Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (4): 648-663.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201904003

• Population and Urbanization Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics and formation mechanism of China's provincial urbanization spatial correlation based on population flow

Shuaibin LIU1,2,3,4(), Shan YANG1,2,3,4(), Zhao WANG1,2,3,4   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
    4. State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographical Environment Evolution (Jiangsu Province), Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2017-12-27 Revised:2019-03-11 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-04-23
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471135, No.41771171;A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions


Spatial correlation is the link of regional interaction and influence; the urbanization spatial correlation is spatial relationship of urbanization based on population flow, which influences and continuously adjusts the regional economic and social development pattern in China. By analyzing the change of the spatial correlation intensity and the spatial correlation network of provincial urbanization in China during 1990-2015, this paper reveals the spatial correlation characteristics, formation process and influencing factors of China's provincial urbanization since China's reform and opening up. The results show that: (1) 7 types of spatial correlation intensity are identified in the evolution of provincial urbanization of China, among which the dominant type has the highest degree of coincidence with the whole country, and determines the evolution process of the spatial correlation intensity of urbanization in China. The non-dominant types of urbanization spatial correlation intensity evolution feature 2005 as the critical year, and their growth was slow or even negative before the year; then together with the dominant type, they have promoted a continuous increase in the urbanization spatial correlation intensity across the country. (2) Urbanization spatial correlation network structure characteristics are analyzed from national, regional and provincial scales. The structure of the spatial correlation network of urbanization is becoming more and more complicated, and the correlation paths have shifted from centralized to scattered. The differences in the correlation density between regional subgroups with different attributes have begun to shrink, and the high-level nodes have spread from the eastern to the central and western regions. (3) Further, the panel-vector auto-regression and panel quantile regression are used to test the interaction mechanism between urbanization spatial correlation intensity and correlation network centrality, which explains the effect of residents' income level and regional industrial structure on urbanization spatial correlation characteristics. The specialization of urbanization spatial correlation not only deepens the research on urbanization theory and methodology, but also provides a theoretical basis for the development of population urbanization and the adjustment of industrial space in China.

Key words: provincial urbanization, inter-provincial population flow, urbanization spatial correlation, spatial correlation intensity, spatial correlation network centrality