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Average quality of air in China 2019, by air pollutants

Over the last decade, China has been trying to tackle worsening air quality from urbanization and industrialization. In 2019, the average concentration of ozone was around 148 micrograms per cubic meter in 337 cities in China.

 Environmental degradation 

Becoming the global manufacturing hub of goods brought not only rapid economic development to China, but also deteriorating air quality in cities across the country. Among other types of environmental issues, air pollution was the most concerning issue for almost half of Chinese survey respondents. Since 2001, carbon dioxide emissions in China has tripled to over ten gigatons in 2018, which was forecasted to keep growing until the end of this decade.

 Environmental protection

 The Chinese government saw environmental degradation primarily as a public health issues to Chinese citizens and therefore started contributing more and more resources into protecting the environment. In 2019, public expenditure on energy conservation and environmental protection in China had amounted to over 744 billion yuan, double the amount of six years ago. Citizens have also begun to change their habits due to climate change. For example, around half of Chinese have made changes to their commuting and water use habits in order to help fight climate change.

Annual average of concentration of air pollutants of 337 cities* in China in 2019

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*According to source, these are cities at or above prefecture level (APL cities) including municipality, cities or regions at prefecture level, autonomous prefectures and league.
**Concentration of Carbon monoxide was expressed in milligram per cubic meter.

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Statistics on "Quality of environment in China"

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