Noise pollution is a part of our daily life, whether we like it or not. Around 5% of the global population suffers from noise-induced hearing loss due to environmental noise pollution, with 40% of Americans living in dangerously loud areas. Learn how many people are affected by noise pollution and its effect on human health and marine life. Contents: Noise Pollution Statistics (Top picks) Number of people affected by noise pollution Number of Americans affected by noise pollution Country with the highest noise pollution Most common sources of noise pollution Most common effects of noise pollution Ocean noise pollution statistics Noise Pollution Statistics (Top picks) 2.5 billion people are expected to have hearing loss due to noise pollution by 2050. 30 million Americans are exposed to noise pollution above healthy levels. 100 million or around 20% of Europeans are exposed to noise pollution. USA, UK, Italy, and India are among the loudest countries in the world. Dhaka in Bangladesh is the noisiest city in the world. Yearly, 12,000 Europeans die prematurely due to noise pollution. Traffic is the most common source of noise pollution. US Pacific ocean noise increased 10 dB since 1960s. How Many People are Affected by Noise Pollution Worldwide? By 2050, 2.5 billion people will experience hearing loss to some degree of noise pollution. Noise pollution contributes to hearing loss; as of 2021, 432 million adults worldwide suffer from it. Among the number, 34 million represent children. On average, 1/3 of the population claim that the world has become noisier in recent years. 41% of Italians and 29% of Dutchmen think the noise pollution has worsened. 51% of people living in the city, and even 9% of people living outside cities, complain about the noise. How can you protect yourself from noise? Check noise-cancelling earbuds and budget noise cancelling headphones. How many Americans are affected by noise pollution? Around 30 million Americans live where noise pollution exceeds the healthy limit. The number has increased by 10 million in the last few years. 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels in their workplace. New York is one of the loudest cities in the United States. The loudest measured sound at 95dB and the quietest at 56dB. From January 2021 to May 2021, people filed noise complaints 242,141 times, which is 21.5% more complaints than the year before. Out of 183,640 complaints in New York between January 2022 and May 2022, loud music/party was the most common at 51%. Type ofcomplaintNumber offiled complaintsLoud music/party101,579Banging/pounding36,228Loud talking15,207Car/truckmusic10,787Other7,756Constructionnoise6,045Car/truckhorn6,038(Thrillist) Sources: Healthy Hearing, NIH, UNEP, RentHop, Thrillist How many people are affected by noise pollution in the EU? 20% or 100 million people in the EU are exposed to environmental noise such as: Road traffic noise pollution Railways Airports Sources: WHO, Amplifon, EEA You can find all the source links bottom. What Country Has the Highest Noise Pollution? USA and UK are among the noisiest countries in the world. On average, these 2 countries have the highest levels of noise pollution based on available data. Sources: Amplifon, EEA 3 Noise pollution of European countries Top 10 countries in Europe based on the number of people exposed to excessive noise pollution. Countryin EuropePeople exposed tonoise during daytimePeople exposed tonoise during nighttimeUK9.559.0006.436.400Italy8.529.4006.745.200France6.853.1004.485.400Germany5.717.1003.778.000Spain4.521.2003.087.500Poland4.406.5002.770.200Netherlands3.296.5001.875.200Romania2.752.7001.956.700Switzerland2.576.5001.793.900Hungary1.607.1001.211.000(EEA 3) UK isn’t part of the EU anymore India is the noisiest country in the world, based on a subjective web survey. Followed by the USA, China, and Italy. RankingCountry1.India2.USA3.China4.Italy5.Egypt6.Spain7.Vietnam8.Turkey(I2A2) This data is purely subjective and based on people’s opinion Sources: EEA 3, I2A2 If we want more objective, measured data, look at the results below: Top 10 noisiest cities in the world Dhaka is by far the noisiest city in the world, with the maximum measured sound at 119dB. City & CountryMaximum measured noiseMinimum measured noiseDhaka (Bangladesh)119dB57dBMoradabad (India)114dB29dBIslamabad (Pakistan)105dB47dBRajshahi (Bangladesh)103dB55dBHo Chi Minh City (Vietnam)103dB49dBIbadan (Nigeria)101dB59dBAlgiers (Algeria)100dB79dBKupondole (Nepal)100dB70dBBangkok (Thailand)99dB48dBNew York (USA)95dB56dB(UNEP) Most Common Sources of Noise Pollution Most common sources of environmental noise and how loud they are: Source of the noiseLoudnessTraffic70-100dBAir traffic50-130dBConstruction80-115dBNight life(bars, parties)Up to 100dBAnimals60-80dBHouseholds20-110dBAgriculture90-98dB(Iberdrola) (Nonoise) (Your Article Library) (Washington University) Road traffic is the biggest noise polluter in the EU. An estimated 100 million people live in areas where traffic noise exceeds 55dB. Around 32 million are exposed to levels above 65dB. The second biggest source is railways, with 19 million people exposed to noises louder than 55dB. The third biggest source is airports, with 4.1 million people affected. The fourth-biggest source is industrial noise, affecting around 1 million people. Sources: Iberdrola, Nonoise, Your Article Library, Washington University, EEA 2 Data on Most Common Effects of Noise Pollution The most common problem caused by noise pollution is hearing loss. Other areas where noise pollution affects human health are: Physical – respiratory problems, high blood pressure and pulse, headaches, gastritis, and heart attacks. Psychological – stress, depression, anxiety, hysteria, fatigue (also applicable to animals) Sleep – noises louder than 45dB prevent you from sleeping normally (maximum recommended loudness is 30dB) Behavior – aggressiveness and agitation Cognitive functions – memory issues, troubles with concentration Sources: National Geographic, Iberdrola Excessive noise exposure can lead to: Noise annoyance, insomnia, stress, metabolic and cardiovascular problems, and adverse effects on children’s cognitive functions. The Science Direct study of the Tarkwa mining community in Ghana separated the community members into 7 groups in order to research the effects of noise pollution. Group 1 (size: 220 members) EffectsNumber of members affectedPercentageAnnoyance16073%Stress12758%Sleepproblems13662%Hearing-relatedproblems18484%Concentration issues16776%Heart-relatedproblems17379%Source: Science Direct Group 2 (size: 320 members) EffectsNumber of members affectedPercentageAnnoyance23072%Stress12758%Poorsleep20464%Hearing-relatedproblems27586%Concentration issues23373%Heart-relatedproblems26583%Source: Science Direct Group 3 (size: 250 members) EffectsNumber of members affectedPercentageAnnoyance17068%Stress15060%Poorsleep16265%Hearing-relatedproblems20281%Concentration issues18072%Heart-relatedproblems20582%Source: Science Direct Group 4 (size: 212 members) EffectsNumber of members affectedPercentageAnnoyance12760%Stress13363%Poorsleep16176%Hearing-relatedproblems13765%Concentration issues13162%Heart-relatedproblems11253%Source: Science Direct Here are the effects of noise pollution on members of different genders and age groups. Male aged18-35Male aged36-70Female aged18-35Female aged36-70n150150150150Annoyance93(62%)114(76%)75(50%)97(65%)Stress79 (53%)132(88%)63(42%)99(66%)Poorsleep114(76%)67(45%)90(60%)48(32%)Hearingissues100(67%)124(83%)76(51%)102(68%)Issuesfocusing103(69%)139(93%)78(52%)112(75%)Heartissues54(36%)58(39%)39(26%)48(32%)Source: Science Direct More than 12,000 people in the EU die prematurely from long-term environmental noise exposure. Noise pollution is responsible for 48,000 new cases of ischaemic heart disease per year in the EU. It’s estimated that around 72,000 hospital admissions are due to noise pollution. An estimated 22 million people in the EU suffer from chronic high annoyance. Around 6.5 million have chronic high sleep disturbance. Noise pollution can affect wildlife. Many animals use sound to survive, from finding food, navigating, finding mates, and staying away from predators. Sources: EEA, Science Direct, Iberdrola, National Geographic What are noise pollution effects on children and their development? Children living in noisy areas suffer from stress and cognitive dysfunctions. Children are especially susceptible to noise-related problems. Those living near an airport or busy streets are known to suffer stress and impaired memory, attention, and reading skills. Some even have higher resting blood pressure and stress levels due to long-term noise exposure. Noise pollution can affect unborn babies. Loud environmental noises can affect the development of fetuses, newborns, and little children. Child development stageNoise exposureEffectsIntrauterine (fetus)Approx. 80dBfor 8 hoursInability to hear high frequencies, prematurity, birth defects, low weight.NewbornApprox. 45dBHearing loss, faster heart rate and breathing, and lower oxygen saturation.ChildApprox. 70dB(long exposure)Approx. 100dB(sudden exposure)Problem with attention and learning, damaged ear drums.(Indian Pediatrics) Sources: National Geographic, EHCC, Indian Pediatrics What are WHO-recommended noise levels? World Health Organization recommends different loudness exposures depending on source and time of day. Here’s a table of acceptable levels of noise for day and night: Noise sourceDaytime limitNighttime limitTraffic53dB45dBRailway54dB44dBAircraft45dB40dBWind turbine45dBNo data(UNEP) Read more on how to keep noise levels in headphones healthy. What are the different levels of noise pollution? Here’s a table of different levels of noise pollution: LoudnessExampleExposure until damage10dBBreathing/20dBMosquitos/30dBWhisper/40dBQuiet room/50dBModerate rainfall/60dBNormal conversation/70-80dBPassing trafficAround 8 hours80-85dBPassing motorcycleAround 2 hours90-95dBHairdryerAround 50 minutes100dBChainsawAround 15 minutes105dBLawnmowerAround 5 minutes110dBTromboneAround 2 minutes120dBPolice sirenAround 1 minute130-150dBFireworksInstant damage(CDC) (Harvard Health) What percentage of population has hearing loss? Over 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from hearing loss, according to World Health Organization (WHO). It’s estimated that the number will rise to 2.5 billion by 2050. Related: The hearing loss, tinnitus and deafness statistics Do headphones cause hearing loss? Around 12.5% (or 5.2 million) of US children and teenagers aged 6-19 suffer permanent hearing damage from loud noise exposure. Furthermore, 17% (or 26 million) of US adults are experiencing the same problems. Ocean Noise Pollution Statistics Ambient noise created by humans is having a detrimental effect on the marine life and the ecosystem. With ship engines and sonar-induced noise, humans disturb marine life. The big transcontinental ships produce so much noise it can travel for thousands of miles. What are ocean noise pollution levels? Ocean noise has risen 10 dB since 1960s on the western coast of the United States. By some estimates, the ocean noise has doubled each decade since 1950s. How does it impact marine life? Killer whales feed 18-25% less time when hunting near boats compared to quiet areas. Dolphins and whales need echolocation to function normally, which is disturbed by ships and sonars. Military sonars can reach up to 230dB at their source. Fishers catch 40-80% fewer fish near areas where humans conduct seismic surveys. The loudest sounds undersea: Here’s a table of different underwater sound sources and their loudness: Sound’s sourceLoudnessUnderwater earthquake250dBUndersea volcanic eruption240dBSonar or seismic air gun array230dBSupertanker175dBBlue whale170dBFrigate160dBDrilling rig150dBHydrographic sensors150dBHumpback whale140dBSperm whale130dBBowhead whale120dBDolphin100dB(Nature) Sources: WHO 2, NIH, Nature, National Geographic, AWI, Nature Read more: Technology Addiction Statistics Conclusion Noise pollution is everywhere, so it’s important to know how it affects our daily lives. Do you think the world is getting noisier? How does noise affect your life? Hopefully, you learned something new, and if you are wondering how to remove background noise from your life, see the articles on noise cancelling and ANC technology. Sources: WHO, WHO 2, Amplifon, EEA, EEA 2, EEA 3, Iberdrola, National Geographic, UNEP, Washington University, Nonoise, Your Article Library, EHCC, Indian Pediatrics, CDC, Harvard Health, I2A2, NIH, NIH 2, Healthy Hearing, Nature, AWI, RentHop Peter SusicFrom a childhood fascination with sound, Peter’s passion has evolved into a relentless pursuit of the finest headphones. He’s an audio expert with over 5 years of experience in testing both audiophile and consumer-grade headphones. Quote: “After many years, I can confidently tell which headphones are good and which are terrible.” Find his honest opinion in his reviews.