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, for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Qatar 107.31 2015
2 Saudi Arabia 106.16 2015
3 Egypt 104.67 2015
4 Bangladesh 89.39 2015
5 Mauritania 85.09 2015
6 Libya 79.20 2015
7 Nepal 75.00 2015
8 India 74.33 2015
9 Kuwait 67.43 2015
10 Cameroon 66.43 2015
11 Pakistan 64.95 2015
12 United Arab Emirates 64.29 2015
13 Niger 62.74 2015
14 The Gambia 60.95 2015
15 Uganda 60.30 2015
16 China 58.38 2015
17 Bhutan 55.72 2015
18 Bahrain 55.45 2015
19 Myanmar 54.39 2015
20 Oman 53.28 2015
21 Congo 53.01 2015
22 Yemen 52.83 2015
23 Iraq 52.00 2015
24 Djibouti 51.50 2015
25 Sudan 50.05 2015
26 Tajikistan 50.03 2015
27 Rwanda 49.71 2015
28 Afghanistan 48.02 2015
29 Bosnia and Herzegovina 47.40 2015
30 Equatorial Guinea 47.12 2015
31 Central African Republic 46.47 2015
32 Dem. Rep. Congo 46.32 2015
33 Chad 46.06 2015
34 Burundi 45.53 2015
35 Tunisia 44.79 2015
36 Mali 44.01 2015
37 Eritrea 43.49 2015
38 Iran 42.99 2015
39 Syrian Arab Republic 41.57 2015
40 Macedonia 40.48 2015
41 Burkina Faso 40.04 2015
42 Gabon 39.86 2015
43 Uzbekistan 39.67 2015
44 Cabo Verde 39.56 2015
45 Jordan 38.80 2015
46 Nigeria 37.96 2015
47 Honduras 37.59 2015
48 Senegal 37.57 2015
49 El Salvador 37.00 2015
50 Turkey 36.41 2015
51 Angola 36.40 2015
52 Ethiopia 35.74 2015
53 Algeria 35.56 2015
54 Benin 35.16 2015
55 Guatemala 34.85 2015
56 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 34.09 2015
57 Guinea-Bissau 32.99 2015
58 Togo 32.68 2015
59 Lebanon 32.60 2015
60 Lao PDR 32.57 2015
61 Turkmenistan 31.29 2015
62 Azerbaijan 30.35 2015
63 South Africa 29.63 2015
64 Cambodia 29.04 2015
65 Korea 28.66 2015
66 Vietnam 28.25 2015
67 Bulgaria 28.13 2015
68 Bolivia 27.97 2015
69 Sri Lanka 27.92 2015
70 Peru 27.82 2015
71 Nicaragua 27.38 2015
72 Belize 27.04 2015
73 Zambia 26.75 2015
74 Thailand 26.35 2015
75 Haiti 25.84 2015
76 Malawi 25.73 2015
77 Armenia 25.51 2015
78 Lesotho 24.70 2015
79 Poland 24.28 2015
80 Venezuela 23.76 2015
81 Mongolia 23.59 2015
82 Côte d'Ivoire 23.53 2015
83 Philippines 23.49 2015
84 Montenegro 23.35 2015
85 Tanzania 23.32 2015
86 Hungary 23.06 2015
87 Morocco 22.99 2015
88 Ghana 22.99 2015
89 Zimbabwe 22.87 2015
90 Guinea 22.64 2015
91 Croatia 21.78 2015
92 Swaziland 21.61 2015
93 Namibia 21.44 2015
94 Serbia 21.44 2015
95 Czech Republic 21.41 2015
96 Israel 21.09 2015
97 Chile 20.94 2015
98 Moldova 20.55 2015
99 Slovak Republic 20.52 2015
100 Belarus 20.48 2015
101 Georgia 20.48 2015
102 Latvia 20.42 2015
103 Dominican Republic 20.42 2015
104 Slovenia 20.35 2015
105 Mexico 20.24 2015
106 Costa Rica 20.12 2015
107 Italy 19.86 2015
108 Somalia 19.84 2015
109 Madagascar 19.68 2015
110 Kazakhstan 19.67 2015
111 Romania 19.58 2015
112 Mozambique 19.54 2015
113 Sierra Leone 19.30 2015
114 Lithuania 19.06 2015
115 Timor-Leste 18.90 2015
116 Ukraine 18.88 2015
117 Singapore 18.74 2015
118 Suriname 18.47 2015
119 Cyprus 18.29 2015
120 Colombia 18.00 2015
121 Cuba 17.99 2015
122 Albania 17.94 2015
123 Puerto Rico 17.85 2015
124 Botswana 17.54 2015
125 Guyana 17.39 2015
126 Comoros 17.08 2015
127 Austria 17.01 2015
128 Jamaica 16.99 2015
129 Kyrgyz Republic 16.92 2015
130 Russia 16.63 2015
131 Luxembourg 16.59 2015
132 Kenya 16.30 2015
133 Malta 15.67 2015
134 Belgium 15.64 2015
135 Malaysia 15.56 2015
136 Indonesia 15.41 2015
137 Barbados 15.39 2015
138 Grenada 15.14 2015
139 Mauritius 14.95 2015
140 Paraguay 14.85 2015
141 Netherlands 14.64 2015
142 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 14.25 2015
143 Trinidad and Tobago 14.19 2015
144 Germany 14.02 2015
145 St. Lucia 14.01 2015
146 Antigua and Barbuda 13.89 2015
147 São Tomé and Principe 13.89 2015
148 Papua New Guinea 13.86 2015
149 The Bahamas 13.72 2015
150 Dominica 13.56 2015
151 Greece 13.49 2015
152 Argentina 13.44 2015
153 Japan 13.33 2015
154 Seychelles 13.21 2015
155 Panama 13.20 2015
156 Switzerland 12.89 2015
157 Ecuador 12.84 2015
158 United Kingdom 12.41 2015
159 France 12.37 2015
160 Uruguay 11.49 2015
161 Brazil 11.37 2015
162 Denmark 11.02 2015
163 Andorra 10.06 2015
164 Ireland 9.80 2015
165 Portugal 9.76 2015
166 Spain 9.74 2015
167 Estonia 9.40 2015
168 Norway 9.08 2015
169 Vanuatu 8.52 2015
170 United States 8.44 2015
171 Fiji 7.87 2015
172 Liberia 7.85 2015
173 Iceland 7.79 2015
174 Finland 7.38 2015
175 Canada 7.18 2015
176 Solomon Islands 6.58 2015
177 Sweden 6.24 2015
178 Australia 5.90 2015
179 New Zealand 5.55 2015
180 Greenland 5.33 2015
181 Brunei 5.15 2015
182 Tonga 4.03 2015
183 Samoa 3.81 2015
184 Kiribati 3.45 2015

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Development Relevance: Air pollution places a major burden on world health. In many places, including cities but also in rural areas, exposure to air pollution is the main environmental threat to health, responsible for 6.5 million deaths per year, about one every 5 seconds. Around 40 percent of the world’s people rely on household burning of wood, charcoal, dung, crop waste, or coal to meet basic energy needs. Cooking and heating with solid fuels create harmful smoke and particles that fill homes and the surrounding environment. Household air pollution from cooking and heating with solid fuels is responsible for 2.9 million deaths a year. Long-term exposure to high levels of fine particles in the air contributes to a range of health effects, including respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and heart disease, resulting in 4.2 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 most 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 to inform cross-country comparisons of the health risks due to 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: A. van Donkelaar, R.V. Martin, M. Brauer, N.C. Hsu, R.A. Kahn, R.C. Levy, A. Lyapustin, A.M. Sayer, D.M. Winker, "Global Estimates of Fine Particulate Matter using a Combined Geophysical-Statistical Method with Information from Satellites, Models, and Monitors," Environ. Sci. Technol 50, no. 7 (2016): 3762–3772; GBD 2015 Risk Factors Collaborators, "Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015," Lancet 388 (2016): 1659–724; G. Shaddick, M.L. Thomas, A. Jobling, M. Brauer, A. van Donkelaar, R. Burnett, H.H. Chang, A. Cohen, R. Van Dingenen, C. Dora, S. Gumy, Y. Liu, R.V. Martin, L.A. Waller, J. West, J.V. Zidek, A. Prüss-Ustün, "Data Integration Model for Air Quality: A Hierarchical Approach to the Global Estimation of Exposures to Ambient Air Pollution," submitted to Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 26 September 2016. Data provided by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle. 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