Living Green

Ranking the best (and worst) countries.

By Matthew E. Kahn | PhD from Reader's Digest | October 2007

Top 5

1. Finland

2. Iceland

3. Norway

4. Sweden

5. Austria

Bottom 5

137. Chad

138. Burkina Faso

139. Sierra Leone

140. Niger

141. Ethiopia

Air Quality
Rates concentration of several pollutants in urban areas

1. Moldova

8. Finland

63. United States

126. Ethiopia

141. Guatemala

The World’s Greenest, Most Livable Cities
Using different data, we analyzed 72 major international cities and ranked them in terms of being green and livable. The sources included The Millennium Cities Database for Sustainable Transport (2001) by Jeff Kenworthy and Felix Laube of Australia’s Murdoch University, the World Bank’s Development Economic Research Group Estimates, and our own reporting on local environmental laws, energy prices, garbage production and disposal, and parkland.

5 Best

1. Stockholm

2. Oslo

3. Munich

4. Paris

5. Frankfurt

5 Worst

68. Bangkok

69. Guangzhou

70. Mumbai

71. Shanghai

72. Beijing

How U.S. Cities Rate

15. New York

22. Washington, D.C.

23. Chicago

26. San Francisco

36. Atlanta

43. Denver

46. Houston

55. San Diego

57. Los Angeles

60. Phoenix

Water Quality
Rates pollutant levels as well as other factors that affect water purity

1. Norway

2. Finland

22. United States

127. Ethiopia

141. Morocco

Greenhouse Gases
Rates carbon emissions per capita and by GDP

1. Chad

18. Ethiopia

75. Finland

107. United States

141. Turkmenistan

Energy Efficiency
Rates conservation efforts and use of renewables such as hydropower

1. D.R. Congo

17. Ethiopia

66. Finland

106. United States

141. Trinidad & Tobago

Environmental Health
Rates childhood mortality, disease; deaths from intestinal infections

1. Austria

8. Finland

125. Ethiopia

16. United States

141. Turkmenistan