Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (8): 1177-1189.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201408012

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A review of population geography research in China

Jinsong LIU   

  1. College of Mathematics and Information Science, Hebei Normal University, Hebei Key Laboratory of Mathematic Calculation and Application, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
  • Received:2014-04-20 Revised:2014-07-21 Online:2014-08-20 Published:2014-08-20


China's reform and opening up period saw a revival of research into population geography. Chinese researchers have discussed the issues of population capacity and realized that the total population of China will reach its maximum capacity and result in many social problems. The key to solving these problems is controlling total population capacity, developing production and changing lifestyles. Faced with resource shortages and environmental pollution, Chinese researchers have proposed strategies for creating a fourth industry, feeding environment, promoting labor employment, reducing environment pollution, and promoting gracious social behavior, cultural consciousness and new community organization at different scales. In response to rapid industrial shifts and various population structures, the research field proposed the theory of balanced population growth, and when faced with land use and development issues they developed a regional development model through industry transfer, population migration and payment transfer. Other themes covered in this review include unbalanced regional development, functional zoning indicators, a partitioned model of population development, population analysis, quantitative index and modeling. Future work on population geography in China requires (1) a distributed geographic information system around census and population thematic data to promote the exchange of population data and measurement models; (2) strengthening surveys of different micro-scale communities and control of the active behavior of community systems under rapid population change to improve our understanding and interpretation of quantitative population geography; and (3) international population intelligence exchange to better understand the population evolution trends of different countries, and regulate and control the allocation of labor and talent. Last, population geography researchers in China should adopt interdisciplinary methods to maximize their contribution to national development and scientific research.

Key words: population geography, interdisciplinary research, population scale, population community, population problem