The Most Polluted & Least Polluted Cities & Countries In The World

The Most Polluted & Least Polluted Cities & Countries In The World

The most polluted and least polluted cities and countries in the world depend on which pollution indicator is being measured.

In this guide, we look at those indicators, and which cities and countries might rank higher and lower on different lists.

 

Summary – Most & Least Polluted Cities & Countries In The World

There’s a number of ways to measure pollution for cities and countries

One of the most common ways it to measure air pollution and air quality. 

Another common pollution measurement is water pollution

Another way to measure pollution might be by ‘dirtyness’ – which might be measured by the level of littering and poor waste disposal, lack of waste treatment, lack of sanitation, overpopulation, a poor environmental and public health score, and other factors

Clean cities might be measured by the opposite of dirty cities 

Measuring pollution on the city level might be better because it allows us to see pollution on a more local and specific level

By looking at the number of cities (and/or towns) within a country that are polluted, we might be able to get a better idea of which countries are more polluted or less polluted

It’s worth noting that the state of a city can change over time – more polluted and more dirty cities can become cleaner over time, and vice versa. Also, it might only be certain parts of a city that are dirty or polluted

 

Air Pollution

India, Pakistan, China, and parts of Africa feature heavily in the top regions with the cities with the worst outdoor air pollution. Parts of South East Asia and The Middle East are also notable

11 of the 12 cities with the worst PM2.5 pollution are in India (so, it’s important to note that different geographic locations can have different levels of different air pollutants)

Read more in this guide about the cities and countries in the world with the most outdoor air pollution.

 

Water Pollution & Contamination

There’s a range of cities worldwide that have either polluted freshwater sources, or contaminated water sources (and potentially also tap water).

Some countries are also more responsible than other for being a major water polluter.

Read more in this guide about the cities and countries with the most water pollution and contamination in the world.

 

General Waste Pollution (& ‘Dirtiness’)

According to theactivetimes.com, some cities and towns in Tanzania, Chad, Congo, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, Pakistan, and Ethiopia suffer from factors like poor waste management and treatment, overpopulation or poor levels of sanitation.

According to thetravel.com, some places in Russia, Nigeria, India, Mozambique, Niger, Togo and Mali suffer from various waste pollution factors.

 

Cleanest Or Least Polluted

There’s a few ways to measure cleanliness.

According to clearwater.eu.com, the cleanest cities in the world are Calgary, Zurich, Luxembourg, Adelaide and Singapore.

According to wowtravel.me, the cleanest cities in the world are Copenhagen, Singapore City, Helsinki, Brisbane, Hamburg, Stockholm, Sapporo, Calgary, Wellington, Honolulu, Tallinn, and Oslo.

 

Cities With The Most Air Pollution

As mentioned above, India as a country features significantly in the top cities for air pollution – specifically PM 2.5.

Read more in this guide about the cities and countries in the world with the most outdoor air pollution.

Although PM 2.5 (Fine Particulate Matter) is one of the most commonly measured air pollutants, there’s other air pollutants that can be measured in the air to determine air quality.

Read more in this guide about outdoor air pollution causes, sources, effects and solutions.

 

Cities With The Most Water Pollution

Water pollution affects many cities and countries throughout the world.

Read more in this guide about the cities and countries with the most water pollution and contamination in the world.

There’s a number of ways that water can be polluted, along with a number of different potential water pollutants – read more in this guide about water pollution causes, sources, effects and potential solutions.

 

Dirtiest Cities – Cities With The General Waste Pollution, Litter, & Unsanitary Conditions

The phrase ‘dirty’ can mean a range of things – level of litter, level of sanitation, and more.

In general though, dirtier cities lack adequate waste management, waste disposal and waste treatment systems. There can also be environmental and health concerns like open duming of toxic chemicals.

For example, there might be certain levels of garbage in the streets or untreated sewage in rivers and fresh water sources. There can also be people either urinating or defecating in certain parts of the city.

Dirtier cities might also suffer from overpopulation, which compounds the above issues.

Sometimes how dirty a city is is not the fault of the people living there – poverty, political instability, lack of corporate responsibility, and factors like natural events (earthquakes, floods, etc) can all contribute to higher levels of uncleanliness. 

According to theactivetimes.com, some cities and towns in Tanzania, Chad, Congo, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, Pakistan, and Ethiopia suffer from factors like poor waste management and treatment, overpopulation or poor levels of sanitation.

According to thetravel.com, some places in Russia, Nigeria, India, Mozambique, Niger, Togo and Mali suffer from various waste pollution factors.

 

Cleanest Cities In The World

The opposite of dirty cities.

The cleanest cities might be well organised, have good waste management, have little litter, have conditions for good health and sanitary living conditions, have good air and water quality, and have other factors contributing to cleanliness. A good environmental health score may also contribute.

According to clearwater.eu.com, the cleanest cities in the world are Calgary, Zurich, Luxembourg, Adelaide and Singapore.

According to wowtravel.me, the cleanest cities in the world are Copenhagen, Singapore City, Helsinki, Brisbane, Hamburg, Stockholm, Sapporo, Calgary, Wellington, Honolulu, Tallinn, and Oslo.

The bestlifeonline.com resource below outlines the top 50 cleanest cities in the world.

The icepop.com resource below outlines the top 25 cleanest cities in the world.

 

Sources

1. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/countries-cities-with-the-most-water-pollution-contamination-worst-clean-water-supplies/

2. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/countries-cities-with-the-worst-ambient-outdoor-air-pollution-household-indoor-air-pollution/

3. https://www.theactivetimes.com/travel/15-dirtiest-cities-world-0/slide-16

4. https://www.thetravel.com/we-present-the-worlds-20-dirtiest-cities/

5. https://clearwater.eu.com/2015/11/the-worlds-cleanest-cities/

6. https://bestlifeonline.com/cleanest-cities-world/

7. https://www.icepop.com/cleanest-cities-world-ranked/

8. https://wowtravel.me/the-12-cleanest-cities-in-the-world/

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