Which Is the Most Polluted City in the World?

New Delhi, India is the most polluted city in the world, according to 2014 findings from the World Health Organization (WHO). Air pollution is generally measured by concentrations of Particle Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), which refers to matter in the air that is less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or the size that is small enough to be ingested the most deeply into the lungs. May 2014 PM 2.5 readings measured concentrations of PM that was greater than 350 micrograms per cubic meter of air, making it the worst in the world. This is thought to be due to the high concentration of coal-fueled factories, increasing number of cars, and lack of government regulations regarding pollution emissions.

More about most polluted cities:

  • In 2012, air pollution was thought to contribute to the deaths of over seven million people worldwide, according to WHO.
  • While Beijing, China’s air pollution is so bad it can be seen from space, its air pollution levels are three times less than New Delhi.
  • In addition to New Delhi being the most polluted city, India is also home to world’s top four polluted cities: Patna, Gwalior, and Raipur.
More Info: who.int

Discussion Comments


The first bullet point makes me wonder if those who died from air pollution passed away suddenly, or if it was a slow gradual process. For all that we know, maybe they passed away from cancer, which could have been a result of inhaling so much pollution. On another note about pollution, I feel that it's a lot more dangerous in some areas than others. For example, if you live in a rural area, it probably wouldn't be too much of a problem. However, if you lived in an urban area (such as Chicago or New York), you're constantly breathing in all those fumes.


Pollution is pretty much inevitable. People are always talking about how we should try to prevent it from happening. While it's true that something should be done about it, on the other hand, we need to realize that it's not 100% preventable, especially with the people who use cars everyday. However, with some stricter government regulations, and the cutting down of factories and smokestacks, at least some risks will be decreased.


While this article is very similar to what I read about China, it also provides some new facts that are rather interesting. For example, while it's true that China does have some terrible air pollution, I didn't know that New Delhi was even worse. In fact, if I were to visit there, I wonder if I would immediately notice how polluted it is. Besides, I imagine that it would be a very dangerous place to visit, regardless.

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