My Chinese City Profile - Beijing

Question: What factors contribute to the current life expectancy in Beijing?
Timothy Chan

Beijing, the capital of China is a vibrant city, it is one of the most frequently visited cities in China. Its most famous attraction is the Tian-an-men square and is home to delicious Chinese delicacies such as Peking duck. However Beijing is known to be one of the most polluted cities in China, the pollution, combined with the frequent consumption of oily foods and rice contributes to the city's average life expectancy of 76.1.

Background Information Links:

In order to familiarize myself with Beijing before the investigation, I had to research about the background of the city. This included cultural and historical understandings. The following websites were used for this purpose.

This website helps provide an understanding on the life of locals living in Beijing. It explains about how the elderly can be seen in parks, and temples to do morning exercises such as Tai chi. It also explains how the traditional beijing people live in hutongs (a narrow alleyway) and how locals entertain themselves by watching Chinese Opera. The website depicts Beijing to have lively nightlife, the young people tend to go to KTV bars and night clubs. This website is an important foundation for the investigation, as the background information is what contribute to the life expectancy numbers.

This website explains the general charters of the people in Beijing. It depicts them as kind and they treat visitors with hospitality. They are also curious with westerners and tend to take photos with them when passing by. The website also gives insights to many other aspects such as the food and attractions. Providing the reader with a lot of detail on the kinds of things they'd expect in Beijing.

This web sight gives insight on the local food in Beijing. It gives detail on the most famous foods such as Peking duck, jiao zi (Chinese dumplings) and jiang jiang rou si (shredded pork). The foods most commonly eaten by Beijing people could severely contribute to the current average life expectancy, therefore it is important to know what ingredients are used in order to understand the effect that it has on the human body.

Links Regarding Life Expectancy:

This article directly relates to my topic of investigation and provides significant information as to the effect that pollution has on the people in Beijing. This article is quite shocking and leaves me worried for myself as I am also living in a heavily polluted city. Reading that young adults will spend around 40% of their remaining lives in less than full health makes me not even want to visit the city for even a week. The website is a very reliable source as it is created by Bloomberg, a media company which is read by many people every single day.

This is website is a scientific research studying pollution in Beijing and the effect on mortality. It explains in full detail about how pollution is damaging to health and that Beijing desperately need to improve their pollution levels. The source is very reliable as information is taken from a PhD candidate, a doctor of emergency medicine, etc.

Chinese people are known to be the big consumers of rice. This website explains how rice in fact is not at all nutritious and by eating plenty of it throughout their lifetime, Chinese people are just filling themselves up with empty calories. The article is written by World Crunch, a reliable source as it is a news website used by many people around the world.

Organization link:

The organization that is directly related to my topic is Greenpeace. Their focus is to reduce air pollution in all of China. They are currently campaigning against coal, which is the biggest cause for the pollution. It also provides tips on how to prevent air pollution and the best ways to take action. Through this website we can further understand the importance of sustaining healthy air within Beijing.

Data links:

The above link is a data analysis that show many lives were lost from air pollution in Beijing from 2004-2008. This source is very reliable as it is a government website. Even though this data was recorded for the years 10 years ago, it is still significant within this investigation.

The above link is data to the causes of death within the Chaoyang district of Beijing in 2007. This set of data is also reliable as it is from the same government website. Despite in not taking into account the whole of Beijing, the source is still extremely impotent to the investigation as we can further study the most common causes of death within Beijing.


The video above is a documentary that talks about the pollution levels in China and the severity of the problem. The video however is in Chinese and therefore I am not able to understand it, however the intended audience is the Chinese people and it was so effective that the Chinese government tried to erase any evidence of the documentary.

Comment Stream