Forty-seven percent of Chinese respondents said air pollution is a "very big problem," the Pew Research Center reported. That compares to 36 percent in 2012.
Forty percent of respondents said water pollution is a "very big problem," up from 33 percent last year.
The changes come after a year in which air quality hit record lows in Beijing and several other cities and thousands of dead pigs floated through a Shanghai river.
The respondents expressed concern about other issues, including inflation. Fifty-nine percent said rising prices are a big problem.
Inequality and political corruption are other major concerns, with 52 percent identifying the gap between rich and poor and 53 percent saying corrupt officials are top problems.
The center conducted face-to-face interviews with 3,226 Chinese citizens. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.
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