The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

How toilet paper explains the world

The map represents potential for future category growth.* You'll notice that prosperous, dynamic economies like the United States, Canada, Brazil and South Africa are expected to buy a lot of toilet paper, which would tend to correlate with a high number of bathrooms per capita. Countries in the developing world with very young populations, like Mexico and much of Southeast Asia, will buy more diapers and nappies (China, in particular, is likely to see a boom in diaper consumption as it relaxes its one-child policy). Interestingly, feminine hygiene products have the most potential in Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan. And those with low birth rates facing a wave of retirees, like Japan and much of Western Europe, will consume more products for taking care of incontinence.

It's a lot to soak in!

This post has been clarified to reflect that the chart represents future growth, not current sales.