According to the latest World Air Quality Report released by IQAir AirVisual, the most polluted country in 2019 was Bangladesh, with average annual PM 2.5 concentration of 83.3 μg/m³, followed by Pakistan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan. Of the 10 countries with the world’s dirties air in 2019 (Figure 1), eight are Asian countries, and the remaining two are in the Middle East. China ranked 11th on the list.
In 2017, Business Insider cited the IEA and WHO data and reported that the worst country for air pollution in 2016 was Saudi Arabia, followed by Qatar, Egypt and Bangladesh. Of the 10 worst countries for air pollution in 2016 (Figure 2), five countries are in the Middle East, and two in Asian. Compared with the 2016 data, air quality had been improved significantly in non-Asian countries on the list in 2019 (Figure 3).
The 2019 World Air Quality Report also revealed that Delhi, the capital city of India, was the most polluted capital city in the world, with average annual PM 2.5 concentration of 98.6 μg/m³. Of the 10 capital cities with most polluted air in 2019, nine cities are in Asia (Figure 4). Beijing, the capital city of China, ranked 9th on the list. The report further indicated that 14 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India.