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Who Are The World’s Most Polluted Cities with Most Improved Air Quality

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It looks like worldwide lockdowns are doing the planet a favour as new data by global workspace specialists Instant Offices, has revealed which worst polluted cities have seen the most improved air quality just two weeks after their lockdown started.

With some of the world’s busiest cities coming to a halt due to coronavirus, the research shows the most dangerous air quality indicator known as PM2.5 has declined massively across the world, increasing fresh air and visibility of nature.

As one of the most prominent air pollutants linked to poor-health, studies show inhaling these ultra-fine particles with every breath can add to a range of health problems in the short and long-term, including respiratory issues.

The top three cities with the greatest decline in air pollution are:

  • Delhi: Just seven days after lockdown started, Delhi saw a considerable drop of 60.33%, with pollution levels plunging from 184 last year to 73.

  • Los Angeles: Pollution levels dropped by almost 71% compared to last year, from 55 to just 16 after six days of lockdown.

  • Madrid: Four days after lockdown started, Madrid’s average score dropped over 56% from 89 to 39.

Edward Harbison, Corporate Marketing Manager at The Instant Group commented,

“The significant reduction of PM2.5 across major cities in only two weeks of lockdown is evidence of the staggering impact we have on the world around us.

With reduced human activity across the board, our analysis showed a significant improvement in some of the worlds most polluted cities. Considering the impact that PM2.5 has on air quality and our overall health, this is especially noteworthy.”


Comparing the average PM2.5 levels from when lockdown started in each city to the same dates in 2019, Instant Offices has ranked the cities with the biggest drop including the before and after images of the top three cities.

All data has been sourced from The World Air Quality Index. The organisation works with Environmental Protection Agencies worldwide, sourcing data from over 12, 000 air quality monitoring stations in 1000 major cities across more than 100 countries, providing the most comprehensive, consistent and accurate data on real-time global air quality

To view a full list of the top cities with the largest improvements in air quality after two weeks of lockdown, you can find this here:

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