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Countries with the Most Light Pollution

Which countries have the most light pollution measured by average nighttime brightness over the entire territory of the country.
Quiz by mahble
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Last updated: December 2, 2023
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First submittedAugust 14, 2017
Times taken40,297
Average score70.0%
Rating4.53
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Brightness
Country
108
Vatican City
80.8
Monaco
48.8
Bahrain
44.0
Singapore
14.9
Qatar
12.8
Malta
11.6
San Marino
Brightness
Country
8.44
Kuwait
7.56
Israel
6.44
Trinidad and Tobago
5.13
Netherlands
5.08
Taiwan
4.90
United Arab Emirates
4.71
Belgium
Brightness
Country
3.96
South Korea
3.78
Lebanon
3.67
Luxembourg
3.19
Italy
3.01
Nauru
2.74
Cyprus
33 Comments
+26
Level 77
Jun 21, 2021
Pretty much just a population density list
+4
Level 82
Jun 21, 2021
The countries in the Middle East on the list stand out and having more than population density would allow.
+11
Level 75
Aug 26, 2023
density+wealth (+gas flaring?)
+1
Level 65
Dec 6, 2023
Plus oil production itself will light up what otherwise would be dark desert land.
+4
Level 81
Sep 4, 2021
Could you accept Trinidad as per usual on the site?
+4
Level ∞
Sep 4, 2021
Fixed, thank you.
+3
Level 71
Sep 4, 2021
Not sure if this was just featured today or I just haven't noticed it in the past, but congrats on this feature (and the "Least Light Pollution one" as well)!
+32
Level 76
Sep 5, 2021
Liechtenstein really don't live up to their name, although this is where they could shine.
+10
Level 87
Sep 8, 2021
With two to four hours of electricity a day at this point, I imagine that Lebanon will drop off this list.
+2
Level 81
Sep 13, 2021
That was my thought as well.
+2
Level 64
Oct 10, 2021
And now no electricity at all for several days...
+2
Level 48
Sep 24, 2021
firstly guessed my country and realized that small countries has the ranks.
+3
Level 75
Sep 24, 2021
I wonder how sea area is factored in to the total area. I tried a bunch of small island states that are very densely populated if only land area is considered, but which are often very sparsely populated if you include coastal waters (and especially if one was to include EEZs, which clearly isn't the case for the source).
+9
Level 69
Sep 24, 2021
Alternate title: rich countries with high population density.
+1
Level 56
Sep 24, 2021
Wow. Funny how Trinidad and Barbados where the first Caribbean islands that came to mind ^^. Probably because they are the most common tourist destinations out of the smaller Caribbean islands
+2
Level 85
Sep 24, 2021
The Vatican surprised me. I mean everything is candlelit.
+5
Level 70
Sep 24, 2021
surrounded by Rome
+1
Level 56
Sep 24, 2021
So in other words, mostly small countries and microstates!
+5
Level 82
Sep 25, 2021
It's mostly densely populated, highly-developed countries that use a lot of electricity and have a highly urbanized population. There are quite a few countries from every continent that don't make the cut smaller than South Korea.
+2
Level 56
Apr 26, 2023
No North Korea?
+1
Level 78
Aug 26, 2023
For S's and G's, I just decided to hit up the Caribbean. My two remaining guesses before doing so just happened to be the first two I typed.
+5
Level 85
Aug 26, 2023
I teach geography and history. I use a night-time map of the world to discuss both population patterns/settlement and development. South Korean/North Korea is a good starting point - most gr 7/8s mistake it for an island given the darkness of North Korea. You can also see the linear patterns along the Nile and the Trans-Siberian (effect of water and transportation on settlement patterns). Development is shown by comparing the lights of highly populated Nigeria or Congo compared to Europe.
+1
Level 67
Aug 26, 2023
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/countries-by-density

I was curious about Malta/Cyprus:

Malta has a density of 1562 people/sqkilometer (4077/sqmi)

Cyprus 136/sqkilometer

Bangladesh also 1329/sqkilo, but I guess they're too poor, at

+1
Level 37
Aug 28, 2023
I totally forgot about Andorra, I didn't know it was that bright!
+1
Level 84
Dec 3, 2023
If Las Vegas were its own nation, would it top the list?
+2
Level 87
Dec 3, 2023
It's hard to believe that 40% of quiz takers came up with Nauru on this one.
+2
Level 63
Dec 3, 2023
I mean, a lot of people probably just tried all of the tiny countries they could think of, so it's not that surprising
+1
Level 84
Dec 4, 2023
If you took the time to cycle through Oceania, you got Nauru. If you went through the Caribbean instead, you got Trinidad & Tobago. Very few got both.
+1
Level 48
Dec 5, 2023
Nauru was once one of the richest countries in the world per capita, before they consumed all their natural resources and bankrupted. During that period it obviously got electrified. It is very tiny island, solid population density. Actually it makes a lot of sense.
+4
Level 70
Dec 4, 2023
Nauru -- world famous for its bustling cities and even brighter lights. Suck it Tuvalu. Don't even look this way Vanuatu lest ye be blinded.
+2
Level 87
Dec 5, 2023
I find Italy to be the most surprising, just given it's size in relation to the other countries on this list. Modern day Galileo would be disappointed in his telescope.
+1
Level 48
Dec 5, 2023
Why Italy? Much lower population density than Germany or UK.
+1
Level 83
Apr 15, 2024
Could be using different types of streetlights, or keeping more on at night? I think in the UK we now switch some off or dim them on less used roads, and I think less polluting lights are now being brought in.