Air pollution is a significant matter. Who desires to go to a city only to finish up walking its streets breathing acrid smells and harming your overall health? But air pollution does not just imply the smog we can see – the truly risky stuff is invisible to the naked eye. A 2022 report by the Globe Overall health Organization cites that 99% of the whole international population is breathing polluted, overall health-harming air. And with extra than six,000 cities across 117 nations now monitoring air good quality, the information set is complete and compelling.

Smoke and sunset cast a glow more than Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital city.


To attempt and clarify that into anything usable, the air specialists at HouseFresh have mapped 480 cities about the planet, calculating the typical air pollution level of the initially nine months of 2019 against the initially nine months of 2022 to see exactly where air pollution has enhanced and exactly where it has decreased. Employing’s Globe Air High-quality Index information for each and every city, they measured typical levels of particulate matter two.five (PM2.five) – particles that are compact adequate to pass into our bloodstream (about 3 per cent the width of an typical human hair) and lead to a variety of overall health challenges – in the air. They then made use of a formula created by AirNow to convert the PM2.five figure into micrograms per cubic meter of air (µg/m3) values.

So, with the science taken care of we can appear at the numbers and see exactly where are the ideal areas to take not only a metaphorical but also a genuine breath of fresh air. One particular factor to note – cities in Ukraine have been omitted from the report due to the inevitable effect on air pollution triggered by the military conflict.

The Cities Exactly where Air Pollution Has Improved And Decreased The Most

The ten ideal and worst performing cities for air pollution involving 2019 and 2022.


Of the 480 cities surveyed, the ideal performing is Ulan Bator (Ulaanbaatar), the magical capital city of Mongolia, which has observed air pollution lower the most with PM2.five levels dropping by -23.4µg/m3. That is not to say, even so, that this lower tends to make it a bastion of fresh air. Noted previously as a single of the most polluted capital cities on earth thanks to a mix of all-natural and manmade things, it was topic to an air good quality improvement strategy in 2017 which seems to be displaying optimistic benefits.

Dammam, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia is an vital place for the Saudi oil business and the … [+] most polluted city in the survey.


At the other finish of the scale, Dammam in Saudi Arabia has observed air pollution worsen the most, with PM2.five levels going up +111.1µg/m3. A substantial center for the Saudi oil business and household to each the biggest port in the Persian Gulf and the biggest airport in the planet, it is a clear hotspot for dangerous PM2.five air pollution and is at present the most polluted city surveyed. Of the world’s capital cities, Baghdad has knowledgeable the worst enhance in pollution, with PM2.five levels going up +31.6µg/m3. A 2015 report notes that “81% of PM2.five from Baghdad is dominated by dust, sulfate, gasoline and diesel.”

In Europe, Salamanca has observed PM2.five levels enhance the most by +five.1µg/m3 closely followed by Palma with +three.7µg/m3 – each Spanish cities quickly topic to the introduction of low-emission zones for cars in an work to assist the nation attain climate neutrality by 2050. On the flip side it is North Macedonian capital city Skopje that is observed the most significant optimistic transform in PM2.five particles, with a lower of -12.4µg/m3. Skopje was when Europe’s most polluted capital city and has far to go to reach clean air, but implementing a Green City Action Program has clearly been a superior start out.

Omaha is cleaning up its act and performed much better than any other U.S. city in decreasing air … [+] pollution.


In the U.S., Miami, Florida and Salt Lake City, Utah share the highest PM2.five level increases, each seeing a +1.8µg/m3 rise given that 2019. Salt Lake City suffers from a meteorological phenomenon identified as ‘inversion’ thanks to its place in a valley exactly where cooler, polluted air is trapped close to ground level beneath warmer air above it. Omaha, Nebraska has a extra optimistic outcome with a lower of -1.1µg/m3 in PM2.five levels, though it nonetheless sits nicely down the all round U.S. ranking cities behind Honolulu, Providence, Salem, Tucson, Portland and Albuquerque.

The Cities With The Least And Most Air Pollution

You will come across the cleanest air of any city in this report in Zürich, Switzerland with PM2.five levels of just .5µg/m3. Placed initially in each 2019 and 2022, it saw a constant level of air good quality throughout that period with a compact lower in PM2.five levels of -.1µg/m3. Second spot is Perth with 1.7µg/m3 displaying a drop of -six.2µg/m3 given that 2019. Australia fares very nicely in the best ten cleanest cities with 5 entries such as Hobart, Wollongong, Launceston and Sydney alongside Perth. Honolulu is the only U.S. city to make the best ten, taking tenth spot with levels of 4µg/m3, displaying a tiny enhance in pollution given that 2019.

Breathe deep: Zurich in Switzerland has the cleanest air of any city surveyed.


We currently know the most polluted city to be Dammam in Saudi Arabia with a PM2.five level of 155µg/m3. Nearly all of the best ten most polluted cities are in the Middle East and Asia, with Lahore in Pakistan second worst with 98.1µg/m3 of PM2.five. Just behind it is Dubai, the miracle city born from the desert and household to the world’s tallest developing, the Burj Khalifa. Elsewhere, India performs poorly with 3 cities in the bottom ten – Muzaffarnagar, Delhi, New Delhi.

Air pollution level modifications in capital cities involving 2019 and 2022.


By Editor

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