Global deaths caused by air pollution 2019, by country

Almost two million deaths were attributable to air pollution exposure in both China and India in 2019. Two of the most harmful air pollutants to human health are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter. Exposure to ambient particulate matter pollution is responsible for many deaths every year.

Where is pollution the highest?

Delhi was once again the most polluted capital city in the world in 2019. The concentration of PM2.5 particulate matter in the Indian capital averaged 98.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m³). This is well above the 10 μg/m³ limit set by the World Health Organization. On average, the most polluted country in the world is Bangladesh, which is home to the second most polluted capital city - Dhaka.

Sources of pollution

One of the main causes of particulate pollution in Bangladesh is the brick industry, and its many coal-fired kilns. Fossil fuel combustion is a major cause of air pollution and is produced from a number of sources such as power plants and industrial facilities. However, the main cause of air pollution in urban areas is transportation emissions.

Number of deaths attributable to air pollution exposure in 2019, by select country

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