India stands at 8th as per World Air Quality Report 2022, Ranking lowers than Last Year’s 5th place

IQAir, a Swiss air quality information platform reveals in the 2022 report that India is the 8th most polluted country in the world. Presently, the country has PM2.5 levels of concentration which are more than above the WHO recommended limit. Know what contributes to the poor air quality index here.

World Air Quality Index 2022
World Air Quality Index 2022

IQAir, a Switzerland-based air quality technology company has recently published the World Air Quality Report for the year 2022. The index that came out on March 15, 2023 (Tuesday) hints that India is at the eighth rank in terms of the world’s most polluted country in the world. 

For 2022, the country has witnessed a little drop in the ranking as it was placed at the 5th spot in the previous year. However, 2022 data goes down to 8th with the PM2.5 level. As compared to cleaner countries, the denizens of India are susceptible to  83.2 μg/cubic metre of PM2.5 pollutants which is significantly much higher than the WHO recommended unit. Also, the information highlights that the most polluted Indian cities are positioned at 53.3. 



In the list of 50 most polluted cities in the world, 39 are already in India which indicates growing concerns as the air is becoming unbreathable day by day. A number of factors contribute to air pollution and the health of all. 

Life-Threatening Aerial Substances

Two of the Indian cities ranked in the world's most polluted cities namely Bhiwadi city located on the Rajasthan-Haryana border and another one is the metropolitan capital, Delhi. While Bhiwadi has 92.7 degrees of pollutants, Delhi on the other hand is close to 92.6. 

As per the analysis drawn by IQAir, air quality levels have been calculated on the basis of the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particulates also called PM2.5. PM2.5 are those tiny particles that have diameters including dust, dirt, smoke, etc. 

The Swiss organisation IQAir releases its annual report every year and the record is widely included in the various citations by researchers as well as government organizations.

Annual Global Survey 2022

Lahore in Pakistan leapt on to over 10 places to be titled the worst city in terms of air quality in the world in 2022. Talking about the air quality in Lahore, it has now aggravated to 97.4 micrograms of PM2.5 particles per cubic meter from 86.5 in the last year 2021. This further makes it the most polluted city at a global level.

Pakistan has two of the five cities with the most terrible air. Accordion to the latest report, Pakistan is ranked third in the country-wide ranking at 70.9 which is further followed by Bahrain at 66.6.

Moreover, Chad, a country in north-central Africa topped the world air quality index as it is the number one polluted country in the world, as per the annual global survey. In 2022, Chad replaced Bangladesh which was reported as the most air-polluted country in the 2021 report. Although Chad had an average pollutant level of 89.7, the second most polluted country Iraq currently averaged 80.1.

Air Pollution Analysis 

Hotan becomes the only Chinese city in the top 20 of the index levels, followed by Lahore with PM2.5 levels of 94.3, which results in an improvement from 101.5 in 2021. Bangladesh's air quality has slightly improved from 2021 when it was tagged as the country with the worst air.

In the latest 2022 report, it is ranked 5th with PM2.5 levels coming down to 65.8 from 76.9, as informed by Reuters. If the overall average would be evaluated, one in 10 people globally is living in an area where air pollution poses a threat to their health.

The US Pacific territory Guam is reported to have cleaner air than any other country around the world, with a PM2.5 concentration of 1.3 whereas Canberra had the cleanest air for a capital city with 2.8. The index was put together using data from more than 30,000 air quality monitors in as many as 7,300 locations in 131 countries, territories and regions.

WHO Guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes a maximum PM2.5 concentration of about 5 micrograms per cubic meter as prepared by Reuters reports. Various factors are well known to the world that cause hazardous air pollution such as the burning of fossil fuels, vehicle emissions, and microbial decaying processes, among many others.

The final report concluded that India and Pakistan experienced the worst air quality in the Central and South Asian region. More than 60% of the population breathes in regions where the concentration of PM2.5 particles is at least seven times higher than what WHO strictly recommends.

What is Air Quality Index (AQI)?

The World Air Quality Report shows the current status of air quality across the globe every year. There are multiple monitoring stations and sensors located which are handled by several research institutions, governmental bodies, non-profit organisations, educational institutes and scientists all over the world. 

The 2022 report is sourced from IQAir’s real-time air quality online observation platform. It aims to instruct governments, citizens and various companies around the globe. So that it inspires them to take effective measures for the levels and health of all global communities.  

Also Read: Surekha Yadav becomes Asia’s First Female Loco Pilot of Indigenous Vande Bharat Train, Know about this Tech Train here

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