Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (12): 1790-1798.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201412005

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The change of population density and its influencing factors from 2000 to 2010 in China on county scale

Lu WANG(), Zhiming FENG(), Yanzhao YANG, Zhen YOU   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2013-09-23 Revised:2014-05-16 Online:2014-12-25 Published:2014-12-25
  • Supported by:
    Foundation of the Key Laboratory, MLR, China;Foundation of Bureau of Floating Population, NHFPC, China, No.201011]


Studying the change of population distribution and density can provide important basis for regional development and planning. However, the spatial patterns and driving factors of the change of population density in China were not clear yet. Therefore, using the population census data in 2000 and 2010, this study first analyzed the change of population density in China and divided the changes in all 2353 counties into 4 types, consisting of rapid increase, slow increase, slow decrease and rapid decrease. Subsequently, based on the partial least square (PLS) regression method, we recognized the significant influencing factors of population density change among 11 natural and social-economic factors for the whole country and counties with different types of population change. The results showed that: (1) compared to the population density in 2000, the population density in most counties (over 60%) increased by 21 persons per km2 on average, while the population density in other counties decreased by 13 persons per km2 in 2010. Of all 2353 counties, 860 and 589 counties respectively show rapidly and slowly increasing population density, while 458 and 446 counties show slowly and rapidly decreasing population density, respectively. (2) Among the 11 factors, social-economic factors have impact on population density change more significantly than natural factors. The higher economic development level, better medical condition and stronger communication capability were main pull factors of population increases. The dense population density was the main push factor of population decreases. These conclusions generally clarified the spatial distribution pattern of population change and its influencing factors in China over the past 10 years and could provide reference for the future population planning.

Key words: population density, influencing factors, PLS method, push-pull laws, China