Pollution is slowly killing nature and its prominent features around the globe.

Most countries in the world do not put much effort towards the rehabilitation of their environment, and as a result, almost all countries are affected due to pollutants on land, in air, or in water.

Many authorities have compiled a list of the most polluted countries globally, and we have prepared our list by comparing numerous lists.

You must remember that air pollution is the queen of all pollution since it has a worst impact on people than any other type of pollution.

Furthermore, along with land and water pollution, you will feel a particular emphasis on air pollution in this article.

Most polluted Countries in the world

Each form of pollution has different impacts on living beings and the environment. For instance, air pollution moves around and does not stay in one area.

Also, water pollution tends to affect marine and human life. Finally, land pollution is the most visible and directly affects people’s lives.

Have you ever asked yourself why there is so much pollution in a few areas, and why are other sites so clean?

The answer to this question might be the attitude of the locals of that specific area towards their environment.

Irresponsible people and careless behavior towards the atmosphere can lead to untidy and dirty places.

Keep reading to find out more about the most polluted countries in the world. Moreover, you will know why there is so much pollution in those areas.

Let’s dive into the list of the top 12 most polluted countries in the world.

1. Bangladesh

Bangladesh tops our list, and the worst of all is the country’s air quality. Each year around 200,000 people die due to air pollution alone in Bangladesh.

One reason behind so much pollution is the density of its population. It is the most densely populated country in the world.

Moreover, there are so many problems in the government departments that handle this type of issue.

Corruption has roots deep in the country, thus eating it away with each passing day.

Similarly, it also profoundly impacts sanitation and health-related departments, thus causing so many pollution-related deaths around the year.

Bangladesh has the worst air quality globally and is considered the dirtiest country in the world.

The country’s air quality index averages from 90 to 222. The most polluted cities are Dhaka and Comilla.

2. Pakistan

Another Asian country tops the list. With over 220 million, Pakistan is ranked one of the most polluted countries globally.

Pakistan has very limited departments and policies regarding the prevention of pollution.

Great cities like Lahore have so much air pollution that you cannot walk even a few hundred meters without a proper mask.

Like Bangladesh, this country also has the same enemy called corruption.

The country’s elite has always enjoyed the perks of the country while the working and poor masses are left with polluted areas and resources.

Over time, land pollution spreads towards rural areas, which are much closer to nature and suitable for a healthy family retreat.

Due to corruption practices among politicians and other powers in the country, most funds vanish before reaching their purpose.

Due to this fact alone, the cleaning departments, garbage disposal departments, and pollution inspection departments are only left on the paper.

The air quality index of the country is from 59 to 188. The cities in the worst shape are Bahawalpur, Karachi, Lahore, Raiwand, Peshawar, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi.

The most polluted city in Pakistan is the provincial capital Lahore while the cleanest is the federal capital Islamabad.

3. India

India is another Asian country that tops our list, and it is also the world’s most populated country, only after China. Also, it has an enormous area spreading over 3.2 million sq. km.

Like its neighbors, this country also has similar problems and a careless attitude towards the environment.

The corrupt elite and governments are filling their pockets and taking huge bribes from environment polluting companies while neglecting the environment.

Around 85% of the country’s air pollution is generated from biomass and burning fossil fuels like coal.

Also, this country’s energy requirements are filled with dirty fuels, thus contributing to pollution even more.

The country is the third-largest greenhouse gas producer after China and USA.

The air quality index of the country ranges from 172 to 343.

The most polluted areas are Bhadohi, Nanpara, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Pitampura, Ghatampur, Unnao, and Kirakat. Also, most of them are from the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The cleanest place in India is Satna (Ghaziabad).

4. Mongolia

This Asian country has Great Plains and areas. However, more than half the country’s population is located in its capital Ulaanbaatar.

Many authorities consider Mongolia’s capital – the world’s most polluted capital.

The most common cause of pollution here is the excessive burning of coal during winters when they burn coal to stay warm.

Similarly, rapid urbanization and unplanned settlements are the other few causes of pollution spread in the country.

The most affected are the children of the capital. According to a report, more than 40% of the children’s lungs were in bad shape.

Moreover, during winters due to coal-burning respiratory diseases among kids and the elderly are common.

The cities with worst air quality index are Ulaanbaatar, Tsetserleg, Durhan and Urt. The AQI values of these cities range from 45 to 216.

The cleanest city in the country is Tsetserleg.

5. Afghanistan

This country has suffered one of the longest civil wars in modern times. Since with wars comes poverty and minimum resources.

Similarly, people had to take care of themselves with each passing day, and nobody had any time for the environment. So, decades-long wars caused the heaps of garbage to climb higher and higher.

Furthermore, over 24000 Afghanis died per year only because of pollution.

Some experts have stated that the growing problem of pollution n Afghanistan is much more dangerous than the decades-long civil war.

Although the statement seems childish, you must understand the intensity and effects of pollution.

It would be best to remember that pollution alone is the cause of the birth of many different viruses and diseases that kill millions around the globe each year.

With an AQI score of 155, Kabul is the most polluted city in the country.

6. Oman

Oman has a sound system of garbage disposal and sanitation works.

However, in its few industrial areas, there is a spike of air pollutants which have risen so high in the past few years that Oman has made its name in our list.

The worst air quality index is recorded in Bawsher in Muscat, with a score of 78.

7. Qatar

Qatar has one of the highest GDP in the world. However, a sense of progress does not give you a free hand regarding pollution.

Qatar has made our list only because of its lousy air quality index. Besides that, Qatar is a role model country regarding land and water pollution.

You will find the proper amount of cleanliness in this country.

Nonetheless, the capital of the country scored around 86 in AQI. Considering the financial status and standing of the country, it can easily be reduced.

8. Kyrgyzstan

As per the world health organization, Kyrgyzstan’s air quality is considered harmful.

The country is not much densely populated; however, the air quality has drastically declined due to the abundance of natural resources like coal.

As a cheap energy resource of Kyrgystan, coal is like a double edge sword for the country. On the one hand, it stabilizes its industry and contributes to its economy. On the other hand, the health rate is declining rapidly due to excess harmful particulate in the air.

The AQI score of the country ranges from 97 to 169. The most polluted cities are Lebedinovka, Osh, and Bishkek.

9. Indonesia

Indonesia is the 20th most populated country in the world. Alone air pollution is shortening Indonesian lives by two years. It is because of their poor respiratory systems because of rising air pollution.

More than 90% population of the country lives in areas where harmful air pollutants are in abundance.

Other than a few developed cities, most areas have poor drinking water quality. Similarly, a careless attitude towards land pollution is also noted every now and then. In some parts of the country, litter and trash are often ignored.

The air quality index of the country ranges from 59 to 119. Also, the most polluted areas are Surabaya, Medan, Bogor, Jakarta, Ubud, Duri, and Semarang.

10. Bosnia Herzegovina

Bosnia has one of the worst air quality in the region. Almost 20% of their deaths are caused solely due to air pollution. Mainly it is because of the burning of stoves, coal, and natural gas.

The air quality index of Bosnia ranges from 129 to 220.

Banja is the country’s cleanest city, with an AQI score of 78.

Also, the most polluted areas of the country are Zenica, Visegrad, Foca, Cim, Mala, Drinic, and Sarajevo.

11. Nepal

The two of the world’s biggest polluters are India and China. It is unfortunate for Nepal that it is located between them. Also, it depends on those two in a lot of ways.

Recently, Nepal had to close its schools because of worsening air quality. In 2016, when the situation got worse, the government decided to keep a record of the air quality.

You must be wondering why a peaceful Himalayan nation has so much pollution. It is because of the two giants who sit on both sides – India and China.

The AQI scores of Nepal range from 77 to 240. Also, the most polluted cities are Birganj, Pokhara, and Nepalgunj.

12. China

As of 2021, China was the largest manufacturer of most of the products roaming worldwide. You cannot become such a large manufacturer without spreading harmful emissions and chemicals to the environment.

Although China has brilliant recycling processes in place, its industry is so huge that it is nearly impossible to keep that enormous flood of chemicals, spills, and emissions in check.

If we were to discuss only air pollution, which is the most discussed subject in WHO meetings – China would be the largest pusher along with India and USA.

The AQI scores of Chinese cities range from 26 to 179. Moreover, the most polluted area of the People’s Republic is Hotan in Xinjiang. Similarly, the cleanest spot in China is Nagari in Tibet.


In terms of only land pollution, the countries mentioned above won’t even make the top 30 in the world. Similarly, some of the mentioned countries will be at the top of the list in terms of water pollution.

You must understand that when it comes to “pollution,” the world always emphasizes its effects on human lives. Ultimately, bad air grade poses the greatest threat to humanity.

Similarly, the declining live spans in the above countries are primarily due to the worsening air quality, which is why they are at the top of the list.

The most common factor that you can observe in the list of the most polluted countries in the world is the population.

Does an increase in population gives us an excuse for polluting the environment?

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