SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2015, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 1381-1387.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2015.011.1381

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Spatio-temporal Changes of Population Distribution at Sub-district Level in Jiangsu Province

Bing-qing CHE1(), Fang-dao QIU1,2()   

  1. 1. Regional and Urban Research Center, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 220009, China
    2. School of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221116, China
  • Received:2014-12-22 Revised:2015-04-30 Online:2015-11-20 Published:2015-11-20


Since the reform and opening up, the large-scale migration in China has caused dramatic changes in population distribution, which has become a hot research field of human geography. Spatial pattern of population distribution has a typical character of scale dependency. Fine-scale estimation of the population distribution has been a huge challenge in the field of population geography. In China, sub-district is the finest administrative unit in official population census data. Thus, population density data at township level can be used to describe and characterize the population spatial pattern and changes elaborately, and support the optimized layout plan of Chinese population and government policy decision making. Sub-district boundaries across 13 cities in Jiangsu Province had been collected in this study. The national population census data were spatially joined to the boundary layer for population density calculation. Based on the fifth and sixth population censuses, using exploratory spatial data analysis, interpolation methods and semivariogram, the space differentiation and temporal variation of population density of all sub-districts in Jiangsu Province in 2000-2010 are explored, and further, the evolutionary mechanism of it is discussed. The results are reported as follows. In spatial distribution, the population density of Jiangsu Province was characterized by concave shaped structure, urban-rural dual structure, and core-periphery structure. Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou metropolitan area had the most widely dense population, and Nanjing City circle had the highest population density. In the evolution, the space differentiation of population density was becoming ever more obvious. Population density in the south of Jiangsu was generally increasing, but most towns’ population density was declining in the northern area. The variation of population density was presented spatial inequality. In evolutionary mechanism, spatial continuity and self-organization of population density have been intensified, and the spatial form of population density changed from decentralization in the initial stage to centralization. Additionally, the structural difference resulted from spatial association has become more and more obvious. The changes of population distribution were influenced mainly by policy and economic factors. First, regional strategies played a guiding role in the population distribution changes. Secondly, economic development reshaped the population distribution, and the population density had a significant positive correlation with economic density. Thirdly, location difference was the determinant. At last but not the least, physical geography difference had also affected the layout in a certain extent. This study expanded the research scale and dimension of the research in population geography research in China. The resulted population density dataset in 2000 and 2010 is expected to enrich the baseline data resources for population geography development in China.

Key words: population distribution, spatio-temporal pattern, evolution mechanism, sub-district level, Jiangsu Province

CLC Number: 

  • K901.3