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

Definition: Percent of population exposed to ambient concentrations of PM2.5 that exceed the WHO guideline value is defined as the portion of a country’s population living in places where mean annual concentrations of PM2.5 are greater than 10 micrograms per cubic meter, the guideline value recommended by the World Health Organization 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 Bahrain 100.00 2017
1 Botswana 100.00 2017
1 Ghana 100.00 2017
1 Nigeria 100.00 2017
1 Burundi 100.00 2017
1 Cameroon 100.00 2017
1 Israel 100.00 2017
1 Lao PDR 100.00 2017
1 Samoa 100.00 2017
1 Zambia 100.00 2017
1 Ethiopia 100.00 2017
1 Malta 100.00 2017
1 Nepal 100.00 2017
1 Trinidad and Tobago 100.00 2017
1 Uganda 100.00 2017
1 Eritrea 100.00 2017
1 Haiti 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 Timor-Leste 100.00 2017
1 Albania 100.00 2017
1 Gabon 100.00 2017
1 Cambodia 100.00 2017
1 Senegal 100.00 2017
1 El Salvador 100.00 2017
1 Dem. Rep. Congo 100.00 2017
1 Mali 100.00 2017
1 Equatorial Guinea 100.00 2017
1 Greece 100.00 2017
1 India 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 Uzbekistan 100.00 2017
1 Côte d'Ivoire 100.00 2017
1 Congo 100.00 2017
1 Jordan 100.00 2017
1 Lebanon 100.00 2017
1 Montenegro 100.00 2017
1 Myanmar 100.00 2017
1 Niger 100.00 2017
1 The Bahamas 100.00 2017
1 Barbados 100.00 2017
1 Central African Republic 100.00 2017
1 Djibouti 100.00 2017
1 Serbia 100.00 2017
1 Liberia 100.00 2017
1 Lesotho 100.00 2017
1 Mozambique 100.00 2017
1 Mauritania 100.00 2017
1 Thailand 100.00 2017
1 Turkmenistan 100.00 2017
1 Armenia 100.00 2017
1 Azerbaijan 100.00 2017
1 Belize 100.00 2017
1 Guinea 100.00 2017
1 Kiribati 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
1 Cuba 100.00 2017
1 Georgia 100.00 2017
1 St. Lucia 100.00 2017
1 Morocco 100.00 2017
1 Madagascar 100.00 2017
1 North Macedonia 100.00 2017
1 Saudi Arabia 100.00 2017
1 Sudan 100.00 2017
1 South Africa 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 Jamaica 100.00 2017
1 Mauritius 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 Cyprus 100.00 2017
1 Algeria 100.00 2017
1 Hungary 100.00 2017
1 Iran 100.00 2017
1 Moldova 100.00 2017
1 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2017
1 Suriname 100.00 2017
1 Turkey 100.00 2017
1 Tanzania 100.00 2017
1 Yemen 100.00 2017
1 Comoros 100.00 2017
1 The Gambia 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 Afghanistan 100.00 2017
1 Benin 100.00 2017
1 Egypt 100.00 2017
1 Guatemala 100.00 2017
1 Kenya 100.00 2017
1 Slovak Republic 100.00 2017
1 Ukraine 100.00 2017
1 Vietnam 100.00 2017
1 Vanuatu 100.00 2017
118 Bolivia 100.00 2017
119 China 100.00 2017
120 Papua New Guinea 100.00 2017
121 Guyana 99.99 2017
122 Honduras 99.98 2017
123 Poland 99.97 2017
124 Peru 99.96 2017
125 Bosnia and Herzegovina 99.96 2017
126 Venezuela 99.93 2017
127 Belarus 99.93 2017
128 Solomon Islands 99.92 2017
129 Dominican Republic 99.91 2017
130 Nicaragua 99.90 2017
131 Bulgaria 99.89 2017
132 Tonga 99.81 2017
133 Croatia 99.78 2017
134 Costa Rica 99.69 2017
135 Czech Republic 99.68 2017
136 Mexico 99.66 2017
137 Netherlands 99.60 2017
138 Slovenia 99.49 2017
139 Paraguay 99.06 2017
140 Ecuador 98.32 2017
141 Romania 98.02 2017
142 Chile 97.66 2017
143 Kyrgyz Republic 97.43 2017
144 Mongolia 97.01 2017
145 Philippines 96.37 2017
146 Lithuania 96.00 2017
147 Indonesia 95.57 2017
148 Italy 94.78 2017
149 Argentina 93.85 2017
150 Colombia 92.10 2017
151 Belgium 91.95 2017
152 Russia 91.61 2017
153 Malaysia 90.54 2017
154 Germany 89.17 2017
155 Latvia 89.01 2017
156 Kazakhstan 87.41 2017
157 Austria 85.05 2017
158 Fiji 82.80 2017
159 Greenland 80.02 2017
160 France 78.21 2017
161 Japan 76.76 2017
162 Panama 71.64 2017
163 Luxembourg 68.78 2017
164 Brazil 68.14 2017
165 United Kingdom 66.53 2017
166 Denmark 56.91 2017
167 Switzerland 49.30 2017
168 Sri Lanka 45.54 2017
169 Spain 41.12 2017
170 Australia 24.89 2017
171 Uruguay 22.39 2017
172 Andorra 17.82 2017
173 Portugal 16.01 2017
174 Iceland 10.29 2017
175 Puerto Rico 3.67 2017
176 Sweden 3.64 2017
177 United States 3.34 2017
178 Norway 2.04 2017
179 Ireland 0.27 2017
180 Estonia 0.00 2017
180 Brunei 0.00 2017
180 Finland 0.00 2017
180 Canada 0.00 2017
180 New Zealand 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.

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