Average monthly air quality index of Beijing, China 2016-2017

As of June 2017, the average monthly air quality index in Beijing stood at 40.13, which is within the “Good” range, making it one of the months with better air quality compared to the rest of the year.

Air Pollution in Beijing

For years, Beijing has earned a notorious reputation for having air quality detrimental to health. For the same survey period, Beijing has the worst average air quality among other Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenyang. The pollution caused by PM2.5 has been worsening since 2008. The air quality was less than good for almost half the year in Beijing back in 2013, which has become the leading environmental concern for Chinese citizens.

Causes of air pollution and tackling the root cause

Much of the air pollution in China is believed to be heavily associated with the burning of coal, especially in industrial sector, and transportation. With the emergence of the public health concern, the Chinese government also introduced plans to ease the air pollution, including setting targets for fine particulate matter, completion of construction and renovation of pollution control facilities, introducing vehicle control, and renewing the fleet of public buses. The effects of these pollution control measures have just started to show recently, with five of the seven lowest monthly pollution readings in Beijing since 2008 being recorded in the summer of 2017.

Average monthly air quality index of Beijing, China from July 2016 to June 2017

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Release date

September 2017



Survey time period

July 2016 to June 2017

Supplementary notes

Air quality index:
0-50: Good
51-100: Moderate
101-150: Unhealthy for sensitive groups
151-200: Unhealthy
201-300: Very unhealthy
301-500: Hazardous
>500: Beyond index

According to the source, observational data are not fully verified or validated and subject to change, error and correction. Figures have been calculated based on hourly values monitored outside of the U.S. embassy in Beijing, China.

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