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The latest data on air quality in major cities around the world, mapped

The American Lung Association State of the Air 2021 report found that despite nationwide efforts in controlling air pollution, more than 40% of Americans – over 135 million people – are still living in areas with unhealthy particulate pollution and ozone levels.

In fact, 9 out of 10 urban dwellers are affected by air pollution. And this isn’t just the case in the United States, and it’s a global problem.

But which cities are the worst, and which are the best for breathing fresh air? To find out, HouseFresh visualized the latest data on air quality in major cities around the world, revealing the most and least polluted cities in nearly every country, as well as in every US state.

Researchers at HouseFresh extracted city-level air quality data from the latest 2020 World Air Quality report by IQAir. Data in hand, the team identified the best and worst cities and towns for clean air across nearly 100 countries and across all 50 US states. Cities and towns were ranked on the average value of PM2.5 concentration in µg/m³ in 2020, and countries without at least five cities were omitted.

The best cities for clean air in the U.S.

The worst cities for clean air in the U.S.

The best cities for clean air in the world

The worst cities for clean air in the world


Key Findings: 
● Bangladesh takes the top spot as the most polluted country, followed by Pakistan, India, and Mongolia. 
● 49 of the 50 most polluted cities worldwide were in Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, and India. 
● Japanese city Obihiro was Asia’s top city for clean air with a PM2.5 of 5.6µg/m3. 
● Judbury (Australia), Kailua Kona (U.S.A.), and Muonio (Finland) were the cities with the cleanest air around the globe. 
● Susanville in wildfire-ravaged California had the dirtiest air in America with a PM2.5 of 26.2µg/m3.

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