Here's the breakdown from USA Today:

Over 4 of 10 Americans breathe polluted air.  People of color were 61% more likely to live in a county with unhealthy air than white people.  Primarily because of its geography and weather, California once again had the nation's most polluted cities.  The report deals with the two types of air pollution that plague the U.S.: smog and soot.

When you think of air pollution, it comes in several ways.  One of them is vehicle exhaust.  Another form of air pollution is all the smoke that comes out of those smoke stacks you see.

Get our free mobile app

What about campfires or even forest fires in several states?  No wonder so many people breathe in polluted air more often than not.

According to USA Today:

California once again had the nation's most polluted cities, primarily because of its geography and weather.  Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Visalia topped the list for smog; Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia led the way for soot pollution.

In some states, I'm sure it's difficult just to walk outside to take a deep breath of fresh air when there's no fresh air to be found. That's not a good thing.

We're not sure if anyone would want to live in California because of polluted air, but what about the cleanest cities to live in?

USA Today tells us this:

The nation's cleanest cities, according to the report, were Burlington, Vermont; Charlottesville, Virginia; Elmira-Corning, New York; Honolulu; and Wilmington, North Carolina.  To make the list of cleanest cities, "a city must experience no high ozone or high particle pollution days and rank among the 25 cities with the lowest year-round particle pollution levels," the report said.

Even when my wife and I take walks in our own neighborhood, we can smell backyard firepits burning or smoke coming out of chimneys and we both find it hard to breathe at times.

The 100 Best Places to Live in the Midwest

The 100 Best Places to Live on the East Coast