Finland has the world’s cleanest air

The quality is ten times higher than in the most polluted countries

If you want to breathe some clean, fresh air during your travels, we have the right option for you.

According to the Finnish Meteorological Institution, Finland has the cleanest air out of all countries on earth making it one of the world’s healthiest destinations.

Finland has around 6 microgrammes of small particles per cubic metre of air, ten times less than in some countries in Africa and Asia — Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock cFinland has world's cleanest air
Finland has around 6 microgrammes of small particles per cubic metre of air, ten times less than in some countries in Africa and Asia — Popova Valeriya / Shutterstock

The institution’s new research suggests that the Scandinavian country has around six micro-grammes of small particles per cubic metre of air, while countries in Africa and Asia have levels that are ten times higher.

Northern countries in general score higher in the pollution ranking, as Estonia, Sweden, Canada, Norway and Iceland come close behind Finland.

Pia Anttila of the Meteorological Institute explained why Finnish air is among the cleanest. Scandinavian countries, Canada and Estonia are all far away from concentrations of polluting industry, Anttila said.

“For a long time, we’ve been implementing environmental protections in industrial sectors. Our cars are also relatively good when you compare to the average global automobile,” she added.

9 out of 10 people suffer from poor air quality

The countries from the opposite end of the ranking are mostly underdeveloped locations in Africa and Asia, namely Uganda, Mongolia, Qatar, India and Cameroon.

In a study recently published, the World Health Organization has revealed that 9 out of 10 people in the world suffer from low air quality. Over 7 million people die because of outdoor and household air pollution every year.

“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

“It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – most of them women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes. If we don’t take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development.”

The WHO has been monitoring the air quality in more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries and the organisation claims that more and more destinations are starting to take action against the environmental conditions.

“Many of the world’s megacities exceed WHO’s guideline levels for air quality by more than five times, representing a major risk to people’s health,” said Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health, at WHO.

“We are seeing an acceleration of political interest in this global public health challenge.”

“The increase in cities recording air pollution data reflects a commitment to air quality assessment and monitoring. Most of this increase has occurred in high-income countries, but we hope to see a similar scale-up of monitoring efforts worldwide.”