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Countries with the Least Air Pollution

Name the countries with the lowest level of human exposure to particulate matter.
For the year 2017 according to the World Bank
Data missing for some micronations
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedJanuary 4, 2017
Last updatedMay 10, 2019
Times taken16,137
Rating3.60
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μg/m3
Population
Country
5.9
5.6 mil
Finland
5.9
< 1 mil
Brunei
6.0
4.8 mil
New Zealand
6.2
10 mil
Sweden
6.4
37 mil
Canada
6.5
< 1 mil
Iceland
6.7
1.3 mil
Estonia
7.0
5.4 mil
Norway
7.4
329 mil
United States
7.8
< 1 mil
Maldives
8.2
10.3 mil
Portugal
μg/m3
Population
Country
8.2
4.8 mil
Ireland
8.6
25 mil
Australia
9.3
3.5 mil
Uruguay
9.7
46 mil
Spain
10
5.8 mil
Denmark
10.2
< 1 mil
Marshall Islands
10.3
8.6 mil
Switzerland
10.3
< 1 mil
Andorra
10.4
< 1 mil
Luxembourg
10.5
67 mil
United Kingdom
+4
level 52
Jan 5, 2017
It's surprising that the U.S. is on here, given how bad our pollution is in the cities. I guess the amount of rural areas with less pollution offsets that?
+1
level 52
Jan 5, 2017
I was pleasantly surprised as well.
+5
level ∞
Jan 5, 2017
Its based on the effect of pollution on the population. The U.S. is high on the list because we have excellent air quality, even in the urban areas.
+6
level 52
Apr 22, 2017
It's mostly surprising because the press would have us believe that the US is the worst in everything.
+12
level 77
Apr 22, 2017
yes. this. One thing that foreigners, including many Europeans, comment on when talking to me about their impression of the United States when they visited is how incredibly clean everything is. Like my ex's mother from Romania who went and bought new white sneakers, walked around outside for a day in them, and just couldn't stop talking about how the bottoms of her sneaker were still white. The US has excellent water and air quality and the water from the tap is among the best in the world, too. It wasn't always this way. It was a hard long road to progress that the country made from the 1960s/70s. And it won't last if Trump has anything to say about it.
+3
level 27
Apr 22, 2017
Yes the USA is one of the top countries in many categories. Sadly the media and many top academics/left wingers seem to demonize it and its capitalist 'evils'.
+1
level 66
Apr 22, 2017
I will say that the US is far, far cleaner than most countries I've visited...and France is absolutely filthy.
+9
level 54
Apr 27, 2017
It doesn't seem reasonable to extrapolate political understandings and their correctness or incorrectness based on the US' presence on this one quiz.
+4
level 60
Aug 7, 2018
Of the 500 cities with the most air pollution, the United States has zero of them.
+1
level 73
May 10, 2019
Well, the level of air pollution and general cleanliness in Europe varies A LOT. I didn't find US really special in that regard. What this quiz is about is also just one indicator of polution, if I got it right it's not even about all AIR pollution (gases...).

Another thing is that as a huge country it still has a big share of world pollution and a small policy change can have big influence, while nobody cares what exactly Luxembourg is doing about that.
+5
level 50
Jul 10, 2019
The American press critiques its own country so the American audience can improve it. At least that's how it's supposed to work.
+3
level 69
Jul 10, 2019
kalbahamut...Why do you always have to bring politics in your comments ? This is a game site...not a political site. Anyway, it is 2019 and the environmental quality is still high under Trump
+2
level 61
Jul 10, 2019
The same "Trump is destroying our environment" mantra. Trump is against overreaching regulations that serve more to pad lobbyists and politicians' pockets than to clean up our environment. As far as "green" policies go, if you follow the money, it always ends up back with politicians and companies that capitalize on them with new products. There is much more work to be done, but until politicians can find a way to fix the problems without wasteful spending and ill-conceived regulations that don't really do anything to help, things will just stay the same. Don't get me wrong, we have passed some very helpful regulations in the past, but they most always cost the tax payer more than it should.
+5
level 77
Jul 10, 2019
It's not a mantra you braying livestock. Trump's first pick to head the EPA was pro-fracking Scott Pruitt, who made his career suing the EPA. Then he nominated Andrew Wheeler, a coal-lobbyist. And people are ignorant enough to believe that he's really worried about padding lobbyists' pockets. His administration if FULL of lobbyists, and the wrong kind of lobbyists too, the ones who want to dismantle or destroy the agencies they are heading up to enrich their donors no matter what it costs our environment, our world, our kids. The administration has worked hard to suppress or erase any data the US scientific community has on climate change, taking us from a position of leadership to a position of irrelevance. They've done everything they possibly could to move the country in the exact wrong direction. Wake up. Get some different news sources.
+5
level 79
Jul 10, 2019
Why is it that every time I see someone yell "stop talking about politics" or something of the sort, that person usually leans conservative?
+1
level 46
Jul 10, 2019
Wow, quite the inflamed comment section. Seems to happen whenever the US is portrayed as anything other than the Great Satan. Anyway, in this case the facts speak for themselves...our economy is booming, stocks are at an all-time high, we're more respected by our allies and feared by our enemies, ISIS is all but obliterated, North Korea is on its way to denuclearizing, taxes have been cut successfully across the board, everyone is hiring...and for the purposes of this quiz, our air quality has continued to improve dramatically. According to the EPA, since 1990 levels of carbon monoxide have decreased by 77%, lead by 80%, and sulfur dioxide by a whopping 88%, to name just a few examples. "During this same period," they say, "the US economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles and population and energy use increased." This great trend has not reversed or even slowed since Trump took office. Capitalism is the answer. I welcome anyone to refute with facts anything I just said.
+3
level 58
Jul 11, 2019
MasterKenobi: Sooo many incorrect claims here, starting with "more respected by our allies". Um, no.
+1
level 79
Jul 11, 2019
Can people stop looking up positive statistics and giving credit to Trump? He’s had nothing to do with like 90% of them.
+1
level 72
May 10, 2019
You really don't see the heavy blankets of smog over U.S. cities like you used to. Los Angeles sometimes, but it used to be very common in a big city to look down from a tall building and see the others poking up through the haze with no hint of the ground to be seen.
+1
level 59
Jan 15, 2017
US, 55%? I knew people think low of the country, but didn't know that low!
+4
level 61
Jul 10, 2019
It's liberal environmentalist propaganda. Citizens here love to apologize for being successful, and love to hate themselves for destroying the planet, even though we as a nation do more to help the planet than most countries. The 55% doesn't surprise me one bit. I have visited countries like Brazil where pollution is a huge problem. The people who think we in the US have big problems have most likely not traveled to a developing country.
+1
level 51
Apr 22, 2017
surprised bhutan isnt here
+1
level 67
Nov 6, 2017
It's on the quiz of countries with worst air pollution. Now that's surprising!
+1
level 65
Jul 10, 2019
Wafting over from China. Same reason that Nepal and Mongolia aren’t on here.
+1
level 59
Jul 10, 2019
Actually Mongolia produces loads of its own pollution from coal and mineral mining. Ulaanbaatar is really polluted.
+1
level 61
Apr 25, 2017
Costa Rica with be on this quiz in a couple of years.
+1
level ∞
May 10, 2019
It's above average but not really close to making the list.
+1
level 67
Nov 6, 2017
I'm surprised that Australia made this list, because the quiz on worst polluted countries includes a lot of desert countries as they count sand as particles people are exposed to.
+1
level 62
May 10, 2019
Not many people live in the Outback. The big cities have great quality.
+2
level 55
Dec 2, 2018
I'm surprised of Australia and America's inclusion but the one I'm most surprised about is Brazil.
+1
level 56
May 10, 2019
How about the island nations in the Pacific? Wind help disperse the pollutants a lot
+1
level ∞
May 10, 2019
Some island nations are missing, but you can find the data set here.
+4
level 72
May 13, 2019
I guess that Vatican incense smog is pretty rough
+1
level 72
May 16, 2019
Probably there aren't too many statistics with Finland and Brunei being the top 2.
+1
level 57
May 30, 2019
See my quiz from 2018: "Top-15 Countries with Clean Air". The data source was WHO.
+1
level 57
Jul 10, 2019
I'm surprised for Brunei.
+4
level 53
Jul 10, 2019
where is argentina with BUENOS AIRES?^^
+1
level 53
Jul 11, 2019
did no-one get the joke?
+1
level 77
Jul 10, 2019
How is Australia on here when so many Pacific island nations are not? Don't they have a lot of dust storms in Australia?
+1
level 56
Jul 11, 2019
As mentioned in the description, data is missing for some (but not all) micronations.
+1
level 77
Jul 12, 2019
Still seems odd. On the quiz about countries with the worst air pollution there are a lot of countries with large deserts because of the sand particles in the air.
+1
level 40
Jul 10, 2019
How is it so that some nations make this list, yet none of their immediate neighbors do?
+1
level 56
Jul 11, 2019
GOT ALL BUT BRUNEI, a country which borders the country from which I come (Malaysia).
+1
level 56
Jul 11, 2019
You see, ending a sentence with a preposition is something I cannot put up with.
+1
level 56
Jul 11, 2019
...something up with which I cannot put*.