Noise pollution: these are the 50 noisiest and most silent cities

18 Dec '2017 Life

If you’ve ever lived next to a railway, a highway or in a busy city you probably know all about noise disturbance or noise pollution. But how bad can it actually get? Here’s a list of the most noisy cities in the world, is yours on it?

The World Hearing Index was created by the guys of Mimi, a digital hearing app. They found that the average ‘city dweller’ has a hearing loss equivalent of 10 to 20 years older than his own age. In the index, the data from the app is used, and plotted with data from the World Health Organisation.

50 cities are on this list: the first one is the most noisy, the last one is the least. If you want to check out all the data, that’s possible here.

The list

  1. Ghanzou
  2. Delhi
  3. Cairo
  4. Mumbai
  5. Istanbul
  6. Beijing
  7. Barcelona
  8. Mexico City
  9. Paris
  10. Buenos Aires
  11. Moscow
  12. Shanghai
  13. Saint Petersburg
  14. Taipei
  15. Rome
  16. Madrid
  17. Hong Kong
  18. Los Angeles
  19. Seongnamsi
  20. Singapore
  21. Manchester
  22. Dubai
  23. Johannestown
  24. London
  25. San Francisco
  26. Birmingham
  27. Chicago
  28. Melbourne
  29. Frankfurt am Main
  30. Houstoun
  31. Hannover
  32. New York
  33. Milan
  34. Seoul
  35. Glasgow
  36. Sydney
  37. Berlin
  38. Tokyo
  39. Liverpool
  40. Stuttgart
  41. Amsterdam
  42. Cologne
  43. Portland
  44. Hamburg
  45. Dusseldorf
  46. Stockholm
  47. Munich
  48. Oslo
  49. Vienna
  50. Zurich

Noise pollution can be the worst environmental

problem in the next twenty years

The first place is for Ghanzou, a city in the South of China with 13 million inhabitants. The second and third worst sound polluted cities are Delhi in India and Cairo in Egypt, respectively. The only European city in the top 10 of most noisy cities is Barcelona, while the top 5 most silent cities are all European. The worst city of the United States is Los Angeles on place 18, while the best is Portland on place 43.

The sources of noise pollution of course differ per city, but it’s mostly because of machines and industrialization, and transportation like trains or motorized traffic.

All of this noise gives a huge problem for public health: the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that approximately 360 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, 32 million of whom are children. In the Netherlands, experts have warned that noise pollution can be the worst environmental problem in the next twenty years, if we don’t do anything about it.

If you live in one of these noisy cities or are affected by a lot of noise pollution, there is probably not a lot you can do about the noise itself. But, remember that you can always protect your ears with the right earplugs and also remember that hearing damage is irreversible. So be careful and think about your ears, before it’s too late.