1.7 million air pollution deaths in India

Not an exaggeration but a reality; air pollution killed about 1.7 million people in India in 2019, a report by Lancet Planetary Health said.

The lancet report ‘The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative’ claimed that this was 18 per cent of the total deaths in India. The report released in the last week of December 2020 looked into the health as well as economic aspects of both indoor and outdoor pollution.

Delhi has highest per-capita economic loss

Noting that outdoor air pollution increased in 2019, the report said that the death rate increased by 115 per cent.


The report said that the country lost 1.4 per cent of GDP because of premature deaths and morbidity from air pollution. The researchers estimate this to come around Rs 2,60,000 crore, which is more than four times of the allocation for healthcare in the budget for 2020-21.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation director at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and co-author of the report Christopher Murray said that it was high time that the policy makers took serious steps to address the pollution threat.


  • Northern and Central Indian states had the highest Economic loss in GDP. Uttar Pradesh had the highest loss of 2.2 per cent of GDP
  • National Capital Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss, followed by Haryana
  • In term of economic losses with respect to indoor air pollution, Goa had the least loss at 7.6 million dollars and Uttar Pradesh had the highest at 1829.6 million dollars.
  • Majority of the deaths were from ambient particulate matter pollution and household air pollution
  • The death rate due to household air pollution decreased by 64.2 per cent from 1990 to 2019
  • Ambient particulate matter pollution increased by 115 per cent
  • Ambient ozone pollution increased by 139.2 per cent


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