Beijing, China: PM2.5 Air Pollution Levels, by year
YearPM 2.5 level,
in micrograms per cubic meter of air
202338.98
202231.74
202140.54
202038.84
201942.60
201850.70
201758.78
201672.73
201582.70
201497.72
2013101.56
  • Region: China
  • Time period: 2013 to 2023
  • Published: Feb 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 7, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Trend of PM2.5 levels over the last decade

Beijing's air quality has shown a significant improvement in terms of PM2.5 levels, with a decrease from 101.56 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 to 38.98 micrograms per cubic meter in 2023. This decline represents a reduction of over 60% in a decade, highlighting effective measures taken to combat air pollution.

Year-on-year variation in PM2.5 levels

Year 2022 recorded one of the lowest annual PM2.5 levels at 31.74 micrograms per cubic meter, contrasting sharply with the peak of 101.56 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013. The fluctuating annual figures underscore variable environmental and regulatory impacts on air quality.

Notable improvements post-2016

The period following 2016 marks a notable improvement in air quality, with PM2.5 levels decreasing from 72.73 micrograms per cubic meter in 2016 to 38.98 micrograms per cubic meter by 2023. The consistent year-over-year reduction highlights the effectiveness of pollution control measures implemented in the latter half of the decade.

Impact of interventions between 2013 and 2015

Between 2013 and 2015, Beijing experienced a sharp decline in PM2.5 levels, from 101.56 to 82.70 micrograms per cubic meter. This 18.5% decrease illustrates the immediate impact of early interventions aimed at reducing air pollution.

Comparison of recent years

Comparing the most recent years, the PM2.5 level increased from 31.74 micrograms per cubic meter in 2022 to 38.98 micrograms per cubic meter in 2023. This recent rise signals the challenges in maintaining the gains in air quality and the need for continuous efforts.

Long-term air quality trend

Over the last decade, Beijing's average PM2.5 level has been on a declining trend, with the highest average recorded in the early part of the decade (2013-2015) and the lowest averages in the most recent years (2020-2023). This trend demonstrates a long-term improvement in air quality, with effective pollution reduction strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has the trend of PM2.5 levels in Beijing changed over the last decade?

In the last decade, Beijing's PM2.5 level decreased by over 60%, from 101.56 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 to 38.98 micrograms per cubic meter in 2023.

What was the variation in Year-on-year PM2.5 levels?

The PM2.5 level peaked at 101.56 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013 and recorded one of the lowest at 31.74 micrograms per cubic meter in 2022.

Terms and Definitions

PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is around 3% the diameter of a human hair. These fine particles can be a result of pollution from various sources like car emissions, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms.

Air pollution refers to the introduction into the atmosphere of substances that have harmful or toxic effects. These pollutants can be in the form of gases, particulate matter, or biological molecules. Air pollution is detrimental to human health and the planet as a whole, contributing to a range of issues from respiratory illnesses to global warming.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a numerical scale used for reporting the daily air quality. It provides a standardized method of comparing air pollution levels across different locations. Variables considered in the AQI calculation include PM2.5, PM10, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide levels. An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant.

Emissions refer to the process of releasing gas or radiation into the air. In the context of air pollution, it usually relates to the release of pollutants into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM2.5 particles from industrial processes, vehicle exhausts, and power generation.

Respiratory illnesses are diseases that affect the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible in humans, including conditions that affect the nasal passages, bronchi, and lungs. High levels of air pollution, and specifically exposure to PM2.5, can significantly increase the risk of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Particulate matter (PM) is a term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. They can be either human-made or naturally occurring. Some examples include dust, smoke, soot, and pollen. In terms of pollution, smaller particles (like PM2.5) are of the greatest concern due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams unfiltered, causing health problems.
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