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Average PM2.5 levels in the most polluted regional cities in the U.S. 2019

In 2019, the most polluted regional city in the United States in terms of PM2.5 concentration was Portola in the state of California, with an average of 16.9 micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m³). The World Health Organization's PM2.5 annual mean exposure target is 10 μg/m³.
Many of the countries most polluted regional cities are located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The city of Maywood had the second highest average PM2.5 concentration that year at 16.5 μg/m³. Many homes in the city are situated near heavy industries such as metal foundries, increasing cancer risks amongst its residents.

In the United States there are racial disparities in pollution exposure, with Black and Latino Americans far more likely than White Americans to be exposed to dangerous pollutants.

Average PM2.5 concentration of the most polluted regional cities in the United States in 2019 (in micrograms per cubic meter of air)*

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*PM2. 5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers

Results are as of March 18, 2020

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Statistics on "Pollution in the U.S. "

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