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IQAir World Air Quality Report 2022 (5th Edition): Lahore Is Most Polluted City, Chad Worst Among Countries

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Lahore is most polluted city, Chad worst among countriesAccording to the 5th edition of the annual global survey report of IQAir, ‘World Air Quality Report 2022’, Lahore (Pakistan), become the city with the worst air in the world in 2022, (up from 15th in 2021). Chad in central Africa replaced Bangladesh as the country with the most polluted air in 2022 with PM2.5 levels of 89.7 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter).

  • The amount of PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5) particles per cubic meter in the air in Lahore increased from 86.5 µg/m3 in 2021 to 97.4 µg/m3 in 2022, making it the most polluted city on earth.
  • Although India has some of the world’s most polluted cities, it ranks 8th in the 2022 report with PM2.5 levels of 53.3 µg/m3 (from 58.1 µg/m3 in 2021).

IQAir is a Swiss technology company that leverages information and collaboration to empower individuals, organisations, and governments to improve air quality.

World Air Quality Report 2022

i.The “World Air Quality Report 2022” examines the status of the world’s air quality in 2022.

ii.This report provides PM2.5 air quality data from over 30,000 air quality monitoring stations located in 7,323 cities spanning 131 nations, territories, and regions.

iii.IQAir assesses air quality based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5.

Top Five Most Polluted Countries in 2022

i.Chad (89.7 µg /m3) in central Africa exceeds the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline by more than 17 times.[ µg/m3- micrograms per cubic meter].

ii.Iraq (80.1 µg /m3) exceeded the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline by more than 16 times.

iii.Pakistan (70.9 µg /m3) has a PM2.5 level that is more than 14 times higher than the WHO annual guideline.

iv.Bahrain (66.6 µg /m3) has a PM2.5 level that is more than 13 times higher than the WHO annual guideline.

v.Bangladesh (65.8 µg /m3) exceeds the WHO PM2.5 annual guideline by more than 13 times.

  • In 2021, Bangladesh ranked as the country with the worst air in the world with PM2.5 levels 76.9.

Key Findings from The World Air Quality Report 2022:

i.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum PM2.5 concentration of 5 µg/m3.

ii.The WHO PM2.5 guideline (an annual average of 5 g/m3 or less) was achieved by six countries: Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, and New Zealand.

iii.Out of 131 countries and regions, 118 (90%) exceeded the WHO annual PM2.5 guideline value of 5 µg /m3.

iv.In 2022, 13 out of the 131 countries and regions included in this report have succeeded in achieving PM2.5 concentrations at or below the WHO guideline.

Most Polluted Cities in 2022

i.With PM2.5 levels of 94.3µg/m3, Hotan, the only Chinese city in the top 20, came in second to Lahore (Rank 1), a decrease from the 101.5 levels recorded in 2021.

ii.The next two cities in the rankings were both Indian: Bhiwadi, on the outskirts of Delhi, with pollution levels of 92.7µg/m3, while Delhi was close behind at 92.6µg/m3.

Top 5 most polluted cities in 2022:


CityPM2.5 Levels (µg/m3)


Lahore, Pakistan97.4


Hotan, China94.3
3Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), India


4Delhi, India


5Peshawar, Pakistan



iii.India and Pakistan had the worst air quality in the Central and South Asian region, with nearly 60% of the population living in places with PM2.5 particle concentrations at least seven times higher than the WHO’s recommended standards.

iv.One in every ten persons on the planet lives in an area where air pollution is a health threat.

Best Air Quality

i.Guam, an American island in the Pacific, had the cleanest air of any nation, with a PM2.5 concentration of just 1.3 µg/m3.

ii.Canberra (Australia) had the cleanest air of any capital city, at 2.8 µg/m3.

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About Pakistan:

Capital – Islamabad
Currency – Pakistani Rupee

President – Arif Alvi

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif