What Percent of the Earth Is Made up of Water?


Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, water makes up about 71 percent of the Earth's surface. About 96.5 percent of that water is in the oceans. Bodies of water, rivers, icecaps and water vapor hold much of the rest of the water.

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Full Answer

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow constitute about 69 percent of Earth's freshwater. Groundwater accounts for about 30 percent of freshwater, and ground ice and permafrost make up nearly 1 percent. Lakes hold about 0.26 percent of Earth's freshwater. Rivers account for only 0.006 percent of Earth's freshwater and 0.0002 of its total water supply.

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