Ranked: The Top 10 Cleanest Countries in the World

One of the best and most enjoyable things that a person can do in life is to visit various cities and countries in the world. Traveling is something that can expand one’s view of the world exponentially. In every country, there are lots of places to discover and things to do. Those who love to travel sometimes create their rankings of the best places they have visited by using various criteria, such as beauty, diversity, and more. In this post, we are going to give you a ranking of the cleanest countries in the world.

Cleanliness does not only make a place look better, but it also helps in leading a healthier and longer life for the people. For instance, nations that have high air quality scores reduce the chances of their citizens being exposed to harmful particles, which also decreases the frequency of illnesses associated with air pollution, like respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Conversely, nations with high pollution levels have high rates of non-communicable diseases, which account for 72% of all fatalities and 16% of which are brought on by toxic pollution.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

criteria for ranking the cleanest countries

Before we move on to the rankings, let us first understand how countries are being ranked based on cleanliness. Researchers from Yale University and Columbia University partnered with the World Economic Forum to measure the cleanliness and environmental friendliness of 180 countries in the world. To be able to do this, they developed the Environmental Performance Index (EPI).

The EPI measures 32 performance indicators across 11 categories related to two overarching policy objectives, which are ecosystem vitality and environmental health. The categories involve air quality, sustainability, water and sanitation, and biodiversity and habitat. [1]

Among these, air quality is one of the most that affects the environmental metrics of a country’s EPI score. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is among the leading threats to public health, and it is now a global issue. Water and sanitation also have a great impact because a source of clean water is important for human development, the country’s economy, and the environment. Some of the other determining factors of a country’s EPI are forests, fisheries, use of heavy metals, climate and energy issues, and more. [2]

Following the tabulation of the results, the nations are ranked from cleanest to dirtiest. This allows countries to quickly assess the efficacy of their environmental policies and the degree to which their environmental objectives have been met. [1]

The Ten Cleanest Countries in the World

In 2022, there are two new entries on the world’s rankings of cleanest countries, which are Norway and Germany. Take a look at the infographic below to see the rankings of the ten cleanest countries in the world.

TOP 10 CLEANEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

RANK COUNTRY ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDEX (EPI)
1 Denmark 82.5
2 Luxembourg 82.3
3 Switzerland 81.5
4 United Kingdom 81.3
5 France 80
6 Austria 79.6
7 Finland 78.9
8 Sweden 78.7
9 Norway 77.7
10 Germany 77.2

Below are some interesting information about the countries included in the top ten:

1. Denmark

Copenhagen in Denmark

Denmark, which has an EPI score of 82.5, is the cleanest nation in the world. It appears that this Nordic nation prioritizes the use of renewable energy. The overall population of Denmark is only 5,754,356 as of 2022. [2] Denmark is the world’s most environmentally friendly nation, and it has done so by implementing a number of sensible environmental laws. The goal of these regulations is to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The biodiversity of Denmark is equally outstanding, and the people there care about the environment. [3]

In addition to being the cleanest country in the world, Denmark is in the second spot among the happiest nations worldwide based on the survey by the Gallup World Poll. Also, based on statistics, Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world. [2] Denmark is a top-rated travel location, so it would be wonderful if you could add it to your list if you’re planning a trip. Here, you can visit lovely locations like gardens, theme parks, and museums.

2. Luxembourg

a beautiful view of Luxembourg

With an EPI score of 82.3, Luxembourg ranks second among the cleanest countries in the world. Luxembourg’s GDP has grown recently, and so has the country’s population. However, the nation has continued to act in an environmentally responsible manner. Given that much of Luxembourg is rural and that there are less than 600,000 people living there, the country has a lot of greenery. [3]

When it comes to tourism, Luxembourg is a vibrant city to visit. The old quarter of Luxembourg City was declared by UNESCO a world heritage site. It is also great to discover several of the nation’s small towns. Here, you’ll be able to find mighty castles, old fortresses, and other beautiful backdrops, making it among the top tourist destinations. [2]

3. Switzerland

a beautiful view of a city in Switzerland

Switzerland has an overall EPI score of 81.5, making it the third cleanest nation in the world. Switzerland equaled Denmark’s perfect score in the Species Protection Index and had very high scores for drinking water (100) and sanitation (100). Switzerland is renowned for having rich fauna and pristine water, which may come as no surprise. [1]

The country is located in Western Europe, with Italy to the south, Germany to the north, Austria to the east, and France to the west. It has a population of around 8 million people. Notably, among all developed nations, this flourishing country has one of the extraordinarily lowest rates of crime. The climate is perfect in the nation as well. Even though Switzerland has four distinct seasons, the country’s weather is seldom too hot or cold. This results in increased tourists throughout the entire year.

Switzerland is very popular for its elaborate landscape. It is one of the best tourist dreamlands in the world, as well. It contains over 1,500 lakes, and each of them is less than 10 miles away from one another. [2]

4. United Kingdom

an aerial view of a city in the UK

The UK ranks among the top 10 cleanest nations in the world in 2022. With an 81.3 rating, it ranks fourth. Both drinking water and sanitation achieved flawless rankings for the nation. In two categories, such as Marine Protected Areas and Biome Protection, it also performed exceptionally well. The Air Quality Index for the UK is equally high, at 94.43. With a 96.69 score in Biodiversity and Habitat, it also demonstrates strong environmental protection efforts.

Relative to the size of the UK, it has a population of 63.1 million people. It is estimated that 8.1 million of those are residing in London, which is the capital of the UK. It also has the third-largest economy in Europe. Low valleys and steep mountains make up the majority of the gorgeous landscape of the nation. It is also acknowledged as the sixth-most-traveled nation in the world. [2]

5. France

a panorama of Paris, France

France ranks as the fifth-cleanest nation in the world with an EPI score of 80. Despite being highly industrialized, France gets about 80% of its energy from nuclear power, which greatly lowers its carbon emissions and helps it get a perfect score of 100 for pollution emissions. French environmental initiatives include preventing retailers from discarding unused, good food and installing hydro turbines along its rivers. [1]

Particularly in the Health category, France performed strongly. It received a very high score of 91.5. Additionally, the sanitation system is excellent. It has an 88.3 biodiversity score. In the categories of species protection index, national terrestrial biome, marine protected area, and terrestrial biome at large, it received flawless scores. [3]

This wealthy nation is home to 62 million people. However, despite its size, the country’s ecology is not negatively impacted by its large population. In addition to being among the cleanest countries, France is the world’s most popular travel destination. The UN World Tourism Organization’s data indicates that it is ranked top in the world for tourism. The number of foreign visitors to France annually exceeds 83 million. [2]

6. Austria

Danube District in Vienna, Austria

Austria has an EPI of 79.6, making it the sixth-cleanest country in the world. For agriculture, it ranked third overall, as the country has stringent regulations when it comes to the use of pesticides and fertilizers. It is fifth on the ranking for ecosystem vitality. In Europe, Austria is popular for having some of the strictest air pollution standards, as well as chemicals and waste management. The country is also mostly made up of lush woods and pastures. [1]

The country is also a great travel destination as it is home to numerous historical sites. The Wurstelprater, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, and The Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the world’s first zoo, are both in Vienna. [2]

7. Finland

a highway in Finland

The third Scandinavian country to appear in the most recent list of the world’s cleanest nations is Finland. With an EPI score of 78.9, it holds the seventh position. [2] Finland gets about 35% of its energy from renewable sources. Finland tops the global rankings for environmental health (99.3), air quality (98.8), sanitation & drinking water (100), and exposure to heavy metals (100). The nation places a high priority on protecting its forests and wildlife. [1]

Finland is seen as one of the most habitable countries in the world. Due to its minimal air pollution and environment-friendly energy sources, Finnish people are not easily susceptible to illnesses that are connected with environmental risks. The nation’s outstanding cleanliness has also aided in the growth of its tourism industry. According to Business Finland, tourism in Finland has reached a new high. The number of visitors from abroad increased, reaching 6.6 million in 2019. [2]

8. Sweden

beautiful view of Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden has an EPI score of 78.7, placing it eighth among the world’s cleanest nations in 2022. Some could even contend that it deserves to be named the world’s cleanest nation. Scandinavian nations share three traits in common. They are well-developed, orderly, and neat. Sweden is no exception, as it has routinely ranked among the world’s cleanest nations over the years. [2]

The air in Sweden is likewise exceptionally pure. In the drinking water and sanitation category, it received great marks. It received a flawless 100 for wastewater treatment and a 99.8 for waste management. Sweden ranks 72.5 in terms of biodiversity. [3] The country is focused on nature. It has increased its greenery nationwide and has preserved thousands of acres of woodland. [1]

Sweden is an ideal destination if you love to travel. In addition to having clean streets, little air pollution, and hygienic amenities, the country also features extensive history and varied scenery, making it a traveler’s paradise. It is a perfect place to visit for those searching for outdoor adventure. [2]

9. Norway

a breathtaking view in Norway

With a 77.7 EPI score, Norway joins the list of the top 10 cleanest nations in the world for 2020. With a population of 5.31 million people, it is the fourth Nordic nation on this list and the ninth in the world. It receives an A+ for cleanliness and drinking water, and it comes in fifth for air quality with a 97.9 score. Norway employs 97 percent renewable energy for its electricity. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, the Norwegian government is making substantial efforts. [2]

The rich culture and tradition of Norway, one of the most prosperous countries in the world, attracts millions of tourists every year. The region of the midnight sun features stunning scenery, deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful northern lights. [2] It also has historical museums, making it a great country to visit for those who love to travel.

10. Germany

an aerial view of the Berlin skyline in Germany

Germany is the world’s most technologically advanced nation, ranking as the tenth cleanest nation overall, with a 77.2 EPI score. [1] It was able to enter the top ten due to the country’s renewable energy revolution. Ten green initiatives have also improved the city’s environmental friendliness. [2]

Germany scored 88.8 out of 100 for biodiversity. Additionally, it performed well in the wastewater treatment and solid waste management categories. The German sewage system received a flawless score. Germany provides its residents with access to clean drinking water. [3]

Many of the tourists that have visited Germany describe the country as historical, rich in culture, and naturally beautiful. It is home to some of the oldest cathedrals in the world, as well as original median Old Towns. There are also lots of galleries and museums to visit in the country, particularly in its capital city, Berlin. [2]

Conclusion

These are the top ten cleanest countries in the world. In addition to these countries, some of the runners-up that almost made it to the top ten include the Netherlands and Japan, with 75.3 and 75.1 EPI scores, respectively. The countries in this list are great inspirations for other nations when it comes to creating and implementing environmental laws. Also, in addition to having laws for the environment, the people residing in each country should also learn how to be responsible and take good care of their surroundings to be able to achieve a clean and healthy land to live in. We hope this post helped you learn more about the world’s cleanest countries.

References

  1.   https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/cleanest-countries-in-the-world
  2.   https://mensgear.net/cleanest-countries/
  3.   https://rankingroyals.com/top-20-cleanest-countries-in-2021/