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Number of air pollution days in the United Kingdom (UK) 2010-2019, by area

Since 2010, the highest recorded number of days with moderate or higher air pollution in rural areas was 29.4 in 2018. This was a significant increase compared to the years prior. However, air pollution days in rural areas decreased to 20 the following year. Air pollution days in urbans areas were in decline until 2018.

Average number of moderate or higher air pollution days in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010 to 2019, by area

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Release date

April 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The new UK daily air quality index was launched on 1 January 2012, making a number of significant changes to the monitoring of air quality in the UK. One of the key changes involved modifying exposure thresholds in order to more closely align them with World Health Organization Guidelines, UK air quality objectives, and EU Limit Values.

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