25 Least Polluted Cities and Countries in the World (2023 Rankings)

Air pollution is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Therefore you may be curious: What are the least polluted cities in the world? And what is the least polluted country in the world? Smart Air analyzed 2022 air pollution data from 533 major cities spanning 88 countries in the world to create the 2023 ranking of the “25 Least Polluted Cities in the World”. So, which cities and countries had the best air quality?

Rankings: 25 Least Polluted Cities in the World

The rankings for the least polluted cities in the world are based on PM2.5 air pollution data from the 12 months prior to the publication date.

WATCH: Top 5 Least Polluted Cities

Top 5 Least Polluted Cities in the World (2022 Rankings)

Subscribe to Smart Air on YouTube Smart Air Youtube

Read on for the full list of 25 cities with the best air quality in the world and an analysis of what this data means.


1. Zürich, Switzerland (0.49 µg/m3)

Zürich city ranked number 1 least polluted city in the world

2. Perth, Australia (1.61 µg/m3)

Perth city ranked number 2 least polluted city in the world

3. Richards Bay, South Africa (2.38 µg/m3)

Richards Bay city ranked number 3 least polluted city in the world

4. Hobart, Australia (2.55 µg/m3)

Hobart Australia one of least polluted cities in the world

5. Reykjavík, Iceland (3.38 µg/m3)

Rekjavik Iceland one of least polluted cities in the world

6. Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine (3.42 µg/m3)

Kryvyi Rih city ranked number 7 least polluted city in the world

7. Launceston, Australia (3.51 µg/m3)

Launceston, Australia, one of least polluted cities in the world

8. Wollongong, Australia (3.70 µg/m3)

Wollongong, Australia, one of least polluted cities in the world

9. Sydney, Australia (3.85 µg/m3)

Sydney, Australia, one of least polluted cities in the world

10. Honolulu, United States (3.91 µg/m3)

Honolulu, US, one of least polluted cities in the world

11. Uppsala, Sweden (4.07 µg/m3)

Upsala, Sweden, one of least polluted cities in the world

12. Turku, Finland (4.17 µg/m3)

Turku, Finland, one of least polluted cities in the world

13. Haiphong, Vietnam (4.28 µg/m3)

Haiphong city ranked number 13 least polluted city in the world

14. Huế, Vietnam (4.32 µg/m3)

Huế city ranked number 14 least polluted city in the world

15. Tampere, Finland (4.38 µg/m3)

Tampere, Finland, one of least polluted cities in the world

16. Newcastle, Australia (4.46 µg/m3)

Newcastle, Australia, one of least polluted cities in the world

17. Adelaide, Australia (4.49 µg/m3)

Adelaide, Australia, one of least polluted cities in the world

18. Tallinn, Estonia (4.57 µg/m3)

Tallinn city ranked number 1 least polluted city in the world

19. Halifax, Canada (4.68 µg/m3)

Halifax, Canada, one of least polluted cities in the world

20. Vancouver, Canada (4.69 µg/m3)

Vancouver Canada one of least polluted cities in the world

21. Ternópil, Ukraine (4.77 µg/m3)

Ternópil city ranked number 21 least polluted city in the world

22. Oulu, Finland (4.80 µg/m3)

Oulu, Finland, one of least polluted cities in the world

23. Castellón de la Plana, Spain (4.82 µg/m3)

Castellón de la Plana, Spain, one of least polluted cities in the world

24. Trondheim, Norway (4.85 µg/m3)

Trondheim, Norway, one of least polluted cities in the world

25. Stockholm, Sweden (5.00 µg/m3)

Stockholm, Sweden , one of least polluted cities in the world

Read More: The 25 Most Polluted Cities of 2023?

What is the Least Polluted Country in the World?

Australia topped the list as the least polluted country in the world, with 7 cities in the top 25. Of the 25 least polluted cities in the world with the best air quality, Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia) dominated the rankings with some of the cleanest air in the world in 2022.

15 out of the 25 cities with the best and cleanest air were either in Nordic countries or Australia. Zürich, Switzerland once again ranked as the least polluted city in the world. Australia and Finland were the only countries having at least 3 cities ranking in the top 25 least polluted cities in the world.

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.

Global Air Pollution Map
Image: WHO

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.

Open Data

The PM2.5 AQI 2022 world pollution data used for the rankings of the world’s worst polluted cities are openly available in this excel file. To download the complete raw data visit https://aqicn.org/data-platform/covid19/.


How I Protect Myself

Smart Air is a certified B Corp committed to combating the myths big companies use to inflate the price of clean air.

Smart Air provides empirically backed, no-nonsense purifiers and masks, that remove the same particles as the big companies for a fraction of the cost. Only corporations benefit when clean air is a luxury.

For protection against air pollution, check out the Sqair!

Sqair Air Purifier

Free Guide to Breathing Safe

Want to learn more about Air Pollution? Join thousands more and stay up to date on protecting your health.

Subscribe
Notify of
5 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Smart Air low cost purifiers

Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers and provides free education to protect people’s health from the effects of air pollution. We are proud to be the only certified B-Corp dedicated to fighting air pollution.

Certified B-Corp air purifier company