Taking a shower is a routine part of life. For some, it is a relaxing activity; for others, it is a brisk way to start the day. But have you ever thought of how much it costs? QS Supplies, a UK-based bathroom furnishing provider, set out to find the yearly price of taking a warm shower around the world. They then put together their findings in an insightful infographic, revealing that the costs of jumping into the shower are not the same for everyone.
To measure how much a year of daily showers cost, QS Supplies looked at electricity and water usage costs in 89 countries. They then compared it to the average annual income in each country to determine its overall affordability.
On average, the price of a warm shower is $260 a year, but there are huge differences from country to country. In Denmark, a year of daily hot showers costs $802, making it the most expensive in the world. On the other side of the spectrum, Egypt and Suriname have the lowest annual shower costs at $33 per year. In the U.S., the yearly cost of taking a shower is $264, making it the 36th most expensive in the world.
Despite the disparaging numbers, the tables turn once again when looking at each country's economy. The country with the most affordable annual shower costs is Norway, as it equates to 0.31% of the average local income. It is followed by Kuwait and the U.S., where it represents 0.35% and 0.49% respectively. Meanwhile, showers are prohibitively expensive in Rwanda, where they take up 46.17% of the average annual income, making them the least affordable in the world.
The stark differences in showers are not far off from the overall global inequality panorama. That's why it is important to guarantee everyone has access to it. After all, even the UN considers it a human right “to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, and socially and culturally acceptable.” How often it should be done is a different conversation.