Does Living Outside Jakarta Mean We’re Safe from Air Pollution?


nafas team





English / Indonesia

Jakarta, the Metropolitan City, is notorious for its bad air quality. Its air-polluted skies (which we sometimes think of as fog) make us believe that Jakarta is the only city with the dirtiest air in Indonesia.

But is Jakarta the only city with bad air? Of course not!

Previously, we summarized the air quality in Bandung and Surabaya, as worse than in Jakarta. You can read it here.

This time, we're looking at the air quality in other cities that have equally unhealthy air quality as Jakarta: Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Malang!

Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

The first Nafas sensor was installed in the Special Region of Yogyakarta in January 2021. Today, there are already 6 sensors spread across the city.

Let's take a look at the graph of air quality data in Yogyakarta from the Nafas sensor below!

We can see that green or 'good' air quality is quite rare in Yogyakarta from 2021 to 2023. The air quality is dominated by yellow (which means 'moderate') or orange (which means 'unhealthy for sensitive groups').

From the graph above, we can find that Sorowajan has the highest air pollution levels compared to other locations. All areas in Yogyakarta that have Nafas sensors installed are still recorded as having moderate air quality.


The first breath sensor was placed in Semarang in July 2022. As of now, there are a total of 5 Nafas sensors in Semarang.

Let's see the data on air pollution in Semarang City by the Nafas sensor!

Similar to Yogyakarta, we can also see that Semarang's air quality is mostly 'moderate' and 'unhealthy for sensitive groups'.

We can understand from the data above that Semarang Barat has the most unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups in Semarang, followed by Gunung Pati in second place. We can see that other locations have 'moderate' air quality.


In Malang City, the first Nafas sensor was installed in July 2022, and currently, there are about 6 sensors installed.

Let's take a look at this graph of air quality data in Malang!

Famed for its chilly weather and cool ambience, it turns out that moderate air quality in Malang is the most prevalent. However, green (or good) air quality has also occurred several times.

We can clearly see that the unhealthiest air quality for sensitive groups is in the Sekarpuro location, with PM2.5 levels reaching 36 ug/m3. Batu is the area in Malang with the best air quality compared to other areas, with 'moderate' quality and PM2.5 levels of 28 ug/m3.

Air Pollution is Not Only a Problem in Jakarta

Air quality in all three cities fluctuated throughout 2023. When compared to daily pollution in Jakarta, many daily pollution spikes occurred in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Semarang, and Malang.

So, how is the air quality in these cities compared to last year? Let's check it out together!

From the data above, it can be seen that the average air pollution in DIY and Jakarta decreased slightly compared to 2022. However, air pollution in Malang and Semarang actually increased.

Indeed, the changes in air pollution levels in these cities are also related to the number of hours with poor air quality. How long do these cities have bad air quality?

Let's take a look at the following graph!

By looking at the orange and red colors above, we understand that on average, citizens of Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Malang breathe unhealthy air (for those sensitive to general groups) by more than 30% throughout 2023. Semarang seems to be the most 'stingy' city when it comes to healthy air quality this year. This can be seen from Semarang, which has the least green bar graph.

Air Pollution in Three Cities is Fluctuating

Air pollution levels in Semarang, Yogyakarta, and Malang are fluctuating. There are many periods of unhealthy air, but there are also times when the air quality is quite good between 10 AM and 3 PM.

✅ To avoid exposure to air pollution, try to regularly follow tips from us 👇🏻

  1. Monitor air quality regularly on the Nafas app
  2. If the air quality is poor, avoid outdoor activities.
  3. Always wear a mask when leaving the house. ["Children over 2 years old can use a mask (cloth mask or disposable mask) that fits over the nose and mouth." - dr. Citra Amelinda]
  4. Close doors and windows when air quality is poor. Using an air purifier can help clean the air in the room.