IQAir‘s 5th Annual World Air Quality Report reveals alarming details of the world’s most polluted countries, territories, and regions in 2022.
For this year’s report, data from more than 30,000 air quality monitoring stations across 7,323 locations in 131 countries, territories, and regions was analyzed by IQAir’s air quality scientists.
Key findings from the 2022 World Air Quality Report (Download the full report):
- Six countries met the World Health Organization PM2.5 guideline (annual average of 5 µg/m3 or less): Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, and New Zealand.
- The top five most polluted countries in 2022 were:
- Chad (89.7 µg/m3) more than 17 times higher than the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline
- Iraq (80.1 µg/m3) more than 16 times higher than the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline
- Pakistan (70.9 µg/m3) more than 14 times higher than the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline
- Bahrain (66.6 µg/m3) more than 13 times higher than the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline
- Bangladesh (65.8 µg/m3) more than 13 times higher than the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline
- A total of 118 (90%) out of 131 countries and regions exceeded the WHO annual PM2.5 guideline value of 5 µg/m3
- While the African continent saw an increase from 13 countries represented in 2021 to 19 countries included in this year’s report, Africa remains the most underrepresented continent. Only 19 countries out of 54 countries have sufficient air quality data
- The region of Central and South Asia was home to eight of the world’s ten cities with the worst air pollution
- Lahore is the most polluted metropolitan area of 2022. It ranked #15 in 2021
- Chile became home to eight of the region’s top 15 most polluted cities
- The most polluted city in the U.S. was Coffeyville, Kansas. The most polluted major U.S. city was Columbus, Ohio
- California was home to 10 of the 15 most polluted cities in the U.S.
- Las Vegas, Nevada was deemed the cleanest major city in the U.S.
- Canada’s cleanest city in 2022 was Schefferville, Quebec
- Canada most polluted city in 2022 was Clearwater, British Columbia