The Top 20 Cleanest Countries in the World in 2021.

How clean do you think your country is? Do you ever wonder which are the cleanest countries in the world?

According to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report published last year, Denmark was the cleanest country in the world.

The report ranked 180 countries according to different aspects including the progress each country is making to combat climate change, the quality of air in each country, and waste management.

Other aspects that were used to determine how clean a country is included sanitation and drinking water, conservation of ecosystems, amount of pollution emissions, how people have been affected by lead contamination in the environment, among many other factors.

Liberia was ranked last on the list of the cleanest countries in the world while Afghanistan was third-last. On the other hand, the U.S is ranked as the 24th world’s cleanest country while China comes in at number 120.

The table below ranks all the 180 countries according to how clean they are. Read on to see where your country appears.

RankCountryEPI Score
1Denmark82.5
2Luxembourg82.3
3Switzerland81.5
4United Kingdom81.3
5France80
6Austria79.6
7Finland78.9
8Sweden78.7
9Norway77.7
10Germany77.2
11Netherlands75.3
12Japan75.1
13Australia74.9
14Spain74.3
15Belgium73.3
16Ireland72.8
17Iceland72.3
18Slovenia72
19New Zealand71.3
20Canada71
20Czech Republic71
20Italy71
23Malta70.7
24United States of America69.3
25Greece69.1
26Slovakia68.3
27Portugal67
28South Korea66.5
29Israel65.8
30Estonia65.3
31Cyprus64.8
32Romania64.7
33Hungary63.7
34Croatia63.1
35Lithuania62.9
36Latvia61.6
37Poland60.9
38Seychelles58.2
39Singapore58.1
40Taiwan57.2
41Bulgaria57
42United Arab Emirates55.6
43North Macedonia55.4
44Chile55.3
45Serbia55.2
46Brunei Darussalam54.8
47Kuwait53.6
48Jordan53.4
49Belarus53
50Colombia52.9
51Mexico52.6
52Costa Rica52.5
53Armenia52.3
54Argentina52.2
55Brazil51.2
56Bahrain51
56Ecuador51
58Russia50.5
59Venezuela50.3
60Ukraine49.5
61Uruguay49.1
62Albania49
63Antigua and Barbuda48.5
64Cuba48.4
64Saint Vincent and the Grenadines48.4
66Jamaica48.2
67Iran48
68Malaysia47.9
69Trinidad and Tobago47.5
70Panama47.3
71Tunisia46.7
72Azerbaijan46.5
73Paraguay46.4
74Dominican Republic46.3
74Montenegro46.3
76Gabon45.8
77Barbados45.6
78Bosnia and Herzegovina45.4
78Lebanon45.4
78Thailand45.4
81Suriname45.2
82Mauritius45.1
82Tonga45.1
84Algeria44.8
85Kazakhstan44.7
86Dominica44.6
87Moldova44.4
88Bolivia44.3
88Uzbekistan44.3
90Peru44
90Saudi Arabia44
92Turkmenistan43.9
93Bahamas43.5
94Egypt43.3
95El Salvador43.1
95Grenada43.1
95Saint Lucia43.1
95South Africa43.1
99Turkey42.6
100Morocco42.3
101Belize41.9
102Georgia41.3
103Botswana40.4
104Namibia40.2
105Kyrgyzstan39.8
106Iraq39.5
107Bhutan39.3
108Nicaragua39.2
109Sri Lanka39
110Oman38.5
111Philippines38.4
112Burkina Faso38.3
112Malawi38.3
114Tajikistan38.2
115Equatorial Guinea38.1
116Honduras37.8
116Indonesia37.8
118Kiribati37.7
119Sao Tome and Principe37.6
120China37.3
120Samoa37.3
122Qatar37.1
123Zimbabwe37
124The central African Republic36.9
125Democratic Republic of Congo36.4
126Guyana35.9
127Maldives35.6
127Uganda35.6
129Timor-Leste35.3
130Laos34.8
130Sudan34.8
132Kenya34.7
132Zambia34.7
134Ethiopia34.4
134Fiji34.4
136Mozambique33.9
137Eswatini33.8
137Rwanda33.8
139Cambodia33.6
139Cameroon33.6
141Viet Nam33.4
142Pakistan33.1
143Micronesia33
144Cabo Verde32.8
145Nepal32.7
146Papua New Guinea32.4
147Mongolia32.2
148Comoros32.1
149Guatemala31.8
150Tanzania31.1
151Nigeria31
152Marshall Islands30.8
152Niger30.8
152Republic of Congo30.8
155Senegal30.7
156Eritrea30.4
157Benin30
158Angola29.7
159Togo29.5
160Mali29.4
161Guinea-Bissau29.1
162Bangladesh29
163Vanuatu28.9
164Djibouti28.1
165Lesotho28
166The Gambia27.9
167Mauritania27.7
168Ghana27.6
168India27.6
170Burundi27
170Haiti27
172Chad26.7
172Solomon Islands26.7
174Madagascar26.5
175Guinea26.4
176Cote d’Ivoire25.8
177Sierra Leone25.7
178Afghanistan25.5
179Myanmar25.1
180Liberia22.6

The 20 Cleanest Countries in the world right now

20. Canada, Czech Republic, Italy

EPI: 71

Population: 37.06 million (Canada), 10.63 million (Czech Republic), 60.43 million (Italy)

Canada, Italy, and the Czech Republic have an Environmental Performance Index of 71 each. They collectively hold the 20th position on this list.

One of the areas where Canada is performing very well is controlling lead exposure in the environment.

The Czech Republic is doing a great job in managing the emissions of air pollutants such as Sulphur dioxide which is harmful to both people and the environment.

Italy is performing well in protecting human health from environmental risks that arise from unsafe drinking water and unsafe sanitation. The country scores 98.2 points in this category.

19. New Zealand

EPI: 71.3

Population: 4.89 million

New Zealand is one of the cleanest counties in the world with an EPI score of 71.3. The country’s air quality score stood at 97.4 while its sanitation and drinking water score was 80.4

In terms of waste management, New Zealand scores 68 points and also scores 87.4 in terms of pollution emissions.

The country also has 79.9% of its population connected to a sewer system.

18. Slovenia

EPI: 72

Population: 2.07 million

 Slovenia is the 18th cleanest country in the world. The country scores 75.2 in its effort to fight climate change.

However, the country is losing its tree cover rapidly. It scores just 31.9 in terms of its effort to conserve its tree cover.

In Slovenia, there’s little pollution of heavy metals particularly lead. The country scores 88.1 points in this area and has seen a great improvement in cutting lead exposure over the past 10 years.

17. Iceland

EPI: 72.3

Population: 0.35 million

 It’s the world’s 4th cleanest country in terms of its air quality. The country’s air quality scores 98.1

Iceland is very keen to protect human health from environmental risks that arise from unsafe drinking water and unsafe sanitation. In this category, the country scores 100 points.

Iceland is also making huge strides in reducing pollution by lead exposure. It is one of the countries with the lowest amount of lead exposure and scores an impressive 96.1 in this category.

16. Ireland

EPI: 72.8

Population: 4.85 million

With a population of about 4.85 million people, Ireland is one of the cleanest countries in the world.

The country has very low levels of lead contamination in the environment.

It also has an efficient wastewater treatment system with 89.7% of its population connected to a sewer system and 89.7% of its household wastewater being treated.

15. Belgium

EPI: 73.3

Population: 11.42 million

 Belgium currently has an Environmental Performance Index of 73.3

It’s one of the globe’s cleanest nations.

Belgium is one of the countries with the safest drinking water. It scores 92.9 points in the sanitation and drinking water category.

The country has an efficient solid waste management system. It collects and treats 97.6% of its solid waste in a way that controls environmental risks.

14. Spain

EPI: 74.3

Population: 46.72 million

Spain is one of the cleanest countries in the world right now.

Of the 180 countries ranked in the Environmental Performance Index last year, Spain features at position 14.

Spain is one of the countries that scored a 100% on the progress to control emissions of air pollutants such as Sulphur dioxide.

The country is also making huge efforts to control climate change has seen an improvement of 15.8 points in this category, over the past 10 years.

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13. Australia

EPI: 74.9

Population: 24.99 million

The country’s air quality scores 98.2 points. It also scores 87 points in the sanitation and drinking water category.

Australia is also cutting the emissions of air pollutants and scored 90.3 points in this category.

However, the country is performing poorly in areas such as the conservation of grassland and tree cover. Out of 180 countries, Australia is ranked 115 in the area of tree cover conservation.

In its progress to combat climate change, the country scores 70.4 points and ranks as the 20th nation in this category.

12. Japan

EPI: 75.1

Population: 126.53 million

 Japan is the cleanest nation in the Asia-Pacific region and also ranks as the 12th cleanest country in the world.

One of the categories where Japan is performing very well is the control of lead exposure. The country has the world’s least cases of people being affected by lead contamination in the environment.

Japan is also making great progress in combating climate change. The country is cutting the emissions of methane, black carbon, and nitrous oxide by at least 1.07% every year.

11. Netherlands

EPI: 75.3

Population: 17.23 million

 With an Environmental Performance Index of 75.3, the Netherlands is one of the cleanest countries in the world.

The country performs well in protecting human health from unsafe drinking water and unsafe sanitation. It scores 100 points in this category.

Another area that makes the Netherlands one of the world’s cleanest nations is waste management. The country collects and treats 100% of its solid waste in a manner that controls environmental risks.

All the population in the country is connected to a sewer system. All the household wastewater in the country is also treated, one of the key determinants of how clean a nation is.

10. Germany

EPI: 77.2

Population: 82.93

 Germany comes in as the 10th tidiest nation in the globe.

In terms of efforts to combat climate change by cutting emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide, the country ranks at number 14 out of 180 countries.

Germany also has 97% of its population connected to a sewer system and ranks at number 8 in the wastewater management category.

Unfortunately, Germany is not doing enough to conserve tree and grassland cover. It is ranked at number 61 in terms of tree cover conservation.

9. Norway

EPI: 77.7

Population: 5.31 million

 Norway is one of the top 20 cleanest countries in the world.

In terms of air quality, the country scores 97.9 points and sits on top of the world in the sanitation and drinking water category.

It also ranks at number 10 in the waste management category being able to control 97.9% of its waste in a sustainable way.

Norway also ranks at number 6 globally in the effort to combat climate change. The country scores 78.9 points in this category.

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8. Sweden

EPI: 78.7

Population: 10.18 million

 According to the Environmental Performance Index report published last year, Sweden is the world’s 8th cleanest country.

The country excels in the wastewater treatment category having all of its population connected to a sewer system and all of its household wastewater treated.

Other areas that make the country one of the world’s cleanest are the cutting of pollution emissions and good solid waste management.

Nevertheless, out of 180 countries, Sweden is ranked at number 140 as far as its tree cover conservation efforts are concerned.

7. Finland

EPI: 78.9

Population: 5.52 million

 Finland leads in the air quality, sanitation and drinking water, wastewater treatment as well as the control of lead exposure categories.

This means that the country has the world’s least cases of human health being affected by issues like breathing polluted air or lead contamination in the environment.

Finland also has the least cases of people being affected by unsafe drinking water and unsafe sanitation. The country also has 100% of its population connected to a sewer system and 100% of its household wastewater treated.

6. Austria

EPI: 79.6

Population: 8.85 million

Austria is one of the cleanest countries in the world according to the 2020 Environmental Performance Index report.

In the climate change category, the country ranks at number 16 and has made significant progress to combat climate change over the past decade.

Other factors that make Austria one of the world’s cleanest nations are good solid waste management and few cases of people being affected by contamination of lead in the environment.

Austria tops the world in the drinking water category. The country has very few cases of its population being affected by unsafe drinking water.

5. France

EPI: 80

Population: 67.02 million

France is the 5th cleanest nation in the world.

The nation is one of the countries making huge efforts to combat climate change. It is ranked 4th in the world as far as averting climate change is concerned.

France is ranked 16th in the sanitation and drinking water category and also comes in at position 20 in the waste management category.

4. United Kingdom

EPI: 81.3

Population: 66.52 million

The country’s air quality scores 84.7 points and is ranked 14th in this category.

The U.K has the least cases of people being affected by unsafe drinking water and unsafe sanitation. It’s ranked number 1 in the sanitation and drinking water category.

The country controls 92.9 of its solid waste in a sustainable way and is ranked 17th in this category.

However, one of the areas where the country is performing poorly is the effort to conserve tree and grassland cover. The country is ranked 117 in this area.

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3. Switzerland

EPI: 81.5

Population: 8.52 million

Switzerland is one of the cleanest countries in the world with an Environmental Performance Index of 81.5

The country sits on top of the world in the sanitation and drinking water as well as the pollution emissions category.

In terms of its tree cover conservation efforts, the country is ranked at number 38. It’s also one of the countries making great efforts to combat climate change. It is ranked 5th in the climate change category.

2. Luxembourg

EPI: 82.3

Population: 0.61 million

 With a population of less than a million people, Luxembourg is one of the world’s cleanest nations.

The country controls 96.2% of its solid waste in a sustainable manner and is ranked 15th in this category.

Luxembourg also has 98.5% of its population connected to a sewer system and has the same percentage of its household wastewater treated.

In terms of its efforts to combat climate change, the country is ranked 7th scoring 77.5 points in this category.

1. Denmark

EPI: 82.5

Population: 5.80 million

Denmark is the world’s cleanest country according to the Environmental Performance Index report released last year.

The country excels in different areas such as wastewater treatment, controlling pollution emissions, solid waste management as well as control of heavy metals (such as lead) contamination in the environment.


That’s the complete list of the 20 cleanest countries in the world. You also know which countries are cleaner than the others.

For more details on this ranking, you can check out this website.

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