Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (6): 1455-1470.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202106010

• Rural Development and Settlement Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identification and poverty alleviation pathways of multidimensional poverty and relative poverty at county level in China

XU Lidan1(), DENG Xiangzheng2, JIANG Qun'ou1,2,3(), MA Fengkui1   

  1. 1. School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100038, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Soil and Water Conservation and Desertification Prevention, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2020-07-27 Revised:2021-04-30 Online:2021-06-25 Published:2021-08-25
  • Contact: JIANG Qun'ou;
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23070400);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901234);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51909052)


China has secured a comprehensive victory in its fight against poverty. After 2020, the focus of China's battle against poverty will shift from relative poverty to absolute poverty, and from poverty in terms of income to that in other dimensions. This study applies the county as the basic unit and 31 provinces (autonomous regions/municipalities) of China as the study area. It identifies poverty levels in each county by the average night light index and the county multidimensional development index. Using the multidimensional relative poverty identification method based on the sustainable models, we analyzed the current situation of China's poverty from two aspects—multidimensional poverty and relative poverty. Finally, we explore the poverty alleviation pathways in four aspects, namely, education poverty alleviation, agricultural poverty alleviation, industrial poverty alleviation, and tourism poverty alleviation. The results revealed that nearly 60% of counties in China were primarily in multidimensional relative poverty, most of which were classified as multidimensional relatively light poverty counties. According to the average night light index and the county multidimensional development index, the numbers of poverty counties in China were 602 and 611, respectively; as of 2018, the proportions of national poverty-stricken counties accounted for 63% and 79%, respectively. The result implied that the county multidimensional development index had a more comprehensive poverty identification mechanism. Moreover, the multidimensional poverty counties were concentrated in Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan. Meanwhile, the development of Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang should not be overlooked. From the viewpoint of pathways, 414, 172, 442, and 298 poverty counties were suitable to industrial poverty alleviation, education poverty alleviation, tourism poverty alleviation, and agricultural poverty alleviation, respectively. Some 61% of counties had more poverty-causing factors, implying that multidimensional poverty alleviation is suitable in most of the poverty-stricken counties. These conclusions can provide a crucial scientific basis for ensuring sustainable poverty alleviation.

Key words: night light index, multidimensional poverty, relative poverty, coupling coordination model, targeted poverty alleviation