The Air You Breathe


Over 90 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air.

Air quality monitoring is one of the foundational steps to ensuring a clean air for all. Measuring air pollution helps us…

  • Identify sources of pollution

  • Estimate the harms of pollution and benefits of clean air

  • Pressure decision-makers to act

  • Monitor and enforce existing air quality management policies

World Health Organization’s health-based guidelines for particulate matter (PM) are:




Annual average

10 μg/m3

20 μg/m3

24-hour average

25 μg/m3

50 μg/m3


How does your air quality measure up to international guidelines?

Explore the data resources below to see if your country or city has publicly available data on air quality.


State of the Global Air

Provides annual data and trends on outdoor air pollution and household solid fuel use for all nations.

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Air Quality Index (AQI)

The AQI is a measure to quantify daily air quality that uses a scale from 0 to 500. Higher AQI values indicate greater air pollution and greater potential health risks.

Use this AQI world map to see the air quality index near you.


Additional resources


Outdoor Air Pollution

These sources have data on the levels of particulate matter (PM) in outdoor (ambient) air.

AirNOW Department of State

Provides near real-time data on particulate matter levels collected by U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.


Provides a collection of government-level and research-grade air quality data from monitors around the world.

WHO Global Ambient Air Pollution Map

Provides an updated map of annual mean outdoor PM2.5 level measurements.

WHO Global Health Observatory

Provides data on global exposure and concentration levels for countries and cities.

WHO Global Urban Air Pollution Database

Provides data on outdoor area quality for 3,000 cities in 103 countries.


A global “Surfaced Particulate Matter Network” that combines ground monitoring and satellite modeling to estimate air quality around the world.

Provides air quality data and information for Indian cities involved in the Air Pollution Knowledge Assessment city program.


Household Air Pollution

Air pollution that is generated indoors contribute substantially to the health burden caused by air pollution. Household air pollution comes from combustion of dirty solid fuels such as wood, coal, kerosene and charcoal for household needs such as cooking, heating and lighting. Use these sources to get additional information on solid fuel use patterns in different nations:

WHO Global Health Observatory

Provides data on household solid fuel use and use of clean technologies for world populations.


For additional information on these resources, please refer to this resource summary: Air Quality Data Sources, By Pollutant and Scale