Original Articles

The Spatial Pattern of Poverty and Deprivation in Transitional Chinese City: Analysis of Area-based Indicators and Individual Data

  • 1. Department of Urban and Regional Planning/Center for Urban and Regional Research, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
    2. School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, CF10, 3WA, Cardiff, UK

Received date: 2008-10-15

  Revised date: 2009-02-20

  Online published: 2009-06-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40701049; No.40771067; Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, No.NCET-07-0889


 In transitional China, part of urban population has experienced poverty along with the adoption of a market-based economy and the deepening reform of social welfare system since the 1990s. However, the current literature, which is mainly concentrated on economic dimension and absolute poverty, neglects multiple dimensions of new urban poverty and the comparison of absolute and relative poverty. Based on a brief review of western literature on poverty and deprivation, this paper provides a hypothesis that there exists a combination of urban poverty and deprivation in inner city and a separation in outer city in transitional socialist countries. This paper takes Guangzhou as a case study for spatial analysis. Firstly, the MLSP (Mninimum Living Standard Programme) recipients data and fifth census data are used to calculate comprehensive socres of multiple deprivations on the sub-district scale by factor analysis, and to educe new pattern by overlapping the spatial distribution of poverty and deprivation. One of the new patterns is poverty-concentrated and mutiple-deprived area mainly located in inner city, and the others are poverty-based area without deprivation and deprivated area without poverty which are mainly located in outer city. Secondly, in order to avoid ecological fallacy and prove the hyphothesis entirely, this paper analyzes individual data from a survey on six cities and eighteen neighbourhoods. This paper sets a threshold of deprivation at individual level by factor analysis and index judgement. Poor families in deprivated condition are mainly from neighbourhoods located in inner city, and the location quotient of poor families without deprivation is higher than the average level in workers, village in outer city, and the location quotient of deprived families without poverty is higher in rural migrants, enclave in outer city. Thirdly, this paper argues that the mechanism of this new spatial pattern of urban poverty and deprivation is rooted in the uneven outcome of spatial policies both in socialist and transitional China. The uneven policies, consisting of housing policy, construction policy and regeneration policy, resulted in different living conditions of registered urban poor and rural migrants, which led to spatial pattern different from that of Western countries under market economy.

Cite this article

YUAN Yuan1, WU Fulong2, XU Xueqiang1 . The Spatial Pattern of Poverty and Deprivation in Transitional Chinese City: Analysis of Area-based Indicators and Individual Data[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2009 , 64(6) : 753 -763 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200906012


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