Household air pollution generated from the use of polluting cooking fuels and technologies is a major source of disease and environmental degradation in low- and middle-income countries. Using a novel modelling approach, we provide detailed global, regional and country estimates of the percentages and populations mainly using 6 fuel categories (electricity, gaseous fuels, kerosene, biomass, charcoal, coal) and overall polluting/clean fuel use – from 1990-2020 and with urban/rural disaggregation. Here we show that 53% of the global population mainly used polluting cooking fuels in 1990, dropping to 36% in 2020. In urban areas, gaseous fuels currently dominate, with a growing reliance on electricity; in rural populations, high levels of biomass use persist alongside increasing use of gaseous fuels. Future projections of observed trends suggest 31% will still mainly use polluting fuels in 2030, including over 1 billion people in Sub-Saharan African by 2025.