The study, the first to put together data on disease and death caused by all forms of pollution combined, said 16 per cent of all deaths worldwide were attributable to the environmental pollution.
Globally the number of deaths due to pollution stood at 9 million - three times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, the report said.
Experts say the huge population of countries like India and China and the fact that these are developing economies should also be kept in mind while analysing these statistics.
The report was prepared by the Lancet commission on pollution and health under a two-year project that involved more than 40 global health and environmental authors. The report was led by Philip Landrigan from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, U.S.
Further, Landrigan added that in addressing localized emissions on the city and country level, the world as a whole stands to benefit as they're a substantial contributors to global climate change. Toxic water is responsible for another 1.8 million death each year; sewage-laced water, for instance, is often linked to illnesses like cholera or parasitic infections.
Regardless of a nation's prosperity, deaths from diseases caused by pollution were most prevalent among minorities and the marginalised.
Other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, North Korea, South Sudan and Haiti have seen almost one in every fifth premature deaths caused by pollution.
"What people don't realize is that pollution does damage to economies", Richard Fuller, the head of Pure Earth, an worldwide nonprofit that studies pollution impacts in low- and middle-income countries, told the AP.
Most of those deaths are concentrated among the world's poorest populations, according to a study published online October 19 in the Lancet that documents the health and economic toll of pollution in 2015. Pollution-related disease also results in health-care costs that are responsible for 1.7 per cent of annual health spending in high-income countries and for up to 7 per cent of health spending in middle-income countries that are heavily polluted and rapidly developing. The global economy, on the other hand, is losing $4.6 trillion (about 6.2 percent) yearly due to the financial cost from death and sickness linked to pollution [VIDEO].
"The claim that pollution control stifles economic growth and that poor countries must pass through a phase of pollution and disease on the road to prosperity has repeatedly been proven to be untrue", the report reads.