Fluoride Action Network

Water Fluoridation Status in OECD Nations

Fluoride Action Network | August 2012

Quick Facts:

  • Most developed nations, including 97% of western Europe, do not fluoridate their drinking water.
  • Of the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 10 have water fluoridation programs.
  • Four of the 10 OECD countries with water fluoridation programs have less than 15% of their population drinking fluoridated water: South Korea (6%), Spain (11%), and the United Kingdom (11%).
  • Only 6 OECD countries have more than 50% of their populations drinking fluoridated water: Australia (80%), Chile (70%), the Irish Republic (73%), Israel (70%), New Zealand (61%), and the United States (64%).
  • Excluding the United States, just 7% of the population in OECD countries consumes artificially fluoridated water.
  • In total, 369,656,000 people worldwide drink artificially fluoridated water. This represents 5% of the world’s population.
  • There are more people drinking fluoridated water in the United States than the rest of the world combined.
  • There is no difference in tooth decay between western nations that fluoridate their water and those that do not.
Water Fluoridation Status of OECD Nations
(BFS 2012)
Country Population Size* No. of People w/ Fluoridated Water** % w/ Fluoridated Water**
Australia 22,692,531 17,600,000 80%
Austria 8,452,835 0 0%
Belgium 10,951,266 0 0%
Canada 34,880,400 14,260,000 44%
Chile 17,402,630 11,000,000 70%
Czech Republic 10,504,203 0 0%
Denmark 5,584,758 0 0%
Estonia 1,294,236 0 0%
Finland 5,413,830 0 0%
France 65,350,000 0 0%
Germany 81,859,000 0 0%
Greece 10,787,690 0 0%
Hungary 9,962,000 0 0%
Iceland 320,060 0 0%
Irish Republic 4,588,252 3,250,000 73%
Israel 7,879,500 5,270,000 70%
Italy 60,820,787 0 0%
Japan 127,530,000 0 0%
Luxembourg 511,800 0 0%
Mexico 112,336,538 0 0%
Netherlands 16,738,836 0 0%
New Zealand 4,434,400 2,330,000 61%
Norway 5,027,800 0 0%
Poland 38,501,000 0 0%
Portugal 10,561,614 0 0%
Slovakia 5,445,324 0 0%
Slovenia 2,057,910 0 0%
South Korea 48,580,000 2,820,000 6%
Spain 46,163,116 4,250,000 11%
Sweden 9,495,113 0 0%
Switzerland 7,952,600 0 0%
Turkey 74,724,269 0 0%
United Kingdom 62,262,000 5,797,000 11%
United States 314,059,000 185,767,000 64%
TOTAL
(with United States)
1,245,125,298 252,344,000 20%
TOTAL
(without United States)
931,066,298 66,577,000 7%
*   List of Countries by Population – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population
** British Fluoridation Society (2012). One in a Million: The facts about water fluoridation. Available online at: http://www.bfsweb.org/onemillion/onemillion2012.htmlNOTE: The data for “Population Size” is mostly from 2012, whereas the “Number of People with Fluoridated Water” and “Percent with Fluoridated Water” data is based on estimates that the British Fluoridation Society (BFS) appears to have derived between 2009 and 2011. This time difference may explain why some of the BFS’s estimates for “Percent with Fluoridated Water” are incorrect when calculating the population data in this table.