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Countries with the Most Air Pollution

Name the countries with the highest level of human exposure to particulate matter.
For the year 2015 according to the World Bank
Includes particulate matter from human pollution and natural sources such as sand (hint!)
Last updated: January 04, 2017
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μg/m3
Country
104.2
Qatar
102.9
Saudi Arabia
99.5
Egypt
87.0
Bangladesh
72.6
India
70.9
Nepal
69.4
Libya
μg/m3
Country
68.5
Mauritania
65.7
Kuwait
64.0
Cameroon
63.0
Pakistan
62.2
United Arab Emirates
57.2
China
57.2
Uganda
μg/m3
Country
54.4
Bahrain
54.1
Bhutan
53.0
Myanmar
53.0
Niger
46.7
Oman
46.1
Afghanistan
+2
level 71
Jun 18, 2016
Taiwan is pretty polluted, but the World Bank's list doesn't include Taiwan at all.
+2
level 57
Jun 21, 2016
+1 Probably a Chinese source ;)
+3
level 14
Oct 10, 2016
Taiwan to some is considered a part of China, not a country... yet.
+1
level 80
Jun 18, 2016
Includes "natural sources" - that must be the sandstorms in the desert, so many of these countries are in and around Sahara.
+1
level 71
Aug 8, 2016
Volcanic sources too - thought Iceland was a special
+1
level 65
Aug 8, 2016
Yeah, when I figured that out I just started typing in desert countries. Surprised no micronations are on this list, because in those cases the entire country is a city, and any modern city is way more poluted than the surrounding country side.
+1
level 43
Jul 26, 2016
100% ! 40 seconds remaining... Surprise for Mauritania
+1
level 66
Aug 8, 2016
I flirted with the idea of Nepal being on the list but didn't type it. I thought a country in the middle of the Himalayas would have minimum pollution. Alas! Didn't read the natural sources part. I suppose the frequent blizzards might be why it's on the list.
+1
level 58
Aug 8, 2016
Kathmandu actually has plenty of pollution in it.
+1
level ∞
Aug 8, 2016
True. And this data measures human exposure. Most of the population of Nepal lives at lower elevation where pollution is heavy.
+1
level 78
Apr 22, 2017
Yeah, but Bhutan? Not much industry and not much at lower elevations.
+1
level 65
Nov 2, 2017
Yeah, even after getting India, Bangladesh and Nepal, I thought there's no way Bhutan would be on this list, so I didn't try typing that in. :(
+3
level 55
Jul 27, 2018
Valleys also create bowl effects, so pollution is trapped. That's part of what happens in Kathmandu: it's a bowl, plus lots of pollution sources that aren't just industry and high-polluting vehicles but dust from unpaved roads and construction, open fires, etc. Probably the same thing happens in Thimphu (Paro Valley). But I know that region well and I didn't guess Bhutan either! Surprised Mongolia wasn't on there.
+1
level 75
Aug 8, 2016
Picked up all the ones in the Middle East but missed most of the ones in Africa.
+1
level 39
Aug 8, 2016
Holy middle east batman
+1
level 67
Aug 12, 2016
All the money received by some of these countries by oil production and they can't fix up their air pollution. What do they spend their billions and billions on?
+1
level ∞
Jan 4, 2017
Supercars!
+3
level 75
Jan 12, 2017
What's the most cost-effective way of stopping a sandstorm in the desert?
+2
level 33
Feb 25, 2017
throw all the sand from the sahara desert into the ocean.
+1
level 59
Aug 7, 2018
Get rid of the desert
+1
level 75
Mar 10, 2019
they go out and spray water on some of it around cities in Saudi Arabia, and also a tar-like substance in some places which is more effective.
+2
level 71
Jan 6, 2017
Shocked to see zero-industry, non-desert Bhutan on this list.
+2
level ∞
Jan 6, 2017
Me too! They are probably getting pollution floating over from India.
+1
level 56
Apr 13, 2017
Across the himalayas? Pretty powerful smog!
+1
level 30
Feb 3, 2019
because of India
+1
level 50
Feb 14, 2018
Only missed Cameroon
+1
level 24
Nov 25, 2018
*gets Uganda with 14 seconds left* YEEE
+1
level 75
Dec 17, 2018
I've spent a lot of time in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines and I feel like the air quality in the Philippines is markedly worse. Maybe not if you factor in the entire country as a whole, as most of the pollution in the Philippines surrounds major cities while the sand in the air in Saudi you can find everywhere.
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