The Country With the Worst Air Pollution Is...


Nobody likes smog -- well, except maybe Tim Curry -- but if you wanna live in a big city these days, you're gonna have to deal with at least a little gross air pollution. Still, while many of these burgs are brimming with breathable toxins, what about actual countries?

Well, fortunately for the rest of us non-scientists, The World Bank recently released its "Little Green Data Book." This annual report details the exposure of each nation's population to harmful airborne particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter, and reveals the country with the worst air quality in the world. And surprisingly enough, it isn't China!

The United Arab Emirates took the no. 1 spot in the world with a whopping 80 micrograms of pollution per cubic meter, narrowly pushing China into second place (with 73 micrograms) -- Qatar, meanwhile, rounded out the top three with 69 micrograms.

As for the country with the least air pollution, that honor actually goes to four different nations: Paraguay, Namibia, Norway, and Trinidad and Tobago each scored high (low?) with a piddling 4 micrograms of pollution per cubic meter.

And what about the United States? It scored a respectable 13 micrograms, proving that so long as you're not in Los Angeles or New York, you're probably in pretty good shape. Well, you'll at least have breathable air, anyway, even if you're fat.

Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and his asthma's acting up just looking at this list. Follow his breathless wheezing on Twitter @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to