PM2.5 pollution, population exposed to levels exceeding WHO Interim Target-3 value (% of total) - Country Ranking

Definition: Percent of population exposed to ambient concentrations of PM2.5 that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) Interim Target 3 (IT-3) is defined as the portion of a country’s population living in places where mean annual concentrations of PM2.5 are greater than 15 micrograms per cubic meter. The Air Quality Guideline (AQG) of 10 micrograms per cubic meter is recommended by the WHO as the lower end of the range of concentrations over which adverse health effects due to PM2.5 exposure have been observed.

Source: Brauer, M. et al. 2017, for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Dem. Rep. Congo 100.00 2017
1 Mali 100.00 2017
1 St. Lucia 100.00 2017
1 Morocco 100.00 2017
1 Madagascar 100.00 2017
1 Qatar 100.00 2017
1 Rwanda 100.00 2017
1 Singapore 100.00 2017
1 Eswatini 100.00 2017
1 Chad 100.00 2017
1 Saudi Arabia 100.00 2017
1 Sudan 100.00 2017
1 Comoros 100.00 2017
1 The Gambia 100.00 2017
1 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2017
1 Tanzania 100.00 2017
1 Yemen 100.00 2017
1 Côte d'Ivoire 100.00 2017
1 Congo 100.00 2017
1 Jordan 100.00 2017
1 Niger 100.00 2017
1 Equatorial Guinea 100.00 2017
1 Burundi 100.00 2017
1 Cameroon 100.00 2017
1 Zambia 100.00 2017
1 Nepal 100.00 2017
1 Trinidad and Tobago 100.00 2017
1 Uganda 100.00 2017
1 Ethiopia 100.00 2017
1 Senegal 100.00 2017
1 El Salvador 100.00 2017
1 Bahrain 100.00 2017
1 Botswana 100.00 2017
1 Ghana 100.00 2017
1 Nigeria 100.00 2017
1 Eritrea 100.00 2017
1 Gabon 100.00 2017
1 Korea 100.00 2017
1 Kuwait 100.00 2017
1 Namibia 100.00 2017
1 Somalia 100.00 2017
1 Togo 100.00 2017
1 Barbados 100.00 2017
1 Central African Republic 100.00 2017
1 Djibouti 100.00 2017
1 Angola 100.00 2017
1 Antigua and Barbuda 100.00 2017
1 Burkina Faso 100.00 2017
1 Bhutan 100.00 2017
1 Cabo Verde 100.00 2017
1 Dominica 100.00 2017
1 Lesotho 100.00 2017
1 Mozambique 100.00 2017
1 Mauritania 100.00 2017
1 Afghanistan 100.00 2017
1 Benin 100.00 2017
1 Egypt 100.00 2017
1 Kenya 100.00 2017
1 United Arab Emirates 100.00 2017
1 Bangladesh 100.00 2017
1 Guinea-Bissau 100.00 2017
1 Grenada 100.00 2017
1 Iraq 100.00 2017
1 Malawi 100.00 2017
1 Pakistan 100.00 2017
1 São Tomé and Principe 100.00 2017
1 Seychelles 100.00 2017
1 Syrian Arab Republic 100.00 2017
1 Tajikistan 100.00 2017
1 Tunisia 100.00 2017
1 Zimbabwe 100.00 2017
1 Armenia 100.00 2017
1 Azerbaijan 100.00 2017
1 Algeria 100.00 2017
1 Belize 100.00 2017
1 Libya 100.00 2017
1 Oman 100.00 2017
1 Sierra Leone 100.00 2017
1 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 100.00 2017
80 Myanmar 100.00 2017
81 Turkey 100.00 2017
82 Guatemala 99.99 2017
83 Cambodia 99.98 2017
84 Iran 99.98 2017
85 Turkmenistan 99.96 2017
86 Guinea 99.94 2017
87 India 99.94 2017
88 China 99.94 2017
89 North Macedonia 99.89 2017
90 South Africa 99.87 2017
91 Lebanon 99.87 2017
92 Suriname 99.67 2017
93 Thailand 99.59 2017
94 Montenegro 99.57 2017
95 Liberia 99.35 2017
96 Vietnam 99.23 2017
97 Guyana 99.15 2017
98 Serbia 99.15 2017
99 Georgia 98.94 2017
100 Lao PDR 98.59 2017
101 Ukraine 97.90 2017
102 Uzbekistan 97.68 2017
103 Peru 97.19 2017
104 Honduras 96.59 2017
105 Bosnia and Herzegovina 96.34 2017
106 Timor-Leste 96.26 2017
107 Bolivia 95.84 2017
108 Israel 94.13 2017
109 Cyprus 91.54 2017
110 Slovak Republic 90.86 2017
111 The Bahamas 90.52 2017
112 Belarus 90.21 2017
113 Mongolia 89.89 2017
114 Bulgaria 89.40 2017
115 Poland 87.22 2017
116 Mexico 86.60 2017
117 Albania 84.61 2017
118 Chile 82.31 2017
119 Philippines 78.56 2017
120 Moldova 77.78 2017
121 Nicaragua 75.70 2017
122 Croatia 73.90 2017
123 Venezuela 72.09 2017
124 Cuba 63.81 2017
125 Kyrgyz Republic 63.40 2017
126 Slovenia 62.72 2017
127 Mauritius 60.71 2017
128 Russia 60.05 2017
129 Malta 59.05 2017
130 Hungary 58.78 2017
131 Malaysia 58.78 2017
132 Colombia 58.45 2017
133 Costa Rica 57.68 2017
134 Greece 56.85 2017
135 Italy 53.29 2017
136 Czech Republic 52.46 2017
137 Indonesia 51.97 2017
138 Ecuador 46.82 2017
139 Sri Lanka 43.52 2017
140 Romania 42.34 2017
141 Haiti 40.38 2017
142 Dominican Republic 29.27 2017
143 Kazakhstan 24.37 2017
144 Argentina 20.60 2017
145 Brazil 19.02 2017
146 Latvia 16.88 2017
147 Jamaica 14.49 2017
148 Austria 14.14 2017
149 Japan 9.73 2017
150 Australia 9.22 2017
151 Belgium 9.18 2017
152 France 9.12 2017
153 Lithuania 8.30 2017
154 Germany 6.80 2017
155 Papua New Guinea 3.08 2017
156 Paraguay 2.90 2017
157 Switzerland 1.38 2017
158 United Kingdom 1.21 2017
159 Spain 0.96 2017
160 Panama 0.91 2017
161 United States 0.28 2017
162 Netherlands 0.04 2017
163 Norway 0.00 2017
163 Portugal 0.00 2017
163 Greenland 0.00 2017
163 Kiribati 0.00 2017
163 Finland 0.00 2017
163 Brunei 0.00 2017
163 Canada 0.00 2017
163 Uruguay 0.00 2017
163 New Zealand 0.00 2017
163 Tonga 0.00 2017
163 Puerto Rico 0.00 2017
163 Samoa 0.00 2017
163 Andorra 0.00 2017
163 Fiji 0.00 2017
163 Solomon Islands 0.00 2017
163 Luxembourg 0.00 2017
163 Estonia 0.00 2017
163 Sweden 0.00 2017
163 Denmark 0.00 2017
163 Vanuatu 0.00 2017
163 Ireland 0.00 2017
163 Iceland 0.00 2017

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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. Three interim targets were defined for PM2.5 and have been shown to be achievable with successive and sustained abatement measures. Countries may find these interim targets particularly helpful in gauging progress over time in the difficult process of steadily reducing population exporsure to PM. IT-3 level places greater weight than IT-2 on the likelihood of signifcant effects associated with long-term exposures. IT-3 value is close to the mean concentrations that are reported in studies of long-term exposure and provides an additional 6% reduction in mortality risk relative to the IT-2 value.

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 2017 Risk Factors Collaborators, "Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks for 194 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017," Lancet 392 (2018): 1923-1994; Shaddick G, Thomas M, Amini H, Broday DM, Cohen A, Frostad J, Green A, Gumy S, Liu Y, Martin RV, Prüss-Üstün A, Simpson D, van Donkelaar A, Brauer M. Data integration for the assessment of population exposure to ambient air pollution for global burden of disease assessment. Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Jun 29. 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. Overlaying PM2.5 estimates with gridded population data, the percent of a nation's people that lives in areas where PM2.5 concentrations exceed recommended levels is calculated by summing the population for grid cells where PM2.5 concentrations are beyond a threshold value, in this case 10 micrograms per cubic meter, and then dividing by total population.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual