Air pollution killed 1.7 million Indians in 2019: Lancet report

ForumIAS announcing GS Foundation Program for UPSC CSE 2025-26 from 26th June. Click Here for more information.

News: A report titled “The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative” was published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.


  • India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative: It was launched in 2015. It is a collaboration between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India(PHFI), Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation(IHME) and senior experts and stakeholders currently from about 100 institutions across India.
  • Purpose: The initiative estimates health and economic impacts of air pollution, both from indoor and outdoor sources.
  • Aim: There are state-wise and country wide variations in health status and the drivers of health loss. This initiative aims to bridge this gap by providing systematic knowledge of the local health status and trends in each state.

Key Takeaways of the report:

  • Deaths due to Air Pollution: Some 1.7 million Indians died due to air pollution in 2019 which is 18% of the total deaths in the country.
  • Disease Burden: 40% of the disease burden due to air pollution is from lung diseases, the remaining 60% is from ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and neonatal deaths related to preterm birth,
  • Indoor vs Outdoor Air Pollution: The mortality from indoor air pollution reduced by 64% between 1990 and 2019, that from outdoor ambient air pollution increased by 115% during this period. Due to Indoor pollution, Goa had the least loss at $7.6 million and UP the highest at $1829·6 million.
  • Economic Loss due to Air Pollution: India has lost 1.4% of GDP due to premature deaths and morbidity from air pollution. It is equivalent to Rs 2,60,000 crore in monetary terms — more than four times of the allocation for healthcare in the Union budget for 2020-21.
  • Economic loss to State GDP: The economic loss due to air pollution as a percentage of the state GDP was higher in the northern and central India states, with the highest in Uttar Pradesh (2.2% of GDP) and Bihar (2% of GDP).Further, the highest health and economic impact of air pollution is in the less developed states of India.
  • Highest Per Capita loss: Delhi had the highest per-capita economic loss due to air pollution followed by Haryana in 2019.
Print Friendly and PDF