Looking to find one of the least polluted cities in India to get a break from the air pollution? Smart Air analyzed air pollution data for dozens of Indian cities to generate the 2022 ranking of the “20 Least Polluted Cities in India”.
Scroll down below for the full rundown of India’s least polluted cities and their annual PM2.5 levels. The annual average PM2.5 in microns (µg/m3) is also given. For reference, the WHO recommended annual limit is 5 microns.
Rankings: Least Polluted Cities in India (2021)
1. Shillong (14 μg/m3)
2. Naharlagun (14 μg/m3)
3. Madikeri (14 μg/m3)
4. Aizawl (19 μg/m3)
5. Mysuru (21 μg/m3)
6. Puducherry (22 μg/m3)
7. Kozhikode (22.5 μg/m3)
8. Chikkamagaluru (23 μg/m3)
9. Thiruvananthapuram (25 μg/m3)
10. Bagalkot (26 μg/m3)
11. Vijayapura (26.5 μg/m3)
12. Thrissur (27 μg/m3)
13. Chikkaballapur (27.2 μg/m3)
14. Ramanagara (27.5 μg/m3)
15. Chamarajanagar (27.8 μg/m3)
16. Shivamogga (28 μg/m3)
17. Srinagar (28.5 μg/m3)
18. Yadgir (29.8 μg/m3)
19. Tirupati (30 μg/m3)
20. Kochi (31 μg/m3)
Results: India’s Least Polluted Cities
Even thought the above is a list of the least polluted cities in Indian, still none of the cities analyzed had pollution levels below the WHO recommended limit of 5 micrograms. The least polluted city in India, Shillong, had air pollution levels nearly 3-times higher than the recommended limit. Ten of the top twenty least polluted cities were located in Karnataka.
How Air Pollution Was Measured to Find Least Polluted Cities in India
There are various pollutants (both particles and gases) that can be found in the air. One of the most commonly tracked pollutants is very small, fine particles called PM2.5.
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. The above rankings of the least polluted cities in India were ranked based on their 2021 average PM2.5 pollution levels.
The limit that is closely aligned to what studies show about the health effects of pollution is the annual limit of 5 micrograms/m3.
The raw PM2.5 AQI 2021 India pollution data used for the rankings of India’s most polluted cities are openly available on openaq.
Watch: Run Down of Top 5 Most Polluted Cities in the World
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