Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 1513-1525.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201808009

Special Issue: 人口与城市研究

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal characteristics of demographic distribution in China from the perspective of urban agglomeration

ZHANG Guojun1(),HUANG Wanling2,ZHOU Chunshan2(),CAO Yongwang2   

  1. 1. Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, Guangzhou 510320, China
    2. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China
  • Received:2018-04-03 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-31
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China, No.17BRK010


The spatio-temporal characteristics of demographic distribution in China from 2000 to 2010 were analyzed systematically from the perspective of urban agglomeration, using the methods of barycenter model, spatial autocorrelation and Theil index. The 19 urban agglomerations mentioned in the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) are studied in this paper. Results show that the distribution center of permanent population is moving further towards the southeast where developed urban agglomerations are concentrated. Urban agglomeration is a high value area of population density and population growth, but a low value area of natural population growth. Urban agglomeration is also the most active area of China's population flow, and the effect of population space agglomeration and diffusion is also remarkable. The spatial distribution pattern of China's population is closely related to the distribution and development of urban agglomerations. Meanwhile, the development of urban agglomerations has brought a large population into urban agglomeration or its core cities, and the distribution of population in urban agglomeration has increased significantly. Because of the attraction effect of urban agglomeration on population, the geographical difference of population density in China is further expanded. The development level of urban agglomeration in China is very different, and the urban agglomeration in different stages of development show different effects of population agglomeration and diffusion. Urban agglomerations in stage of the higher development degree, mainly located in eastern coastal densely populated areas, are featured by strong demographic attractiveness, and overall population agglomeration, hence gradually form a hierarchy. At the same time, urban agglomerations in stage of the lower development degree are mainly distributed in the central and western regions, where the population is sparse, with the city being less appealing to population. These urban agglomerations present the core edge diffusion characteristic, and the urban system structure is not stable yet.

Key words: urban agglomeration, demographic distribution, development degree, Theil Index, China