The World’s Most Polluted Countries

You may think that your town/city/state is the most polluted place you have ever been, but chances are you’d be wrong.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new report on global air pollution, showcasing which countries are the most polluted on Earth. Using a reading called PM10 and PM2.5 – particles smaller than 10 or 2.5 microns, considered the most dangerous to human health – the WHO was able to measure the micrograms of PM 2.5 pollutants per unit meter of air. So, for example, the number one country on the list is Pakistan, which has 101 ug/m3 micrograms of PM 2.5 pollutants per unit meter of air.

Let’s take a quick look at the world’s most polluted countries, as decided by data gathered between 2008 and 2013:

1. Pakistan
Average PM2.5 pollution: 101 ug/m3

2. Qatar
Average PM2.5 pollution: 92 ug/m3

3. Afghanistan
Average PM2.5 pollution: 84 ug/m3

4. Bangladesh
Average PM2.5 pollution: 79 ug/m3

5. Iran
Average PM2.5 pollution: 76 ug/m3

6. Egypt
Average PM2.5 pollution: 74 ug/m3

7. Mongolia
Average PM2.5 pollution: 64 ug/m3

8. United Arab Emirates
Average PM2.5 pollution: 61 ug/m3

9. India
Average PM2.5 pollution: 59 ug/m3

10. Bahrain
Average PM2.5 pollution: 57 ug/m3

most polluted countries

While countries such as China usually make the news for their pollution, this research shows that the Middle East is actually suffering the most when it comes to air quality. Based on extrapolations of the data, about half of the urban population live in cities that exceed by 2.5 times or more the recommended levels of fine particulate matter set out by the WHO Air Quality Guidelines. That’s frightening.

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