Looking to avoid the world’s worst areas for air pollution? Better avoid China, India and parts of the American Midwest.
A new NASA map shows the regions most impacted by poor air quality due to pollution. In other words, these places have the worst air pollution in the world.
The map above shows the model estimate of the average number of deaths per 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles) per year due to air pollution. The researchers used the difference in pollution levels between 1850 and 2000 as a measure of human-caused air pollution.
Dark brown areas have more premature deaths than light brown areas. Blue areas have experienced an improvement in air quality relative to 1850 and a decline in premature deaths.
The world’s worst is in China, followed by parts of Europe and India, Mexico, western Africa and parts of the midwest in the United States. But silver lining, as the map notes, the American southeast’s air quality has actually improved.