Shocking data on the world’s most polluted cities

I sometimes think it is easy to forget that we are very very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the World. We are reminded of this periodically when we see papers such as The Economist’s Most Liveable City which regularly ranks Australian cities such as Melbourne and Sydney in the top 10.

A recent report from the ABC showed some shocking data on pollution from cities around the world, which made the wide open spaces and clean air of Australia look even more appealing. In the report using data from Berkeley Earth, air pollution that people have to breath in is shown as equivalent cigarettes smoked per day.

It will come as no surprise that countries such as India and China, which are heavily populated compared to Australia come out on top of this list. In major cities such as Delhi, India, a local breathes in the equivalent of 6.5 cigarettes through ‘passive’ pollution per day. In contrast, Brisbane locals only breath in 0.32 of a single cigarette each day.


However whilst these look really bad have a think about this! Berkeley Earth, the organisation behind this research, state that the city of Shenyang recently hit a new record for pollution on a single day — equivalent to an amazing three packs of cigarettes breathed in on that day by people in the city.

As if you needed a reason to move to Australia, apart from the excellent weather, great education, and job opportunities… Did we mention the excellent weather? All joking aside, the clean air could have huge health benefits to people moving from heavily polluted cities. If you are thinking of moving to Australia, check out our guide to comparing the costs of each major city here. 

Written: 16 August 2018

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