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. 2016, for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Bulgaria 100.00 2015
1 Equatorial Guinea 100.00 2015
1 Greece 100.00 2015
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 100.00 2015
1 Switzerland 100.00 2015
1 Dem. Rep. Congo 100.00 2015
1 Mali 100.00 2015
1 Slovenia 100.00 2015
1 Comoros 100.00 2015
1 The Gambia 100.00 2015
1 Sri Lanka 100.00 2015
1 Qatar 100.00 2015
1 Rwanda 100.00 2015
1 Singapore 100.00 2015
1 Swaziland 100.00 2015
1 Chad 100.00 2015
1 Ethiopia 100.00 2015
1 Croatia 100.00 2015
1 Malta 100.00 2015
1 Belarus 100.00 2015
1 Trinidad and Tobago 100.00 2015
1 Uganda 100.00 2015
1 Israel 100.00 2015
1 Italy 100.00 2015
1 Lao PDR 100.00 2015
1 Burundi 100.00 2015
1 Cameroon 100.00 2015
1 Zambia 100.00 2015
1 Congo 100.00 2015
1 Jordan 100.00 2015
1 Lebanon 100.00 2015
1 Lithuania 100.00 2015
1 Myanmar 100.00 2015
1 Niger 100.00 2015
1 Puerto Rico 100.00 2015
1 Serbia 100.00 2015
1 Bolivia 100.00 2015
1 Hungary 100.00 2015
1 Iran 100.00 2015
1 Moldova 100.00 2015
1 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 100.00 2015
1 Turkey 100.00 2015
1 Yemen 100.00 2015
1 Eritrea 100.00 2015
1 Haiti 100.00 2015
1 Korea 100.00 2015
1 Kuwait 100.00 2015
1 Gabon 100.00 2015
1 Angola 100.00 2015
1 Antigua and Barbuda 100.00 2015
1 Burkina Faso 100.00 2015
1 Cabo Verde 100.00 2015
1 Dominica 100.00 2015
1 Dominican Republic 100.00 2015
1 Latvia 100.00 2015
1 Montenegro 100.00 2015
1 Uzbekistan 100.00 2015
1 Afghanistan 100.00 2015
1 Benin 100.00 2015
1 Togo 100.00 2015
1 China 100.00 2015
1 Egypt 100.00 2015
1 Guatemala 100.00 2015
1 Nicaragua 100.00 2015
1 Slovak Republic 100.00 2015
1 Ukraine 100.00 2015
1 Vietnam 100.00 2015
1 Cuba 100.00 2015
1 Georgia 100.00 2015
1 St. Lucia 100.00 2015
1 Morocco 100.00 2015
1 Macedonia 100.00 2015
1 Poland 100.00 2015
1 Saudi Arabia 100.00 2015
1 Sudan 100.00 2015
1 Armenia 100.00 2015
1 Azerbaijan 100.00 2015
1 Belgium 100.00 2015
1 Belize 100.00 2015
1 Libya 100.00 2015
1 Netherlands 100.00 2015
1 Oman 100.00 2015
1 Philippines 100.00 2015
1 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 100.00 2015
1 United Arab Emirates 100.00 2015
1 Bangladesh 100.00 2015
1 Cyprus 100.00 2015
1 Algeria 100.00 2015
1 Pakistan 100.00 2015
1 São Tomé and Principe 100.00 2015
1 Seychelles 100.00 2015
1 Syrian Arab Republic 100.00 2015
1 Tajikistan 100.00 2015
1 Tunisia 100.00 2015
1 Zimbabwe 100.00 2015
1 Bahrain 100.00 2015
1 Guinea-Bissau 100.00 2015
1 Grenada 100.00 2015
1 Iraq 100.00 2015
1 Jamaica 100.00 2015
1 Mauritius 100.00 2015
1 Czech Republic 100.00 2015
1 Ghana 100.00 2015
1 Nigeria 100.00 2015
1 Albania 100.00 2015
1 Austria 100.00 2015
1 Honduras 100.00 2015
1 Cambodia 100.00 2015
1 Luxembourg 100.00 2015
1 Senegal 100.00 2015
1 El Salvador 100.00 2015
1 The Bahamas 100.00 2015
1 Barbados 100.00 2015
1 Central African Republic 100.00 2015
1 Djibouti 100.00 2015
1 Lesotho 100.00 2015
1 Mauritania 100.00 2015
1 Romania 100.00 2015
1 Thailand 100.00 2015
1 Turkmenistan 100.00 2015
121 Peru 99.99 2015
121 Suriname 99.99 2015
121 Tanzania 99.99 2015
121 India 99.99 2015
125 Côte d'Ivoire 99.98 2015
125 Nepal 99.98 2015
127 Venezuela 99.97 2015
127 Paraguay 99.97 2015
127 Sierra Leone 99.97 2015
130 Mexico 99.96 2015
131 Chile 99.94 2015
132 Germany 99.93 2015
133 Guinea 99.88 2015
134 South Africa 99.87 2015
135 Costa Rica 99.86 2015
136 Bhutan 99.83 2015
137 Somalia 99.66 2015
137 Mozambique 99.66 2015
139 Malawi 99.58 2015
140 Botswana 99.38 2015
141 Kenya 98.93 2015
141 Kyrgyz Republic 98.93 2015
143 Madagascar 98.74 2015
144 Guyana 98.63 2015
145 Japan 98.42 2015
146 Timor-Leste 97.55 2015
147 Argentina 97.33 2015
148 Namibia 96.43 2015
149 Colombia 96.00 2015
150 France 92.13 2015
151 Ecuador 91.77 2015
152 Mongolia 91.67 2015
153 Panama 90.61 2015
154 United Kingdom 89.84 2015
155 Russia 89.66 2015
156 Kazakhstan 89.14 2015
157 Indonesia 88.91 2015
158 Malaysia 86.85 2015
159 Uruguay 85.94 2015
160 Denmark 78.80 2015
161 Papua New Guinea 65.38 2015
162 Brazil 55.80 2015
163 Andorra 35.11 2015
164 Ireland 31.25 2015
165 Spain 28.11 2015
166 Portugal 24.22 2015
167 Estonia 15.25 2015
168 Norway 8.78 2015
169 United States 8.64 2015
170 Liberia 2.82 2015
171 Australia 0.14 2015
172 Finland 0.10 2015
173 Canada 0.01 2015
174 Greenland 0.00 2015
174 Kiribati 0.00 2015
174 Brunei 0.00 2015
174 Sweden 0.00 2015
174 New Zealand 0.00 2015
174 Tonga 0.00 2015
174 Vanuatu 0.00 2015
174 Fiji 0.00 2015
174 Samoa 0.00 2015
174 Iceland 0.00 2015
174 Solomon Islands 0.00 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. 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