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Prefecture-level city
Drum Tower of Linfen
Drum Tower of Linfen
Location of Linfen City in Shanxi and the PRC
Location of Linfen City in Shanxi and the PRC
Linfen is located in Shanxi
Location of the city center in Shanxi
Coordinates: 36°05′N 111°31′E / 36.083°N 111.517°E / 36.083; 111.517Coordinates: 36°05′N 111°31′E / 36.083°N 111.517°E / 36.083; 111.517
Country People's Republic of China
Province Shanxi
County-level divisions 17
Municipal seat Yaodu District
 • Type Prefecture-level city
 • CPC Linfen Secretary Luo Qingyu ( 罗清宇)
 • Mayor Yuo Puyu (岳普煜)
 • Prefecture-level city 20,275 km2 (7,828 sq mi)
 • Urban 1,304 km2 (503 sq mi)
 • Metro 1,304 km2 (503 sq mi)
Elevation 452 m (1,483 ft)
Highest elevation 2,346.8 m (7,699.5 ft)
Lowest elevation 385.1 m (1,263.5 ft)
Population (2010 census)[1]
 • Prefecture-level city 4,316,612
 • Density 210/km2 (550/sq mi)
 • Urban 944,050
 • Metro 944,050
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 041000
Area code(s) 0357
Licence plates L
Administrative division code 141000
ISO 3166-2 CN-14-10

Linfen (simplified Chinese: 临汾; traditional Chinese: 臨汾; pinyin: Línfén) is a prefecture-level city in southern Shanxi province, People's Republic of China. It is situated along the banks of the Fen River. It has an area of 20,275 square kilometres (7,828 sq mi)[2] and according to the 2010 Census, a population of 4,316,612 inhabitants of which 944,050 live in the built-up (or metro) area made up of Yaodu urban district.[3] It was known as Pingyang (平阳) during the Spring and Autumn Period. In 2006, New York based Blacksmith Institute listed Linfen as one of the ten most polluted cities in the world.[4]

Prior to 1978, Linfen was famous for its spring water, greenery and rich agriculture and therefore nicknamed "The Modern Fruit and Flower Town". Since then it has been developing into a main industrial center for coal mining, which has been seriously damaging the city's environment, air quality, farming, health and its past status as a green village.


According to legend, the site of present-day Linfen was the capital of Yao, a legendary ruler more than 4000 years ago. In the 1980s, Linfen was nicknamed "The Modern Fruit and Flower Town".


Linfen is located in the southwestern part of Shanxi, on the lower reaches of the Fen River, bounded by Changzhi and Jincheng to the east, the Yellow River to the west (which also forms the border with Shaanxi), Jinzhong and Lüliang to the north, and Yuncheng to the south. The prefecture ranges in latitude from 35° 23′ N to 36° 37′ N, spanning 170 kilometres (110 mi), and in longitude from 110° 22′ E to 112° 34′ E, spanning 200 km (120 mi). In all, the city's administrative area, at 20,275 square kilometres (7,828 sq mi), covers 13% of the province's area.[2]

Within its borders Linfen City has a variety of topographical features. It can generally be characterised as having a "U" shape, with its mountains, covering 29.2% of the prefectural area, on all four cardinal directions, a basin, the Linfen Basin (临汾盆地), covering 19.4%, in the middle, and intervening hills, covering 51.4%, in between.[2] In the east, from north to south, are Mount Huo (霍山) and the Zhongtiao Mountains; in the west are the Lüliang Mountains, with elevations mostly above 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The highest point in the prefecture is the main peak of Mount Huo, at 2,347 metres (7,700 ft), and the lowest is in Xiangning County, at 385 metres (1,263 ft). Important rivers in the area include the Yellow, Fen, Xinshui (昕水河), Qin (沁河), Hui (浍河), E (鄂河), and Qingshui Rivers (清水河).

The whole prefecture-level city features a great variety of terrain. The city itself sits in a basin, which aggravates the pollution.


Linfen has a continental, monsoon-influenced semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), with moderately cold, but dry winters, and hot, somewhat humid summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −2.7 °C (27.1 °F) in January to 26.1 °C (79.0 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 12.6 °C (54.7 °F). The annual precipitation stands at 470 millimetres (18.5 in), with close to 70% of this total falling from June to September. The frost-free period lasts on average 190 days per year. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −22.5 °C (−8.5 °F) to 40.5 °C (104.9 °F).

Climate data for Linfen (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.0
Average low °C (°F) −8.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 3.3
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.2 2.8 4.6 5.6 6.4 8.8 12.0 10.0 8.6 6.4 3.8 2.0 73.2
Source: Weather China


China's rapid industrialization and urbanization beginning in the 1990s led to increased energy demand causing a dramatic increase in the price of coal. This led to a rapid expansion of loosely regulated private mines. Mining and the heavy industry which developed around it led to severe environmental damage.[5]

In 2006, the Blacksmith Institute included Linfen in its annual "10 worst" report, calling the city the most polluted city nationally.[6] It has also been listed as one of the world's ten dirtiest cities by the Popular Science website.[7] The city has ranked at the bottom of the World Bank's air quality rankings.[8]

From its low point, in 2004, with only fifteen days out of the year with an acceptable level of air pollution, the environmental situation has improved.[9] After a series of negative reports on the extreme level of pollution in the city, efforts were made to clean up Linfen. Substandard mines were closed.[5] Coal trucks were kept from entering the city, resulting in much less coal dust. The city has also switched much of its heating infrastructure from coal to gas. 197 large coal-fired boilers and more than 600 smaller, family-size boilers were decommissioned. As of 2007, 85 percent of the city uses natural gas rather than coal for their heating. The State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has forced many of the less-efficient smaller factories to close and enforced stricter standards for larger factories including mandating the installation of sulfur scrubbers.[9]

Since 2006, the government has taken a series of measures to change the industrial structure, changing the economic development mode, relevant policy was issued such as emission threshold of industrial pollution. Over the last few years the Ministry of Environmental Protection has colsely monitored Linfen's environment. Now it has been listed as a model city for environmental protection in Shanxi Province. Linfen has paid a lot for it as reported, the industrial economic GDP only has dropped 36 billion and the fiscal income has decreased 7.2 billion. Compared with the dropping economic, the environment in linfen has improved dramatically. On February 23, 2014, Linfen has been reported from the "most polluted city" to "model city for environmental protection" on China Youth Daily. [10]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The prefecture-level city of Linfen is divided in one district, two cities and fourteen counties. The information here presented uses the metric system and data from 2010 Census.

Linfen mcp.png
# English Name Simplified Traditional Pinyin Area Population Density
1 Yaodu District 尧都区 堯都區 Yáodū Qū 1,316 944,050 717
2 Houma City 侯马市 侯馬市 Hóumǎ Shì 274 240,005 876
3 Huozhou City 霍州市 霍州市 Huòzhōu Shì 765 282,907 370
4 Quwo County 曲沃县 曲沃縣 Qǔwò Xiàn 438 237,033 541
5 Yicheng County 翼城县 翼城縣 Yìchéng Xiàn 1,163 311,471 268
6 Xiangfen County 襄汾县 襄汾縣 Xiāngfén Xiàn 1,304 442,614 339
7 Hongtong County 洪洞县 洪洞縣 Hóngtóng Xiàn 1,563 733,421 469
8 Gu County 古县 古縣 Gǔ Xiàn 1,193 91,798 77
9 Anze County 安泽县 安澤縣 Ānzé Xiàn 1,965 82,012 42
10 Fushan County 浮山县 浮山縣 Fúshān Xiàn 946 127,831 135
11 Ji County 吉县 吉縣 Jí Xiàn 1,777 106,407 60
12 Xiangning County 乡宁县 鄉寧縣 Xiāngníng Xiàn 2,029 233,162 115
13 Pu County 蒲县 蒲縣 Pú Xiàn 1,508 107,339 71
14 Daning County 大宁县 大寧縣 Dàníng Xiàn 967 64,501 67
15 Yonghe County 永和县 永和縣 Yǒnghé Xiàn 1,219 63,649 52
16 Xi County 隰县 隰縣 Xí Xiàn 1,415 103,617 73
17 Fenxi County 汾西县 汾西縣 Fénxī Xiàn 880 144,795 165


Linfen prefecture is home to several notable tourist attractions including the Hukou Waterfall which is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River and the second largest in China. Hukou Waterfall is located 150 km (93 mi) west of Linfen city in Jinshan Gorge.[11]

Other attractions are located in Hongtong county. Most notable among these is Guangsheng Temple, built in 147 CE. Located in the upper Guangsheng temple is the Feihong Pagoda, the largest and best preserved glazed Chinese pagoda.[12][13] Also in Hongdong county is the Su San Prison (苏三监狱), a restored Ming dynasty prison made famous by the Peking opera titled Yu Tang Chun (玉堂春). It is China's oldest surviving prison.[14]


Linfen has rich mineral resources including coal, iron ore, copper, and lead. Hedong Coal Field, Huoxi Coal Field and Qinshui Coal Field together comprise 62.9 billion tons of coal reserves. Iron ore reserves exceed 420 million tons. Coal mining and dressing, coking, metallurgy, non-ferrous metal smelting, and chemicals are the principle industries.[15]



Linfen Qiaoli Airport, in Yaodu district, was built in 1958 and closed in 1965. The airport has been under renovation since September 2010, but as of January 2013 is not operational.



  1. ^ "2010年临汾市第六次全国人口普查主要数据公报(Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China)". National Bureau of Statistics of China. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Geography of Linfen" (in Simplified Chinese). Lifen People's Government. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  3. ^ (Chinese) Compilation by LianXin website. Data from the Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
  4. ^ Choi, Charles Q. (October 18, 2006). "World's 10 Most Polluted Places". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "China's 'most polluted city' breathes cleaner air". China Daily. November 10, 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Most Polluted Places" (Adobe Portable Document Format). Blacksmith Institute. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  7. ^ The World's 10 Dirtiest Cities
  8. ^ Johnathan Watts; Randeep Ramesh (March 26, 2007). "Fighting for air: frontline of war on global warming". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  9. ^ a b FUnk, McKenzie (July 7, 2007). "China's Green Evolution". Popular Science Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  10. ^ China Youth Daily Feb 23, 2014
  11. ^ David Leffman, Simon Lewis, Jeremy Atiyah (2003). The Rough Guide to China. p. 263. 
  12. ^ "Feihong Pagoda in Hongtong County of Shanxi Province". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Zhang, Zixuan. "Land of fairy tales". China Daily Asia Pacific. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  14. ^ David Leffman, Simon Lewis, Jeremy Atiyah (2003). The Rough Guide to China. p. 262. 
  15. ^ "Linfen (Shanxi) City Information". September 11, 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 

External links[edit]