Number of cities with air pollution data in WHO’s Urban air pollution database in 2011, 2014, and 2016. Data Source: World Health Organization.
New data as part of the Global Burden of Disease (GDB) project show that 5.5 million premature deaths occur each year due to air pollution. Looking at GBD data over 10 years, key trends emerge. Air pollution-related deaths in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia have worsened more dramatically than other regions the last decade. The United States, European Union, and Australia have significantly reduced air pollution-related deaths, largely due to policy interventions targeted at industrial pollution control, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and improving fuel quality in the transport sector.