World Health Organization: 2014 Air Pollution Ranking

Posted on May 16th 2015
Share: aqicn.org/faq/2015-05-16/world-health-organization-2014-air-pollution-ranking

It is already more than one year since the World Health Organization has released their 'Ambient (outdoor) air pollution in cities database 2014'. The WHO team who worked on this project have done an excellent work at gathering the data for so many countries, and putting it all together in a single place accessible for all.

We wrote about it in several of our past articles (like for the Air Quality in Africa or in Latin America), but we never had the chance to look at the different options to visualize their data set. So, this is what we will be writing about in this article.

Level
PM2.5
PM10
Air Quality Guideline
0 .. 10
0 .. 20
Intermediate target - 1
10 .. 15
20 .. 30
Intermediate target - 2
15 .. 25
30 .. 50
Intermediate target - 3
25 .. 35
50 .. 70
Over target
35 .. 53
70 .. 105
Significantly over target
53 ..
105 ..
The first step for the visualization is to define the levels and associated colors. For this purpose, the WHO has already defined several concentration breakpoints for PM10 and PM2.5 annual concentrations, more known as the WHO "Air Quality Guidelines and Interim targets ", so we will just be reusing the same breakpoints values.

For the sake of the visualization, an extra level called "Significantly over target " is added, and defined as 150% of the concentration of the higher interim target (target level 3). Colors code are also assigned to each levels. The table on the right is summarizing the associations.

In order to plot the data for each country (There are 1622 from 92 countries in the WHO database), we use the country average concentration - weighted by the number of inhabitant in each cities. So, that, if the largest city is having a low AQI and few smaller cities in the same country are having a higher AQI, then the country national AQI levels should be reported as small to moderate.

In order to know the number of inhabitant for each city reported in the WHO database, we are using the service from geonames.org. Unfortunately, not all of the cities reported in the WHO DB can be matched on geonames.org, so the visualization below is not completely exact, but good enough for a proof of concept.

PM2.5 average
PM2.5 weighted average
PM10 average
PM10 weighted average
World Health Organization: Annual Ambient Air Pollution
Level/Color
Air Quality Guideline
Intermediate target - 1
Intermediate target - 2
Intermediate target - 3
Over target
Significantly over target
-


And for the reference, here is the list of all countries with their respective annual weighted concentrations for PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants. The columns 'Inhabitants for the cities with Air Quality Data' refers to the total population obtained from the geonames.org service, for the city which can be reverse geo-coded.

Country#Stations#Inhabitants
for the cities with
Air Quality Data
PM2.5PM10City without population information
annual concentrationweighted concentrationannual concentrationweighted concentration
ILIsrael161M
30.3
24.6
62.5
59.19 cities (out of 16)
CACanada13140.8M
6.9
7.5
20.7
22.638 cities (out of 131)
USUnited States37984.2M
9.7
12.9
16
21.3137 cities (out of 379)
ISIceland30.2M
6.3
8.2
10
10.5
BNBrunei40.2M
6.8
6.6
14.5
13.9
AUAustralia1515.2M
6.3
5.7
12.7
12.83 cities (out of 15)
NZNew Zealand173M
7.6
6.8
15.4
14.11 city (out of 17)
SESweden52.2M
9.2
8.7
17.3
16.5
ESSpain4616.9M
12.2
12.4
22.8
23.2
FIFinland51.1M
6.8
7.3
11.5
12.3
JPJapan2033.4M
9.2
10
20.2
2215 cities (out of 20)
MYMalaysia72M
12.4
13.2
27
28.71 city (out of 7)
EEEstonia30.6M
7.3
7.2
15
14
PTPortugal152.2M
11.5
12.3
27.3
29.22 cities (out of 15)
IEIreland21.2M
8.5
8.8
17.5
17.8
NONorway41.1M
9.5
10.9
18.3
20.3
GBUnited Kingdom3616.2M
13.3
14.7
19.6
20.8
MVMaldives10M
9-
20-1 city (out of 1)
ECEcuador94.6M
17.4
24.1
36.3
50.61 city (out of 9)
BRBrazil4032.3M
19.1
21.7
36
40.52 cities (out of 40)
LRLiberia20M
9.5
9.3
59
61.7
ITItaly4811.2M
22.7
24.1
32
33.2
BTBhutan10.1M
10
10
23
23
FRFrance8113.8M
17.4
17.4
24.2
24.61 city (out of 81)
INIndia124123.4M
46
60.6
102.1
129.17 cities (out of 124)
MUMauritius40.3M
26.5
38.1
52.5
75.71 city (out of 4)
ZASouth Africa710.8M
25.6
24
53.4
472 cities (out of 7)
THThailand298.3M
22.4
20.6
41.4
38.9
DEGermany7123M
16.1
17
21.7
22.82 cities (out of 71)
LTLithuania20.5M
14
16
21
231 city (out of 2)
RORomania144.2M
19.6
21
31.8
37.1
PLPoland5411.9M
26.9
26.9
37.2
38.3
MTMalta10M
12
12
0-
BYBelarus42.7M
15
15.7
22.8
23.9
MCMonaco10M
13
13
20
20
CLChile243.2M
24.9
26.8
52.8
55.74 cities (out of 24)
CHSwitzerland60.9M
15.3
15.1
22.7
22.2
BEBelgium72.3M
17.4
18.1
25.8
27
JMJamaica30M
17
15.3
31.7
28.6
COColombia1014.3M
23.1
24.5
41.2
43.61 city (out of 10)
MXMexico918.7M
22.2
23.9
61.8
79.51 city (out of 9)
TRTurkey7133.4M
42.8
39.1
63.8
58.41 city (out of 71)
LULuxembourg10.1M
14
14
18
18
CZCzech Republic152.8M
23.1
21.9
31.5
29.31 city (out of 15)
CRCosta Rica40.1M
17.8
18.8
32.8
35.11 city (out of 4)
ATAustria52.3M
18.8
19.1
25.8
26.7
NLNetherlands123M
16.4
16.9
25.4
25.5
DKDenmark31.5M
16.3
16.7
12
12
ARArgentina113.1M
16
16
30
30
LVLatvia10.7M
16
16
23
23
GRGreece50.2M
21.8
21.4
28
23.6
ADAndorra10M
16
16
24
24
SGSingapore13.5M
17
17
27
27
KRSouth Korea3631.3M
23.4
23
51.1
50.63 cities (out of 36)
PYParaguay11.5M
18
18
0-
MNMongolia81.1M
50.5
61.8
109.9
134.41 city (out of 8)
CNChina112263.3M
40.4
41.4
88
90.19 cities (out of 112)
UYUruguay11.3M
18
18
27
27
VNVietnam35.7M
28.3
29
62
63
LBLebanon23.1M
24.5
23.4
72
69.8
IDIndonesia18.5M
21
21
48
48
BGBulgaria132.7M
34.4
38.6
51.9
57.4
RURussia110.4M
22
22
33
33
CYCyprus20.4M
23
23.1
36
36
SKSlovakia62.6M
26
25.4
36.4
33.81 city (out of 6)
PHPhilippines311.5M
31
22.6
67.7
50.2
SISlovenia20.4M
24
24.5
31
31
BOBolivia21.7M
32
32.5
58.5
59.3
TZTanzania10.3M
23
23
35
35
HUHungary32.1M
25.3
26.7
33.3
33.1
VEVenezuela23M
28
24
52
451 city (out of 2)
LKSri Lanka10.6M
28
28
64
64
SASaudi Arabia12.9M
28
28
87
87
MMMyanmar11.2M
30
30
69
69
IRIran38M
67.3
34.2
177.3
115.11 city (out of 3)
OMOman10.8M
31
31
82
82
HNHonduras10.9M
32
32
58
58
BABosnia and Herzegovina10.7M
33
33
48
48
GTGuatemala11M
33
33
45
45
RSSerbia21.5M
39.5
35.8
59
53.6
PEPeru17.7M
38
38
63
63
SNSenegal12.5M
40
40
179
179
BHBahrain50.5M
54.6
56.1
249.4
255.5
JOJordan11.3M
48
48
128
128
GHGhana12M
49
49
98
98
NPNepal11.4M
50
50
114
114
AEUnited Arab Emirates30.6M
60
64
159.7
1702 cities (out of 3)
BDBangladesh830.5M
76
83.3
153.5
168.9
AFAfghanistan23M
77
86
297
2601 city (out of 2)
PKPakistan413.4M
100.8
115.7
364.8
295.82 cities (out of 4)
EGEgypt27.7M
74.5
73
137.5
1351 city (out of 2)
QAQatar20.4M
89
92.4
160
166.9


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  • Ozone AQI Scale update
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    À propos de la qualité et de la mesure de la pollution atmosphérique:

    A propos des niveaux de qualité de l'air

    IQANiveau de pollution de l'air Impact sur la santé
    0 - 50BonLa qualité de l'air est jugée satisfaisante, et la pollution de l'air pose peu ou pas de risque.
    51 -100ModéréAir quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
    101-150Mauvais pour les groupes sensiblesLa qualité de l'air est acceptable; Cependant, pour certains polluants, il peut y avoir un problème de santé modérée pour un très petit nombre de personnes qui sont particulièrement sensibles à la pollution de l'air.
    151-200MauvaisTout le monde peut commencer à ressentir des effets sur la santé; les membres des groupes sensibles peuvent ressentir des effets de santé plus graves.
    201-300Très mauvaisAvertissements de santé de conditions d'urgence. Toute la population est plus susceptible d'être affecté.
    300+DangereuxAlerte de santé: tout le monde peut ressentir des effets de santé plus graves.

    Pour en savoir plus sur la qualité de l'air, consultez le sujet Qualité de l'air sur wikipedia ou le guide AirNow de la qualité de l'air et de votre santé .

    Pour des conseils de santé très utiles de Docteur Richard Saint Cyr, consultez le blog myhealthbeijing.com.


    Usage Notice: All the Air Quality data are unvalidated at the time of publication, and due to quality assurance these data may be amended, without notice, at any time. The World Air Quality Index project has exercised all reasonable skill and care in compiling the contents of this information and under no circumstances will the World Air Quality Index project team or its agents be liable in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss, injury or damage arising directly or indirectly from the supply of this data.



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