Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1438-1454.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106009

• Rural Development and Settlement Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial patterns, formation mechanism and coping strategies of rural vulnerability in China at the county level

YANG Ren(), PAN Yuxin   

  1. School of Geography and Planning, China Regional Coordinated Development and Rural Construction Institute, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2020-05-20 Revised:2021-04-29 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Supported by:
    Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province(2020B0202010002);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41871177);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801088)


Based on the essential connotation of rural vulnerability, this study constructs an indicator system for the comprehensive measurement of rural vulnerability in China at the county level. Through the selection of five typical representative transects, we will deepen the analysis of the regional differences in China's rural vulnerability and its formation mechanism and propose targeted coping strategies. The results show that: (1) The rural vulnerability of counties in China is generally within the threshold range of low and medium vulnerability characterized by obvious spatial differences. Along the "Bole-Taipei Line", there is a spatial pattern of north-south differentiation. Villages in southwestern China tends to have higher vulnerability than those in northeastern China. (2) External environmental factors are the leading factors that induce rural vulnerability. The rural ecological subsystem, composed of ecological exposure, ecological sensitivity, and ecological adaptation, is the fundamental influencing factor of rural vulnerability. The rural economic subsystem, which is composed of economic exposure, economic sensitivity, and economic adaptation, is the core influencing factor of rural vulnerability. The social subsystem, composed of social exposure, social sensitivity, and social adaptation, is also an important factor influencing rural vulnerability. (3) On the basis of "geographical location, the dominant driving factors of rural vulnerability and the degree of rural vulnerability", rural vulnerability in China at the county level can be identified into eight categories. According to the principle of adapting measures to local conditions, we should break down the regional embeddedness and path dependence. We should strengthen the prediction and monitoring of the sources of disturbance in the rural-area system and scientifically control the sensitivity of the system itself, then improve the adaptation of the rural system to ensure sustainable development of rural areas.

Key words: rural vulnerability, rural regional system, rural sustainable development, rural revitalization, rural geography, China