Three North Carolina Cities Rank Among the Top 7 Best for Clean Air in the US


This week is Air Quality Awareness Week, so the American Lung Association just released which cities in the US have the cleanest air. This year, only seven cities rank on all three cleanest cities lists for particle pollution and ozone.

To make the list, a city must experience no high ozone or particle pollution days and rank among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle pollution levels, and your city is one of seven that meets that criteria.

This year, North Carolina dominated the list, with 3 cities making the top 7 list, including Asheville, Greenville, and Wilmington (no other state even had 2 cities).

Fast facts about air quality:

  • Over 18 million people “live in counties that got an ‘F’ for all three air pollution measures in ‘State of the Air’ 2023.”
  • Over 64 million Americans (54% of the 120 million total) who live in areas with unhealthy air quality are people of color.
  • People of color were 3.7 times as likely to live in a county with a failing grade for all 3 of the American Lung Associations air pollution measures.
  • The other cities on the list are Bangor, Maine; Lincoln, Nebraska; Rochester, New York; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

You can check out the full report here.