Map Options

Color Scheme:
map placeholder
Radiance Average

0

0.5

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

4.5

5

Click on a country for details.

Darkest Countries 2024

There exist over 200 Dark Sky Places around the world representing more than 22 countries. When labeled a Dark Sky Place by International Dark Sky Places, this means an area, a reserve, park, community, or sanctuary has been identified as having low light pollution. This means that residents and visitors within this area are better able to view the stars or a natural night sky. Chad is the country identified as having the least light pollution of all global locations, awarding it the most pristine night skies.

The Uniqueness of a Dark Sky Place

Astoundingly, in 80% of all the spaces throughout the world, there is so much light pollution that residents can’t even see the Milky Way or even most stars from their own backyard. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is one non-profit group that is committed to protecting spaces from light pollution through the designation of being named a Dark Sky Space. This protects the area by working with local communities to advance responsible outdoor lighting, and educate the public on the importance of light pollution reduction overall.

Dangers of a Light Sky

Having a night sky that does not allow views of stars and/or the Milky Way due to light pollution or excessive development can have immense negative consequences. While obscuring the view of a pristine night sky is one, it is far from the only reason to advocate for dark sky places and to hold them dear. Artificial light, like that which interferes with dark night skies, has been shown to have a direct and negative impact on the circadian rhythm, hormones and human behavior and physiology according to a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences medical study.

In addition to causing issues for humans, artificial lighting can also be harmful to the behavior and overall health of wildlife. One example of this is the fact that having street lights too close to shorelines has caused baby turtles to become disoriented after they hatch and wander away from the ocean towards the land. This is not good and can lead to their death in many cases according to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Unfortunately, this is far from the only example of how artificial lighting is negatively impacting animal and/or marine life.

Dark Skies Are Worth Protecting

According to the IDA, in less than 100 years, artificial lights have all but transformed the sky. This means millions of children will never get to experience the Milky Way, which is a sad fact and one reason among many to guard against too many artificial lights in a night’s sky. Light pollution sadly robs humans of the opportunity to experience the wonder of a natural night sky.

  • The amount of ambient light, or nighttime light pollution, in a country is expressed using the term 'radiance'.
  • The tiny Pacific Island country Niue, which has the world's lowest radiance (and lowest level of light pollution), was the first entire country to be officially declared an International Dark Sky Place by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), which happened in 2020.
  • By comparison, well-lit micronations such as Vatican City, Macau, and Monaco—all of which are essentially city-sized countries with no rural area—have the highest levels of country-wide light pollution in the world.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Country
Radiance Average
Additional Notes
Central African Republic0.001
South Sudan0.002
Somalia0.003
Tuvalu0.003
Falkland Islands0.004
Madagascar0.005
Niger0.005
Chad0.005
Mauritania0.005
Eritrea0.005
Tokelau0.005
Mongolia0.006
Mali0.007
Solomon Islands0.007
Guinea Bissau0.008
Cook Islands0.008
DR Congo0.01
Liberia0.011
Ethiopia0.013
Sierra Leone0.014
Namibia0.014
Kiribati0.014
Guyana0.016
Guinea0.018
Botswana0.019
North Korea0.02
Papua New Guinea0.02
Western Sahara0.02
Sudan0.021
Tanzania0.022
Burundi0.023
Afghanistan0.025
Cameroon0.025
Zimbabwe0.027
Mozambique0.029
Burkina Faso0.029
French Guiana0.029
Uganda0.03
Comoros0.03
Zambia0.033
Australia0.037
Wallis and Futuna0.039
Laos0.043
Suriname0.045
Benin0.046
Bhutan0.046
Angola0.047
Samoa0.049
Malawi0.05
Cambodia0.05
Kenya0.052
Lesotho0.053
Kazakhstan0.054
Fiji0.055
Myanmar0.056
Marshall Islands0.057
Senegal0.062
Gabon0.064
Republic of the Congo0.065
Timor Leste0.069
Bolivia0.071
Haiti0.086
Micronesia0.086
Yemen0.088
Nepal0.089
Togo0.089
Vanuatu0.097
Djibouti0.098
French Polynesia0.101
Gambia0.104
Nicaragua0.106
Peru0.109
Kyrgyzstan0.111
Tajikistan0.118
Ivory Coast0.123
Russia0.126
Values may be affected by the aurora
New Zealand0.128
Palau0.129
Libya0.13
Rwanda0.132
New Caledonia0.132
Belize0.145
Montserrat0.16
Tonga0.169
Belarus0.172
Paraguay0.189
Chile0.195
Armenia0.199
Equatorial Guinea0.2
Colombia0.206
Uzbekistan0.206
Turkmenistan0.218
Nigeria0.222
Canada0.226
Values may be affected by the aurora
Brazil0.23
Latvia0.233
Values may be affected by the aurora
Faroe Islands0.234
Values may be affected by the aurora
Algeria0.237
Ukraine0.239
Moldova0.244
Indonesia0.245
Syria0.245
Philippines0.255
Argentina0.256
Dominica0.257
Uruguay0.262
Pakistan0.266
Saint Pierre and Miquelon0.269
Sao Tome and Principe0.27
Honduras0.272
Ghana0.282
Lithuania0.282
Values may be affected by the aurora
South Africa0.286
Cuba0.296
Panama0.327
Guatemala0.328
Sri Lanka0.331
Cape Verde0.335
Georgia0.364
Bahamas0.369
Seychelles0.387
China0.407
Isle of Man0.416
Estonia0.428
Values may be affected by the aurora
Morocco0.447
Bulgaria0.477
Bangladesh0.48
Norway0.495
Values may be affected by the aurora
Mexico0.496
Sweden0.496
Values may be affected by the aurora
Bosnia and Herzegovina0.504
Azerbaijan0.521
Maldives0.541
Romania0.549
Albania0.573
Turks and Caicos Islands0.58
Ireland0.581
Venezuela0.586
Tunisia0.591
El Salvador0.602
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines0.61
Oman0.653
Austria0.656
Finland0.656
Values may be affected by the aurora
Iran0.659
Montenegro0.659
Ecuador0.661
Costa Rica0.675
Denmark0.709
Values may be affected by the aurora
Slovakia0.718
Egypt0.726
Hungary0.748
India0.756
Thailand0.764
Northern Mariana Islands0.809
Slovenia0.826
Saudi Arabia0.898
United States0.899
Values may be affected by the aurora
Malaysia0.974
Dominican Republic0.975
Saint Barthelemy0.978
Jordan0.993
Grenada1.015
American Samoa1.033
Turkey1.06
Croatia1.084
Poland1.093
Germany1.127
Switzerland1.128
Greece1.155
Serbia1.161
Mayotte1.179
Czech Republic1.216
Jamaica1.259
Barbados1.275
Vietnam1.301
France1.34
Japan1.404
Spain1.51
Iraq1.533
United Kingdom1.646
Values may be affected by the aurora
Liechtenstein1.684
Mauritius1.703
Anguilla1.744
Saint Lucia1.897
Antigua and Barbuda1.973
Saint Kitts and Nevis2.024
Reunion2.279
Portugal2.38
Guadeloupe2.423
Brunei2.446
Andorra2.722
Cyprus2.74
Nauru3.011
Italy3.187
Martinique3.64
Luxembourg3.669
Cayman Islands3.762
Lebanon3.775
South Korea3.959
Bermuda3.979
Saint Martin4.161
United States Virgin Islands4.209
Puerto Rico4.674
Belgium4.709
Guam4.729
United Arab Emirates4.904
Taiwan5.079
Netherlands5.128
Curacao5.264
Aruba6.092
Trinidad and Tobago6.438
Palestine6.817
Israel7.561
Kuwait8.44
Sint Maarten10.392
San Marino11.609
Malta12.815
Qatar14.887
Hong Kong16.435
Gibraltar20.106
Singapore43.994
Bahrain48.796
Macau60.655
Monaco80.834
Vatican City108.025
showing: 226 rows

Which country is the darkest?

Central African Republic is considered the country with the least light pollution and the most pristine night skies..

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources