Looking to find the most polluted cities in the United States? Smart Air analyzed 2023 air pollution data for dozens of United States cities to generate the 2023 ranking of the “10 Most Polluted Cities in the United States”.
Scroll down for the full rundown of the most polluted cities in the United States and their annual PM2.5 levels. The annual average PM2.5 in micrograms (µg/m3) is also given. For reference, the WHO recommended annual limit is 5 micrograms.
Rankings: 10 Most Polluted Cities in the United States
The rankings for the most polluted cities in the world are based on PM2.5 air pollution data from the 12 months prior to the publication date.
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota (18.8 µg/m3)
2. Garland, Texas (14.1 µg/m3)
3. Torrance, California (13.7 µg/m3)
4. Visalia, California (13.4 µg/m3)
5. Dallas, Texas (12.9 µg/m3)
6. Cleveland, Ohio (12.2 µg/m3)
7. Indianapolis, Indiana (12.1 µg/m3)
8. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (11.9 µg/m3)
9. Saint Paul, Minnesota (11.8 µg/m3)
10. Grand Prairie, Texas (11.7 µg/m3)
What is the Most Polluted City in the United States?
Texas topped the list as the most polluted state in the United States, with 3 cities in the top 10. There is research that even little amounts of pollution such as those typically present in these least polluted cities can have an impact on health.
Below is a pollution heat map from the WHO. WHO research shows that over 99% of people in the world are breathing unsafe air with high air pollution levels.
How Air Pollution Was Measured to Find Least Polluted Cities in World
The above rankings of the 2023 least polluted cities in the world were ranked based on their average PM2.5 pollution levels from the 12 months prior to the publication date.
These small pollutants are under 2.5 micrograms in width and are considered to be one of the more dangerous pollutants due to their ability to enter deep into the lungs and bloodstream.
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