Peshawar in KPK is the world's second most polluted city

Pakistani city Peshawar in KPK is the world’s second most polluted city, according to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, released today.

The 2016 ranking of 20 most polluted cities in the world is done by World Health Organisation (WHO).

It is based on Urban Ambient Air Pollution database of 3,000 cities. The data on air quality was collected between 2011 and 2015.

Besides Peshawar (at No 2), two other Pakistani cities have ranked in the worst Top 20. They are Rawalpindi (No 4) and Karachi (No 14).


See also: Which country has the worst air pollution? Hint: Pakistan


Onitsha in Nigeria is the world’s most polluted city. The ranking highlights three more cities from Nigeria: Kaduna, Aba and Umuahia.

India’s three cities are featured in this ranking: Gwalior, Allahabad and Rajpur. One Chinese city makes it to the list.


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Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, Al Jubail and Dammam fall in top most polluted cities. Bahrain’s two cities are also included.

Iran does not fall behind. It’s two cities, Zabol and Boshehr are included in the list.

Our neighbour Afghanistan’s two cities – Mazar-e-Sharif and Kabul make it to top 20.


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Peshawar world’s second most polluted city

CNN and The Washington Post covered this too.


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The worst-20 ranking includes six countries from our neighbourhood: South Asia and Middle East (Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain).

Only Nigeria in Africa matches our region in the capacity to create pollution levels.


See also, some other indices on Pakistan:

Pakistani nationality ranks second least valuable in the world

Worried about Pakistan’s $73B debt? You must see this

Pakistani passport ranked second worst for international travel

Pakistan’s global competitiveness – in 11 photos

Pakistan 11th strongest military in the world

Pakistan ranks 11th worst in Global Hunger Index

Pakistan among top 10 global improvers in World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business rankings

Pakistan at rock bottom in Human Capital Index

Pakistan ranks 5th in terrorism-affected countries list

Pakistan ranks 14th on Fragile States Index 2016

As S Asia ups economic game, Pakistan risks falling behind: WSJ. The question is why?


The latest WHO urban air quality data of 3,000 cities, collected between 2011 and 2015, reveals that 98 percent of cities with over 100,000 inhabitants in low- and middle-income countries do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.

Ambient air quality database WHO

Full database of WHO 3,000 cities here.


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  • shumaila

    it is called Changed in kpk

  • Ali Ayub

    I live in Islamabad and trust me Rawalpindi is far better than Lahore. This is fake like anything.