PM2.5 air pollution, mean annual exposure (micrograms per cubic meter) - Country Ranking

Definition: Population-weighted exposure to ambient PM2.5 pollution is defined as the average level of exposure of a nation's population to concentrations of suspended particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter, which are capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory tract and causing severe health damage. Exposure is calculated by weighting mean annual concentrations of PM2.5 by population in both urban and rural areas.

Source: Brauer, M. et al. 2016. “Ambient Air Pollution Exposure Estimation for the Global Burden of Disease 2013.” Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 1: 79–88.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Mauritania 70.13 2013
2 China 54.36 2013
3 Saudi Arabia 54.12 2013
4 Kuwait 49.13 2013
5 Bangladesh 48.36 2013
6 India 46.68 2013
7 Pakistan 46.18 2013
8 Nepal 46.09 2013
9 Bahrain 43.63 2013
10 Cabo Verde 43.07 2013
11 Turkmenistan 41.68 2013
12 Senegal 41.21 2013
13 United Arab Emirates 40.95 2013
14 Qatar 38.36 2013
15 Niger 38.12 2013
16 Egypt 36.41 2013
17 Yemen 36.19 2013
18 Mali 35.93 2013
19 The Gambia 34.80 2013
20 Iraq 32.57 2013
21 Iran 31.89 2013
22 Chad 30.71 2013
23 Oman 30.35 2013
24 Guinea-Bissau 30.20 2013
25 Nigeria 29.51 2013
26 Burkina Faso 29.23 2013
27 Korea 29.08 2013
28 Myanmar 28.93 2013
29 Bhutan 28.12 2013
30 Djibouti 28.04 2013
31 Libya 27.82 2013
32 Lao PDR 27.48 2013
33 Guinea 27.02 2013
34 Benin 26.71 2013
35 Sudan 26.59 2013
36 Ghana 26.54 2013
37 Israel 25.78 2013
38 Jordan 25.64 2013
39 Uzbekistan 25.53 2013
40 Vietnam 25.47 2013
41 Togo 25.40 2013
42 Eritrea 24.82 2013
43 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 24.33 2013
44 Sierra Leone 23.92 2013
45 Lebanon 23.56 2013
46 Syrian Arab Republic 23.54 2013
47 Liberia 22.72 2013
48 Thailand 22.36 2013
49 Afghanistan 21.70 2013
50 Cameroon 21.34 2013
51 Azerbaijan 20.80 2013
52 Côte d'Ivoire 20.30 2013
53 Cambodia 19.74 2013
54 Tajikistan 19.62 2013
55 Central African Republic 19.33 2013
56 Algeria 19.26 2013
57 Belgium 18.53 2013
58 Chile 18.38 2013
59 Italy 18.34 2013
60 Kyrgyz Republic 18.34 2013
61 Dem. Rep. Congo 18.08 2013
62 Armenia 17.75 2013
63 Uganda 17.63 2013
64 Ethiopia 17.60 2013
65 Switzerland 17.60 2013
66 Morocco 17.36 2013
67 Turkey 17.21 2013
68 Sri Lanka 17.15 2013
69 Burundi 17.10 2013
70 Moldova 17.06 2013
71 Rwanda 17.02 2013
72 Macedonia 17.00 2013
73 Poland 16.98 2013
74 Grenada 16.87 2013
75 Netherlands 16.84 2013
76 Romania 16.82 2013
77 Singapore 16.68 2013
78 Czech Republic 16.55 2013
79 Brazil 16.50 2013
80 Cyprus 16.46 2013
81 Tunisia 16.35 2013
82 Barbados 16.11 2013
83 Japan 16.03 2013
84 Albania 15.95 2013
85 Slovak Republic 15.94 2013
86 Bulgaria 15.93 2013
87 Serbia 15.78 2013
88 Antigua and Barbuda 15.76 2013
89 Hungary 15.76 2013
90 St. Lucia 15.61 2013
91 Georgia 15.51 2013
92 Dominica 15.40 2013
93 Greece 15.37 2013
94 Germany 15.35 2013
95 Ukraine 15.09 2013
96 Montenegro 14.95 2013
97 Austria 14.85 2013
98 Luxembourg 14.80 2013
99 Indonesia 14.77 2013
100 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 14.50 2013
101 Malaysia 14.40 2013
102 South Africa 14.33 2013
103 Russia 14.23 2013
104 Kazakhstan 14.22 2013
105 Paraguay 14.13 2013
106 Malta 14.09 2013
107 Angola 14.02 2013
108 France 14.02 2013
109 Croatia 13.93 2013
110 Ecuador 13.91 2013
111 Congo 13.81 2013
112 Lithuania 13.75 2013
113 Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.63 2013
114 Slovenia 13.62 2013
115 Belarus 13.60 2013
116 Venezuela 13.43 2013
117 Haiti 13.35 2013
118 El Salvador 12.92 2013
119 Peru 12.90 2013
120 Colombia 12.63 2013
121 Dominican Republic 12.49 2013
122 Guatemala 12.40 2013
123 Canada 12.14 2013
124 Latvia 12.02 2013
125 Mexico 11.93 2013
126 Zambia 11.78 2013
127 Spain 11.65 2013
128 Suriname 11.48 2013
129 Kenya 11.43 2013
130 Denmark 11.41 2013
131 Equatorial Guinea 11.25 2013
132 Jamaica 11.13 2013
133 Cuba 10.97 2013
134 The Bahamas 10.92 2013
135 Gabon 10.92 2013
136 Bolivia 10.89 2013
137 United Kingdom 10.81 2013
138 United States 10.75 2013
139 Lesotho 10.70 2013
140 Somalia 10.39 2013
141 Swaziland 10.38 2013
142 Portugal 9.90 2013
143 Botswana 9.70 2013
144 Mauritius 9.65 2013
145 Andorra 9.51 2013
146 Brunei 9.47 2013
147 Costa Rica 9.31 2013
148 Trinidad and Tobago 9.17 2013
149 Tanzania 9.16 2013
150 Malawi 9.13 2013
151 Estonia 9.09 2013
152 Zimbabwe 9.07 2013
153 Argentina 8.96 2013
154 Guyana 8.75 2013
155 Honduras 8.67 2013
156 New Zealand 8.64 2013
157 Philippines 8.60 2013
158 Mongolia 8.33 2013
159 Namibia 8.32 2013
160 Ireland 7.93 2013
161 Fiji 7.49 2013
162 Kiribati 7.43 2013
163 Tonga 7.42 2013
163 Samoa 7.42 2013
165 Vanuatu 7.38 2013
166 Mozambique 7.33 2013
167 Sweden 7.32 2013
168 Iceland 7.18 2013
169 Finland 7.03 2013
170 Nicaragua 6.98 2013
171 Comoros 6.91 2013
172 Panama 6.81 2013
173 São Tomé and Principe 6.77 2013
174 Uruguay 6.68 2013
175 Seychelles 6.51 2013
176 Timor-Leste 6.21 2013
177 Madagascar 6.20 2013
178 Norway 6.04 2013
179 Australia 5.93 2013
180 Papua New Guinea 5.90 2013
181 Belize 5.71 2013
182 Solomon Islands 4.54 2013

More rankings: Africa | Asia | Central America & the Caribbean | Europe | Middle East | North America | Oceania | South America | World |

Development Relevance: Air pollution places a major burden on world health. More than 40 percent of the world’s people rely on wood, charcoal, dung, crop waste, or coal to meet basic energy needs. Cooking with solid fuels creates harmful smoke and particulates that fill homes and the surrounding environment. Household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels is responsible for 3.9 million deaths a year—about one every 8 seconds. In many places, including cities but also nearby rural areas, exposure to air pollution exposure is the main environmental threat to health. Long-term exposure to high levels of fine particulates in the air contributes to a range of health effects, including respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and heart disease, resulting in 3.2 million deaths annually. Not only does exposure to air pollution affect the health of the world’s people, it also carries huge economic costs and represents a drag on development, particularly for low and middle income countries and vulnerable segments of the population such as children and the elderly.

Limitations and Exceptions: Pollutant concentrations are sensitive to local conditions, and even monitoring sites in the same city may register different levels. Direct monitoring of PM2.5 is still rare in many parts of the world, and measurement protocols and standards are not the same for all countries. These data should be considered only a general indication of air quality, intended for cross-country comparisons of the relative risk of particulate matter pollution. The guideline set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for PM2.5 is that annual mean concentrations should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic meter, representing the lower range over which adverse health effects have been observed. The WHO has also recommended guideline values for emissions of PM2.5 from burning fuels in households.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Michael Brauer, Greg Freedman, Joseph Frostad, Aaron van Donkelaar, Randall V. Martin, Frank Dentener, Rita van Dingenen, Kara Estep, Heresh Amini, Joshua S. Apte, Kalpana Balakrishnan, Lars Barregard, David Broday, Valery Feigin, Santu Ghosh, Philip K. Hopke, Luke D. Knibbs, Yoshihiro Kokubo, Yang Liu, Stefan Ma, Lidia Morawska, José Luis Texcalac Sangrador, Gavin Shaddick, H. Ross Anderson, Theo Vos, Mohammad H. Forouzanfar, Richard T. Burnett, and Aaron Cohen. 2016. “Ambient Air Pollution Exposure Estimation for the Global Burden of Disease 2013.” Environmental Science & Technology 50, no. 1: 79–88. Data on exposure to ambient air pollution are derived from estimates of annual concentrations of very fine particulates produced by the Global Burden of Disease study, an international scientific effort led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Estimates of annual concentrations are generated by combining data from atmospheric chemistry transport models, satellite observations of aerosols in the atmosphere, and ground-level monitoring of particulates. Exposure to concentrations of PM2.5 in both urban and rural areas is weighted by population and is aggregated at the national level.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual