Air Pollution: Top 10 Cities in the World for Dirty Air

If air quality factors into your decision on where you travel, you might want to take your next holiday or vacation in Australia, Canada, or the United States.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), North American cities have among the world’s cleanest air. Australian cities also performed well in the survey.

Performing worst were cities in Asia, with seven cities making the bottom 10, and Africa, with three making the worst levels of air pollution list.

A total of 1,081 cities were compared. Hong Kong was not among them.

Cities With the Dirtiest Air

Cities were ranked according to the average annual level of airborne particles per cubic meter (M10). Translation: how bad their smog is.

The WHO recommends 20 micrograms or less, and some of these cities got well over 10 times that much.

  1. Ulan Bator, Mongolia Asia
  2. Gaborone, Botswana Africa
  3. New Delhi, India Asia
  4. Islamabad, Pakistan Asia
  5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Asia
  6. Dakar, Senagal Africa
  7. Cairo, Egypt Africa
  8. Dhaka, Bangladesh Asia
  9. Kuwait City, Kuwait Asia
  10. Beijing, China Asia

The leadership in Beijing is rightly proud of China’s booming economy and rapidly rising living standards in recent years, but I can’t help but think that this is one Top 10 list they would rather not have made.


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