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Growth of Community Water Fluoridation (1940 to 2002)

Community water fluoridation began in the 1940s. Since then the number of community water systems and the number of people served by fluoridated systems have been steadily increasing. Currently about two-thirds of the US population receives fluoride through their community water system. This has been an important factor in the steady decrease in tooth decay rates.

Table 1: Community Fluoridation Growth, by Population, United States 1940–2002

Year Receiving Fluoridated Water - Natural Receiving Fluoridated Water - Adjusted Receiving Fluoridated Water - Total Served by Community Water Systems Total U.S. Population Percentage of U.S. population receiving fluoridated water* Percentage of population served by community water systems receiving fluoridated water
2002    

170,321,020

253,104,805

288,600,000

59

87.7

2000    

162,067,341

246,120,616

282,434,000

57.4

87.1

1992

10,011,861

134,657,132

144,217,476

232,438,000

256,894,000

56.1

90.5

1990        

250,132,000

 

 

1989    

135,256,757

220,179,000

247,342,000

54.7

89

1988    

132,422,064

218,924,000

245,021,000

54

89.3

1985    

130,172,334

211,730,873

238,466,000

54.6

88.8

1980    

115,948,946

 

227,726,000

50.9

 

1975    

105,338,343

 

215,973,000

48.8

 

1970        

205,052,000

 

 

1969

8,378,824

80,096,860

88,475,684

 

202,677,000

43.7

 

1967

10,009,000

71,916,700

81,925,700

 

198,712,000

41.2

 

1964

7,706,000

48,363,100

56,069,100

150,277,000

191,889,000

29.2

78.3

1963  

46,678,380

   

189,242,000

24.7

 

1962  

44,045,392

   

186,538,000

23.6

 

1961  

42,201,115

   

183,691,000

23

 

1960  

41,179,694

   

180,671,000

22.8

 

1959  

39,628,377

   

177,830,000

22.3

 

1958  

38,461,589

   

174,882,000

22

 

1957  

36,215,208

   

171,984,000

21.1

 

1956  

33,905,474

   

168,903,000

20.1

 

1955  

26,278,820

   

165,931,000

15.8

 

1954  

22,336,884

   

163,026,000

13.7

 

1953  

17,666,339

   

160,184,000

11

 

1952  

13,875,005

   

157,553,000

8.8

 

1951  

5,079,321

   

154,878,000

3.3

 

1950  

1,578,578

   

152,271,000

 

 

1949  

1,062,779

   

149,188,000

 

 

1948  

581,683

   

146,631,000

 

 

1947  

458,748

   

144,126,000

 

 

1946  

332,467

   

141,389,000

 

 

1945  

231,920

   

139,928,000

 

 

1940        

132,122,000

 

 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2002 Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS)

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This page last updated: March 14, 2014