See the Best and Worst Places for Breathable Air in the U.S.
New rankings of air quality in cities show the cleanest air isn't always rural.
The air Americans breathe is cleaner than ever, thanks to cleaner power plants and cleaner vehicles. That milestone is all the more impressive when considering progress has been achieved in spite of increases in population, energy use, and miles driven.
Yet nearly 40 percent of Americans—125 million people—still live where the air is unhealthy to breathe. Those findings are contained in the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report, released Wednesday.
This year’s survey tracks air quality measurements between 2013 and 2015 of ozone and particle pollution, short-term and year-round. Cities and counties are ranked on three separate lists for levels of those pollutants. More than 18 million people live in 12 counties with all three air pollution conditions.