What Percentage of Earth Is Water?

Approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water. The oceans hold 96.5 percent of that water, and there is also water in icecaps and glaciers. The air holds water vapor, and the human body carries water as well.

Groundwater consists of about 30 percent of Earth’s freshwater compared with nearly 69 percent for icecaps, glaciers and permanent snow. If all fresh groundwater that is safe for human consumption were to form a sphere, it would be only 169.5 miles in diameter, and much of that small amount is too deep underground to use. The available amount would form a sphere that is 34.9 miles in diameter.