South Asia is World’s Most Polluted Region, New Study Finds

South Asians would live 5.1 years longer if air quality met WHO guidelines. The region makes up more than half of the total years lost from pollution globally.

Burigonga river side Bangladesh pollution air quality
Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bangladesh was the most polluted country in 2021, with residents losing an average of 6.8 years of life from bad air. (Grambangla, Wikimedia Commons)

Allana Akhtar


August 31, 2023


2 min

South Asia is the most polluted area on the planet, according to new data.

The University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index revealed South Asia is home to the four most polluted countries — Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan — where residents lose five years of life expectancy because of the air they breathe.

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