How Dirty Is Baltimore Compared To Other US Cities?

How Dirty Is Baltimore Compared To Other US Cities?

BALTIMORE, MD — While it’s not as bad as New York City, Baltimore still placed among the top metro areas in a recent survey of the dirtiest cities in the United States. The Charm City landed at No. 15 out of 40 U.S. cities ranked by cleaning-services company Busy Bee. The company ranked 40 urban areas across the country based on pest and litter data from the American Housing Survey, air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

New York City earned a highest-in-the-nation score of 427.9 on Busy Bee’s “dirtiness index.” Los Angeles-Riverside-San Bernadino, California, Chicago and Philadelphia rounded out the Top 5. At No. 15, Baltimore landed right behind Boston and just ahead of Austin, Texas on the list. Nearby Washington, D.C., placed at No. 12 on the list.

“Plenty of people are drawn to cities because they offer job opportunities, cultural diversity, plentiful entertainment, optimum medical care, public transportation, a vibrant nightlife, and more … ,” Busy Bee said in its report. “Of course, it’s not always a party. City life means traffic, crowds, litter, noise, pests, and lack of space. Factories and high concentrations of vehicles can lead to air pollution that can trigger a large variety of side effects.”

The five categories used to determine the city scores are pests, litter, particulate matter air pollution, nitrogen dioxide air pollution and population density. Here’s Busy Bee’s full ranking of America’s dirtiest cities with their respective “dirtiness index” score.

New York City, 427.9Los Angeles, 317.8Riverside-San Bernardino, California, 224.89Chicago, 220.9Philadelphia, 212.97Phoenix, 206.93Houston, 203.39Denver, 193.51San Francisco, 189.03Miami, 187.27Pittsburgh, 185.55Washington, D.C., 179.47Atlanta, 178.63Boston, 177.76Baltimore, 176.61Austin, Texas, 175.96Detroit, 171Las Vegas, 163.53Cincinnati, 161.75Dallas, 158.18Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, 155.26Cleveland, 148.91Hartford, Connecticut, 148.85Milwaukee, 145.98Seattle, 139.22Nashville, Tennessee 141.88Louisville, Kentucky, 130.38San Antonio, 127.6Kansas City, 127.03Richmond, Virginia, 122.48Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, 121.78Portland, Oregon, 121.54Rochester, New York, 120.21New Orleans, 117.13Oklahoma City, 116.99Memphis, Tennessee, 110.52Raleigh, North Carolina, 109.35Tucson, Arizona, 108.71Orlando, Florida, 103.43Jacksonville, Florida, 99.52
Infographic created by

(Lead image: Trash bags are piled up in New York City in April 2015. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


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