And the dirtiest cities in the country are… AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera
A cloud of nitric acid can rises from a factory on Chicago's West side Tuesday, July 25, 2000. Dozens of people were evacuated from their homes and thousands of train commuters were stopped on the rails after a hazardous chemical leak. No injuries have been reported, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Will Knight said. Firefighters were called to a chemical plating company about 7:40 a.m. and found nitric acid leaking from a tank, Knight said. The acid formed an orange cloud that hung over the area formore than an hour. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera)

Well, that was one list we didn’t really want to be at the top of.

A new report compiled by a New York based cleaning service Busy Bee compiled a list of the dirtiest cities in the country.

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They took data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Housing Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau and ranked cities on things like litter, pests, particulate matter air pollution, nitrogen dioxide air pollution, and population density.

From all these statistics, Chicago ranked number 4 on the list, beaten out by New York City at number 1, followed by Los Angeles and Riverside-San Bernadino. Here’s the full top 10 with the “dirtiness index” of each city:

  1. New York City, NY – 427.9
  2. Los Angeles, CA – 317.8
  3. Riverside-San Bernadino, CA – 224.89
  4. Chicago, IL – 220.9
  5. Philadelphia, PA – 212.97
  6. Phoenix, AZ – 206.93
  7. Houston, TX – 203.39
  8. Denver, CO – 193.51
  9. San Francisco, CA – 189.03
  10. Miami, FL – 187.27

While Busy Bee marks Chicago at number 3 in terms of litter, our pest control and air pollution levels are relatively moderate compared to other cities. The population density, which Chicago is ranked fifth, is one of the things that catapulted us toward the top of the list.

The Dirtiest Cities in the United States | Busy Bee Cleaning Service | Infographic

Earlier this year, Chicago was named the third worst city for bed bugs in the country as well. Yeah, that is not a good look.


But we also maintain pretty high rankings on the more attractive lists too.

Chicago was recently named one of the best beer cities in the world, we have some of the best hotels around, we have the best food in the whole country, and more people are visiting Chicago than ever before.

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Oh, and not to mention, Time Out recently named Chicago the best city to live IN THE WORLD.

So what if we aren’t the dirtiest city in the country. Big deal! You know what New York? We’ll let you have this one.

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