25 Cleanest Countries In World 2024: Discover The Pristine Paradises

cleanest countires in world

The world is a vast and varied place, with countries striving to make their mark in various domains. One such domain that has gained immense importance over the years is environmental cleanliness.

Countries are now being ranked based on their efforts to maintain a clean environment, and the competition is fierce. In this article, I’ll get into the 25 countries that have outshone the rest in their quest for environmental purity in.

The importance of a clean environment cannot be stressed enough. With the increasing effects of global warming and the visible impacts of pollution, countries worldwide are taking significant steps to improve their environmental health. 

The Criteria for Cleanliness

To determine the cleanest countries, several factors come into play. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a comprehensive measure that ranks countries based on various environmental health and ecosystem vitality indicators.

These include air and water quality, biodiversity, and climate and energy policies. For instance, the EPI identified Denmark, Luxembourg, and Switzerland as the leading cleanest countries in the world in 2022.

However, when diving deeper into specific indicators, the rankings can vary. For instance, while Iceland boasts the highest air quality score, its wastewater treatment efforts might not rank as high.

Cleanliness isn’t just about clear skies and clean water. Cultural norms, attitudes towards waste management, and littering also play a significant role.

For instance, a country might have the purest air but might struggle with waste management. Thus, understanding cleanliness requires a multifaceted approach, considering various dimensions.

The Role of Waste Management Companies

Several companies are leading the charge in sustainable waste management. Companies like Waste Management Inc, Waste Connections Inc, and Republic Services Inc are making significant strides in ensuring waste is managed sustainably.

From capturing gases released from landfills and converting them into low-carbon fuel to increasing the use of robotics in recycling facilities, these companies are at the forefront of sustainable waste management.

The efforts of these companies directly impact a country’s cleanliness. Efficient waste management reduces land and water pollution, ensuring a cleaner environment. Moreover, the shift towards renewable energy sources by these companies reduces air pollution, contributing to better air quality.

Cleanest Places In the World

25. Cyprus: A Mediterranean Gem

Cyprus - Cleanest Places In the World

  • Composite Ranking: 25
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 15.6
  • Waste Management Score: 58.9%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 50%

Kicking off our list is Cyprus, a nation recognized for its balanced approach to environmental health. Although its air quality index stands at 15.6, the nation’s commendable waste management practices are noteworthy.

The country’s shift towards renewable energy sources and strict emission regulations have further enhanced its air quality.

24. Croatia: Europe’s Green Star

  • Composite Ranking: 24
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 23.5
  • Waste Management Score: 55.3%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 69%

Croatia, with its robust environmental policies, has secured its spot among the top clean countries in 2024. The nation’s commitment to biodiversity conservation, waste management, and renewable energy is evident in its environmental metrics.

UNESCO’s sustainability ratings further highlight Croatia’s dedication to preserving its natural habitats.

23. Italy: Renaissance in Cleanliness


  • Composite Ranking: 23
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 18.9
  • Waste Management Score: 60.6%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 58.8%

Italy’s commitment to environmental health shines through in its 2024 rankings. The nation’s focus on waste management, combined with substantial investments in green energy, has made it a beacon of cleanliness in Europe.

22. Slovakia: A Green Beacon in Central Europe


  • Composite Ranking: 22
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 14.5
  • Waste Management Score: 62.2%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 44.7%

Slovakia, with a waste management score of 62.2%, showcases its dedication to environmental health. The country’s policies, emphasizing reduced pollution and sustainable practices, have made it a standout in 2024.

21. Malta: The Island of Purity

  • Composite Ranking: 21
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 11.7
  • Waste Management Score: 63.5%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 14.9%

Despite Malta’s challenges in wastewater treatment, its proactive waste management strategies and impressive air quality make it a clean haven in 2024.

The nation’s vision of leading in green energy adoption has played a pivotal role in reducing environmental pollutants.

20. Japan: The Eastern Pioneer

  • Composite Ranking: 20
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 9.1
  • Waste Management Score: 52.8%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 74.8%

Japan, renowned for its culture and advanced infrastructure, stands as Asia’s cleanest nation in 2024. Its impressive wastewater treatment score and comprehensive waste management programs highlight its commitment to a sustainable future.

19. Belgium: Europe’s Green Heart


  • Composite Ranking: 19
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 10.8
  • Waste Management Score: 68%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 68.2%

Belgium’s impressive environmental metrics in the EPI Report 2022 showcase its dedication to a cleaner and greener future. The nation’s focus on reducing pollution and managing waste efficiently is commendable.

18. Czech Republic: Central Europe’s Clean Marvel

Czech Republic

  • Composite Ranking: 18
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 13.4
  • Waste Management Score: 74.9%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 61.5%

The Czech Republic’s high ranking in the EPI Report 2022 is a testament to its commitment to environmental health. The nation’s impressive scores in air quality and waste management highlight its sustainable practices.

17. France: The Green Luminary

  • Composite Ranking: 17
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 11.5
  • Waste Management Score: 63.8%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 88%

France’s exceptional wastewater treatment score of 88% showcases its advanced environmental practices. Coupled with a solid waste management system, France continues to be a global leader in environmental health.

16. Slovenia: Europe’s Hidden Green Gem

  • Composite Ranking: 16
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 15.1
  • Waste Management Score: 66.7%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 92.2%

Slovenia’s impressive scores in wastewater treatment and waste management highlight its commitment to maintaining a clean environment. The nation’s efforts in reducing pollution and promoting sustainable practices are truly commendable.

15. Latvia: The Baltic Beacon

Latvia - Cleanest Places In the World

  • Composite Ranking: 15
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 10.1
  • Waste Management Score: 63%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 90.7%

Latvia’s commitment to environmental health is evident in its high scores in wastewater treatment and waste management. The nation’s efforts in preserving its natural beauty and reducing pollution are noteworthy.

14. New Zealand: The Kiwi Clean Haven

New Zealand

  • Composite Ranking: 14
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 4.8
  • Waste Management Score: 60.9%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 79.9%

New Zealand, with its pristine landscapes, boasts top-notch air and water quality metrics. The nation’s commitment to environmental health and sustainable practices makes it one of the cleanest places on Earth.

13. Estonia: The Baltic Green Star


  • Composite Ranking: 13
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 4.9
  • Waste Management Score: 66.7%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 70.40%

Estonia’s impressive environmental metrics, including a low air pollution score and efficient wastewater management, highlight its dedication to a cleaner future.

12. United Kingdom: The Green Isles

  • Composite Ranking: 12
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 8.9
  • Waste Management Score: 62.6%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 99%

The UK’s near-perfect wastewater treatment score showcases its advanced environmental infrastructure. The nation’s commitment to sustainable practices and pollution reduction is truly commendable.

11. Ireland: The Emerald Isle’s Green Commitment

Ireland - Cleanest Places In the World

  • Composite Ranking: 11
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 7.5
  • Waste Management Score: 67.9%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 87%

Ireland’s impressive environmental scores, especially in wastewater treatment, highlight its dedication to maintaining its natural beauty and ensuring a clean environment for its residents.

10. Netherlands – A Model of Cleanliness

  • Composite Ranking: 10
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 11
  • Waste Management Score: 66.2%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 100%

The picturesque and lively Netherlands consistently proves its environmental commitment by featuring among the cleanest global destinations.

The Dutch take pride in their revolutionary wastewater treatment systems, attaining an impeccable 99% efficiency score. The fascinating tulip fields are not the only breaths of fresh air here, as its attention to environmental health is genuinely uplifting.

9. Germany – Engineering Cleanliness

  • Composite Ranking: 9
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 11
  • Waste Management Score: 69%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 97%

Germany, renowned for its precision engineering, applies the same meticulousness to maintaining cleanliness. The land of poets and thinkers has a remarkable 97% score in wastewater treatment, signaling rigorous sanitation and pollution control protocols.

The balanced air, with an 11 μg/m³ PM2.5 concentration, whispers tales of sustained environmental measures and thoughtful living.

8. Iceland – The Pristine North


  • Composite Ranking: 8
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 3.4
  • Waste Management Score: 73.9%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 15%

Iceland, the land of fire and ice, boasts pristine air quality, with a PM2.5 concentration of 3.4 μg/m³. This mesmerizing island nation’s conscientious environmental policies ensure the air remains as clear as its glacial waters, nearing WHO’s desirable threshold of 2.5 μg/m³.

7. Norway – Clean Breezes of the North

  • Composite Ranking: 7
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 7
  • Waste Management Score: 70.7%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 64.3%

Norway’s stunning fjords and mountains are complemented by its clean air, with a remarkable 7 μg/m³ PM2.5 concentration.

It’s like taking a deep breath amidst the evergreens every day, as the land of the midnight sun excels in maintaining an environment that’s as refreshing as its landscapes.

6. Austria – Alpine Purity


  • Composite Ranking: 6
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 10.6
  • Waste Management Score: 77.4%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 94%

Austria, with its enchanting alpine landscapes, holds a consistent place among the world’s cleanest countries.

The air, with a 10.6 μg/m³ PM2.5 concentration, dances between the mountains, carrying the tales of environmental preservation. The impressive 94% wastewater treatment infrastructure mirrors the purity of its alpine springs.

5. Switzerland – Precision in Purity

  • Composite Ranking: 5
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 9
  • Waste Management Score: 76.4%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 97%

In 2024, Switzerland is not just a symbol of precision but also of exceptional environmental purity. The Swiss, with a 97% wastewater treatment efficacy and 9 μg/m³ average PM2.5 concentration, have carved a niche in balancing urban sophistication with environmental stewardship.

4. Denmark – The Danish Balance


  • Composite Ranking: 4
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 8.6
  • Waste Management Score: 68.3%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 100%

The harmonious Denmark, with its cycling cities and open sandwiches, maintains a harmonious balance with nature too. The Danish lands breathe moderately clean air at 8.6 μg/m³ PM2.5, and the land is kept pristine with an impeccable 100% score in wastewater treatment.

3. Australia – The Clean Down Under

  • Composite Ranking: 3
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 4.2
  • Waste Management Score: 69%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 92.9%

Australia, with its diverse ecosystems, embraces environmental richness and cleanliness, earning the third spot in 2024. The air over the outback whispers in a 4.2 μg/m³ PM2.5 concentration, mingling with the waves to narrate the continent’s successful environmental endeavors.

2. Sweden – The Eco-Conscious North

  • Composite Ranking: 2
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 6.2
  • Waste Management Score: 70.8%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 100%

Sweden shines as a beacon of environmental consciousness in 2024. The Swedish commitment to a clean and sustainable lifestyle is evident in its 100% wastewater treatment score and commendable waste management practices, reflecting the inherent respect for nature in every Swede’s heart.

1. Luxembourg – A Beacon of Cleanliness

  • Composite Ranking: 1
  • Air Quality PM2.5 concentration (μg/m³): 7.4
  • Waste Management Score: 79.10%
  • Wastewater Treatment Score: 98%

Luxembourg, the green heart of Europe, reigns supreme as the cleanest country in 2024. The country’s commitment to environmental excellence is seen in its impressive 98% wastewater treatment score and high waste management standards, making it a gleaming example of environmental stewardship.


1. Which European country is the cleanest?

Finland is often regarded as the cleanest country in Europe, due to its well-maintained environment and high air quality.

2. Is Romania a clean country?

Romania faces environmental challenges, but it also has regions with well-preserved natural beauty and cleanliness. Efforts are ongoing to improve environmental standards across the country.

3. What is the nicest country in Europe?

The term “nicest” is subjective, but many people find Switzerland to be one of the nicest countries in Europe due to its stunning landscapes, high quality of life, and cleanliness.

4. Where is the cleanest air in Europe?

The cleanest air in Europe can be found in Northern European countries like Finland and Sweden, which have low levels of air pollution and vast expanses of unspoiled nature.

5. Which country is pollution free?

No country is completely pollution-free, but several countries have low levels of pollution, including Iceland, Finland, and Norway.

6. Which city is most polluted in Europe?

It can vary from year to year, but cities like Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Skopje in North Macedonia have faced notable air quality issues in the past.

7. Which European capital is the cleanest?

While several European capitals maintain high cleanliness standards, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is often cited as one of the cleanest due to its excellent air quality and well-maintained public spaces.

Final Words

Environmental cleanliness is paramount in an era where the repercussions of climate change and pollution are more palpable than ever.

The quest for environmental purity, led by countries like Luxembourg, Sweden, and Australia, is a testament to the global efforts to reconcile with nature.

It’s essential to understand that cleanliness is not merely a reflection of a country’s air or water quality but also an indicator of its waste management proficiency, cultural norms, and environmental policies.

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