31Critical
🇻🇪 Venezuela56Insecure
🇻🇳 Vietnam48Insecure
🇾🇪 Yemen38Critical
🇿🇲 Zambia56Insecure
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe49Insecure

Countries facing water security issues account for 72% of the world’s population, with an additional 8% of the global population facing critical water insecurity.

That includes 4.3 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region alone, and an additional 1.3 billion people across Africa. Many of these countries are grappling with issues including fast-growing populations and drought conditions faster than they can develop the necessary infrastructure to deal with them.

Only 12% of the world’s population lives in water-secure countries, including almost all Western countries, with Norway at the very top of the rankings at an overall score of 90. An additional 8% of the world lives in moderately secure countries such as Brazil and Russia.

However, water availability in these more secure countries is not perfect either. For example, U.S. states reliant on the Colorado River for irrigation and drinking water are facing continued drought conditions and limiting consumption, with further crisis on the horizon.

Towards a Water Secure Future

As nations around the world face increasing water-related challenges, governments and international agencies have been collaborating to foster sustainable water management practices. In fact, clean water and sanitation for all is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Many regions have already begun to implement these practices. For example, cities in California have begun recycling wastewater and capturing stormwater to deal with water scarcity. Farming-dependent regions are also looking to smart agriculture to reduce the drain on the limited freshwater resources.

Such initiatives to improve water irrigation systems, enhance water infrastructure, and conserve the depleting freshwater reserves may help elevate countries out of water insecurity and help preserve this precious resource for generations to come.

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Environment

Charted: Share of World Forests by Country

We visualize which countries have the biggest share of world forests by area—and while country size plays a factor, so too, does the environment.

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A cropped pie chart showing the share of world forest by country.

Charted: Share of World Forests by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The world contains over three trillion trees.

The tropics and subtropics account for slightly less than half of all trees (1.3 trillion), the boreal regions for about one-fourth (0.74 trillion) and the temperate regions about one-fifth of the world’s forests (0.66 trillion).

What does this look like on a per country basis?

Using data from the World Bank, we visualize the share of the world’s total forest area per country.

Naturally larger countries tend to have more forest area, and thus, a greater percentage of the world’s forests, but it’s interesting to see how local environments also influence the metric.

Ranked: Countries with the Largest Share of World Forests

At the top of the list, Russia, has more than one-fifth of the world’s forests by itself. This is equal to 8 million km2 of forest, slightly less than half of the entire country.

RankCountryForest Area (Sq. km)Forest Area (% of
World's Forests)
1🇷🇺 Russia8,153,11620.1%
2🇧🇷 Brazil4,953,91412.3%
3🇨🇦 Canada3,468,9118.6%
4🇺🇸 U.S.3,097,9507.7%
5🇨🇳 China2,218,5785.5%
6🇦🇺 Australia1,340,0513.3%
7🇨🇩 DRC1,250,5393.1%
8🇮🇩 Indonesia915,2772.3%
9🇮🇳 India724,2641.8%
10🇵🇪 Peru721,5751.8%
11🇦🇴 Angola660,5231.6%
12🇲🇽 Mexico655,6431.6%
13🇨🇴 Colombia589,4261.5%
14🇧🇴 Bolivia506,2081.3%
15🇻🇪 Venezuela461,7341.1%
16🇹🇿 Tanzania452,7601.1%
17🇿🇲 Zambia446,2581.1%
18🇲🇿 Mozambique364,9760.9%
19🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea358,2220.9%
20🇦🇷 Argentina284,6370.7%

The fifth-biggest (and sixth-most populated) country, Brazil, ranks second with slightly more than 12% of total forests, close to 5 million km2, which is more than 60% of the whole country. The biggest contributor to its forest cover is the Amazon, which has lost 237,000 km2 in the span of five years because of deforestation. The Amazon is also a significant part of Peru’s forest cover (ranked 10th on this list, with 1.8% share).

Canada and the U.S. each have about 8% of the world’s forests within their borders. Both countries have developed beloved national park systems aimed at protecting the natural biodiversity of the continent.

China rounds out the top five, with its 5.5% share. Unlike other nations whose forest cover has seen a steady decline, China managed to increase its forest area by 511,807 km2 in two and a half decades, an area that is bigger than the entirety of Thailand. The country also aims to have about 30% of the country covered by forests by 2050. Critics state that this massive reforestation drive might come at the cost of maintaining natural tree species, and instead promotes monocultures of non-native trees.

Meanwhile, Australia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) each share 3% of the world’s forests. The Congo Basin, the world’s second largest tropical rainforest, contributes heavily to the latter’s forest cover, and spreads out over five other countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Indonesia, India, and Peru round out the top 10 with a 2% share each.

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