The analysis of the correlation between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and economic parameters show that the total population, gross domestic product, coal consumption, and oil consumption have significant relationships with PAH concentrations in Dianchi Lake, Yunnan province, China. An artificial neural network model was developed in order to predict the trend in PAHs concentration in the sediments of Dianchi Lake in the next ten years, based current indicators of economic development. The artificial neural network model estimated the concentration of PAHs for the period 1980 to 2014. The R2 and RMSE of the training samples were 0.97 and 44.2, respectively; the R2 and RMSE of the validation samples were 0.99 and 18.7, respectively the R2 and RMSE of the testing samples were 0.99 and 13.2, respectively; and the R2 and RMSE of all samples were 0.98 and 39.2, respectively. The concentration of PAHs in the sediments of Dianchi Lake predicted by the neural network model shows that the concentration of PAHs from 2021 to 2030 can reach as high as 2128.9 ng/g. The ecological environment of Dianchi Lake has a great impact on the lives of local residents, including through its support for the local economy. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to take more effective measures and increase investments to control the environmental problems in Dianchi Lake.