Unrolling the Numbers: Fascinating Statistics About Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is an everyday item that often goes unnoticed, but when you delve into the statistics surrounding this bathroom essential, you’ll uncover some surprising facts. In this brief exploration, we’ll unroll the numbers and reveal some intriguing statistics about toilet paper.

1. Toilet Paper Usage

It’s estimated that an average American uses about 141 rolls of toilet paper per year, which amounts to approximately 12.7 kilograms (28 pounds) of tissue paper annually. This figure is notably higher than in other Western countries, thanks to the widespread use of toilet paper in the United States. In contrast, in many countries, bidets and spray hoses are preferred methods for personal hygiene.

2. Global Production

Toilet paper production is no small industry. Globally, more than seven billion rolls of toilet paper are sold every year. To put it in perspective, that’s enough toilet paper to wrap around the Earth’s equator over 40,000 times! This incredible production volume is a testament to the product’s indispensability.

3. Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of toilet paper production is significant. One tree can produce about 800 rolls of toilet paper, and it’s estimated that 27,000 trees are consumed daily to meet global demand. This level of tree harvesting raises concerns about deforestation and ecological footprints. To address these concerns, many consumers are opting for toilet paper made from recycled materials or sustainable sources like bamboo or sugarcane byproducts.

4. Toilet Paper Preferences

When it comes to the orientation of toilet paper rolls, people have strong opinions. There are two choices: “over” or “under.” “Over” refers to the roll hanging with the loose end coming over the top, while “under” means the loose end hangs from the back. Surveys have shown that 60-70% of respondents prefer the “over” orientation, a preference that even has a humorous name, “Endianness,” implying a similar level of seriousness as the over or under debate for eggs.

5. Toilet Paper Innovation

Toilet paper has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Today, it comes in various qualities, textures, colors, and designs. Some luxury toilet papers are quilted, embossed, perfumed, or even treated with aloe or antibacterial chemicals. However, it’s essential to remember that the quest for softer and more absorbent toilet paper must be balanced with environmental considerations.

6. Toilet Paper Pranks

Toilet paper isn’t just for personal hygiene; it has a playful side too. In the United States, “TP-ing” or “toilet papering” is a popular prank among adolescents. It involves throwing rolls of toilet paper over cars, trees, and houses, creating an inconvenient mess. Additionally, toilet paper pranks have expanded to include musical toilet paper holders and custom-printed toilet paper with jokes, stories, or even politicians’ images.


Toilet paper may be an everyday item, but its statistics reveal a world of intrigue and consumption. From its high usage rates in the United States to its environmental impact and even its role in pranks and humor, toilet paper is more than just a bathroom essential. It’s a fascinating aspect of our daily lives that connects us in unexpected ways, reminding us that even the most ordinary items can have extraordinary stories to tell.