Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where do the data for the State of Global Air come from?

The data used in the State of Global Air report and website are developed as part of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) annual Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) project, a systematic, scientific effort to quantify the magnitude of health loss from all major diseases, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex, and population. With more than 2,300 collaborators in 195 countries and territories, GBD examines over 300 diseases and injuries and 84 behavioral, environmental and metabolic risk factors in every country. Subnational assessments are included for several nations. Scientists from the Health Effects Institute and University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health have played leadership roles in the development of the methods and data to estimate the burden of disease from outdoor air pollution. See Contributors.

2. How can I find results for my country? Is there a tutiorial?

The interactive portion of the State of Global Air site contains data for individual countries. Go to Explore the Data and select your country from the ‘Choose a country’ dropdown menu. See further instructions on the How To page.

3. Can I use these data for my own research? If so, how should I cite them?

We encourage the use of State of Global Air data in your research! Materials produced by HEI are freely available for downloading, printing, and distribution without alteration, provided that proper credit is given, using the following citation:

Health Effects Institute. 2018. State of Global Air 2018.
Data source: Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. IHME, 2017.
Available from: www.stateofglobalair.org. (Accessed [MM/DD/YYYY]).

4. How often are the data for the State of Global Air updated?

The website will be updated annually to reflect the most recent IHME Global Burden of Disease results.

5. Where can I find the report and data from last year?

Both the State of Global Air report and the interactive data tool are available in the Archives. Each webpage has a link to the Archives at the bottom.

6. Are data available for years before 1990?

While are air quality data for years before 1990 do exist, the Global Burden of Disease data set only goes back to 1990.

7. Are there data for other pollutants (for example, NOx, SO2, black carbon, etc.)?

The focus of the current State of Global Air report is PM2.5, ozone, household air pollution associated with the combustion of solid fuels, and total air pollution (the combined contribution of PM2.5, ozone, and household air pollution). We’ll be adding information on other pollutants as data become available from the GBD project. Some data for these pollutants are available on other sites (see # 8).

8. Where can I find daily air quality data for my country or city?

You can find detailed air quality data for many worldwide locations at the following websites:

  • Aqicn.org Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index, has current air quality and forecasts for 5 pollutants and 4 weather variables, with maps of nearby monitors. The site starts with China but you can scroll down on their page to the search box “Looking for another city?” and enter your location.
  • Openaq.org Open, Real-time Air Quality Data is an open-source platform of real-time and historical, publicly available outdoor air quality data that are available for downloading in a universal data format.

Contact us if you have sites you’d like to recommend!

9.  How can I make sure that the air quality monitoring data from my country is included in the GBD air pollution analysis?

Official air pollution monitoring results can be uploaded to the WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database online. Follow directions on the site.  The database is updated every 2 years.

10. What is the difference between numbers and rates of deaths or DALYs?

To learn more about how rates used in the GBD project are calculated, please refer to the Glossary.

11. Where can I learn more about the Global Burden of Disease project?

To learn more, you can go to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website. You can more learn about the Health Effects Institute’s role in the GBD project by accessing the HEI Global Health pages.

12. Can I use this website for teaching purposes?

Yes, please do! And we’d like to hear about it. Go to Contact and tell us how you used the data and your experience.

13. Whom should I contact if I have a question or suggestion about the State of Global Air site?

Please use the Contact button at the bottom of the page. Be sure to select a category to ensure your question will get to the right person. Additionally, please provide as much detail as possible in your questions or comments.

14. May I share data on social media?

Please do! Materials produced by HEI are freely available for downloading, printing, and distribution without alteration, provided that HEI is credited as the source, using the following citation:

Health Effects Institute. 2018. State of Global Air 2018.
Data source: Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. IHME, 2017.
Available from: www.stateofglobalair.org. (Accessed [MM/DD/YYYY]).

15. Can I subscribe to updates?

If you are interested in receiving updates about the Global Burden of Disease and State of Global Air, please sign up for the Health Effects Institute Newsletter. (Scroll to down on the HEI home page to the Newsletter Sign-Up box).

16. Where can I get more information about the organizations that contributed to the State of Global Air?

Please go to our Contributors page to read about the people who made the State of Global Air possible.