You will be surprised to know that the place with the most polluted air in America is not a big city, but a small town in California.
this month, Guardian released an analysis put together by a group of researchers from several institutions, including the University of Washington, to rank America’s worst air-polluted neighborhoods.
Julian Marshall, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Washington, told The Guardian that the analysis showed that the neighborhoods with the worst air quality were predominantly black and Hispanic.
“What we’re seeing here is segregation,” Marshall said. “You have the separation of people and the separation of pollution.”
The data in this analysis was recorded between 2011 and 2015 and even though that was eight years ago, the researchers say pollution patterns remain stable over many years.
No. 1 worst place to live in America if you want clean air: Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California, is in the state’s Central Valley and about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
It has some of the unhealthiest air in America, and a lot of that is thanks to location. Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, produces the most oil in California.
The region is best known for production in natural gas, mining and petroleum refining. All these industries have contributed to the worsening air pollution.
According to The Guardian, most regions have failed to meet Clean Air Act targets over the past 25 years.
The 10 Worst Places to Live in America If You Want Clean Air
- Bakersfield Area, California
- south los angeles
- Chicago’s South and West Side
- northwest indiana
- central indianapolis
- Houston, Texas
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Central Pennsylvania
- Central Atlanta, Georgia
- Central Birmingham, Alabama
Los Angeles, specifically South Los Angeles, is second on the list. The area consists of several landlocked neighborhoods surrounded by a system of freeway interchanges, railyards, and warehouses.
Residents of small towns like Compton, Maywood and Paramount are victims of breathing that polluted air.
South Los Angeles residents breathe 50% more polluted air than those living across the city in the affluent Bel Air neighborhood, according to the analysis.
The area that rounded out the top three was the south and west sides of Chicago. Neighborhoods in these areas include Back of the Yards and Riverdale, both of which are areas that have been used to store toxic materials.
Don’t miss: Want to get smarter and more successful with your money, work and life? Sign up for our new newsletter,
get cnbc free The Warren Buffett Guide to InvestingJoe Billionaire’s No. 1 delivers the best pieces of advice, the do’s and don’ts, and three key investing principles in one clear and simple guidebook for regular investors.