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US States With The Highest & Lowest Pollen Counts in 2023

Allergy season is getting longer and more intense, and it’s even worse when you live in one of the highest pollen count states. It can be difficult to enjoy yourself if you’re constantly sniffling and sneezing while surrounded by pollen. 

Staying inside during peak pollen times, which can be tracked with Oransi’s live pollen count map, can help lessen symptoms. But, pollen can also sneak inside through open doors or by clinging to clothes and shoes. According to EPA studies, indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air, so it’s important to clean your indoor air with an air purifier, especially during peak pollen seasons in your area. 

Pollen counters use data to rank the lowest pollen count states and the highest pollen count states in the US each year. That information is then compiled by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) into their annual Most Challenging Places to Live With Allergies guide. The goal is to help improve the quality of life for people living with seasonal allergies. 

The AAFA’s handbook ranks heavy pollen locations by city and state and explains why it has ranked those areas as some of the worst for pollen allergy sufferers. They collect data on tree pollen, weed pollen, and grass pollen. Everyone can use the information to determine if their city contributes to the intensity of their pollen allergies.


Factors That Affect Pollen Count

Pollen count fluctuates from day to day depending on certain factors like rain, temperatures, and wind. 

Pollen travels faster in hotter, drier, and windier weather. Moisture slows down pollen and it's more likely to stick to wet surfaces. Pollen travels quickly with the wind and stays in the air longer in drier environments meaning your allergies are worse in this kind of weather. 

Cool, damp, and rainy days see less pollen floating around in the air. Although there might be less pollen in your area when it’s raining, it does feed the plants and weeds that produce pollen. There could be even more pollen produced after a storm, wreaking havoc on your allergy symptoms. 

Pollen counts change throughout the day as well. They steadily rise during the morning and peak about mid-day before gradually declining in the night. Staying indoors during peak times is one of the most effective ways to keep your pollen allergies in check.

Climate change also affects pollen count. Many pollen counters have noticed that warmer temperatures have driven up the amount of pollen in the air. 

Climate change has enabled longer pollen seasons, which increases the amount of time pollen allergy sufferers must try to avoid the worst of the pollen to keep their allergy symptoms under control.


Highest Pollen Count States

What state has the highest pollen count? The AAFA ranks the worst locations for pollen allergies by city, not by the entire state. But, there are some states that have multiple cities listed in the top pollen count ranking. 

The AAFA named these ten cities and states as the worst overall pollen count ranking for pollen allergy sufferers in 2023:

  1. Wichita, KS, with a total score of 100 out of 100
  2. Dallas, TX, with a total score of 87.26 out of 100
  3. Scranton, PA, with a total score of 87.08 out of 100
  4. Oklahoma City, OK, with a total score of 86.69 out of 100
  5. Tulsa, OK, with a total score of 86.05 out of 100
  6. Sarasota, FL, with a total score of 84.17 out of 100
  7. Cape Coral, FL, with a total score of 81.32 out of 100
  8. Orlando, FL, with a total score of 81.12 out of 100
  9. Des Moines, IA, with a total score of 80.76 out of 100
  10.  Greenville, SC, with a total score of 79.43 out of 100

The AAFA notes that climate change is the most dramatic factor contributing to the worsening pollen seasons in these top 10 cities and the entire United States. 

Taking proactive measures to help reverse climate change is one of the best ways to keep some of the worst-performing cities from getting any worse for allergy sufferers. The AAFA also lists individual actions we can take, like rinsing sinuses and taking allergy meds, to fend off the worst of allergy symptoms. 


Lowest Pollen Count States

What states have the lowest pollen count? We’ve covered the cities and states that currently have the highest pollen count including tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen in 2023, but these are the cities that have the overall lowest pollen count. 

As with the highest pollen count areas on their list, the AAFA ranked the best cities to live for pollen allergy sufferers, as follows:

  1. Buffalo, NY, with a total score of 48.71 out of 100
  2. Seattle, WA with a total score of 54.43 out of 100
  3. Cleveland, OH, with a total score of 57.68 out of 100
  4. Austin, TX, with a total score of 59.41 out of 100
  5. Akron, OH, with a total score of 60.27 out of 100
  6. Washington, DC, with a total score of 60.64 out of 100
  7. Detroit, MI, with a total score of 61.10 out of 100
  8. Albuquerque, NM, with a total score of 61.51 out of 100
  9. Columbus, OH, with a total score of 63.04 out of 100
  10.  Salt Lake City, UT, with a total score of 63.31 out of 100

The 2023 lowest pollen rankings list cities in multiple regions of the US showing that the best, and worst, pollen isn’t only located in one area. 


Average Ranking Cities And States For Pollen Allergies

The AAFA ranks cities for lowest, highest, and average pollen count. If you’re suffering from high pollen in one of the highest pollen count cities these average cities could provide another option. 

Appearing on the list of average places for pollen allergies are:

  • New Haven, CT, at 72.18 out of 100
  • Tuscon, AZ, at 72.40 out of 100
  • Poughkeepsie, NY, at 72.45 out of 100
  • Pittsburgh, PA, at 72.58 out of 100
  • Albany, NY, at 72.63 out of 100

Air Purifiers For The Highest Pollen Count States

Choosing a quality air purifier for allergies with the best performing air filters and motors is one of the most effective ways to cope with living in the highest pollen count states. 

With high efficiency air filters and a strong motor, Oransi's air purifiers efficiently and silently removes dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens from your indoor environment like the Mod Jr. We can’t do anything to control outside air pollution and the pollen count in our area, but we can keep our home air clean and maintain healthy indoor air quality.