SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (2): 217-227.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2017.02.007

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial Patterns and Determinants of Rural Poverty: A Case of Guizhou Province, China

Yongming Wang1,2(), Meixia Wang2,3, Dianting Wu1(), Lin Zhao1, Jianjun Ding2   

  1. 1.Faculty of Geography Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. School of Business, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, Hunan, China
    3. College of Resource and Environmental Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, Hunan
  • Received:2016-02-23 Revised:2016-06-16 Online:2017-02-25 Published:2017-02-25
  • Supported by:
    National Nature Sciences Foundation of China (41361030, 41561032),“985” Special Research Project of Beijing Normal University (2015KJJCB29)


China has been a long-period fast economic growth after its opening policy. The whole degree of poverty in China has decreased sharply, which plays an important role in fulfilling Millennium Development Goals (MDG) made by the United Nations. As a developing country, however, China still has a challenge of reducing poverty and promoting regional development. Rural poverty is still a serious problem in rural China, especially in mountainous or ethnic areas. Different scales of governments in China develop much poverty-alleviation policy, but the efficacy of these policy are sometimes low because “one size fits all” policy always neglect regional difference in poverty resulting from different contexts of different places. Spatial patterns and determinants of regional poverty is a key theme for scholars from many disciplines. Giving that determinants of rural poverty in different places are different and the effects of significant factor are dependent on spatial scales, there is a need for more empirical evidences at different scales or in different regions. Furthermore there is little study to explore the spatial variations of effects of determinants. The present article can fill these gap to some extent through analyzing the determinants of county-level poverty and its spatial variation of their effects within Guizhou Province in the southwestern China. The rate of county-level poverty is largely different within this province. Based on methods of OLS regression, spatial econometric and geographic weighted regression (GWR), this article studies spatial variations and determinants of rural poverty at the county level. The results show that rate of rural poverty is higher in the eastern, southern, western counties than middle and northern counterparts. There is a significant spatial autocorrelation of rural poverty, for index of Moran’s I is between 0.45 and 0.55, which indicates that poverty of neighboring counties have a positive effect on the poverty of a specific county. Some counties with a high-high poor pattern fall into spatial trap of poverty based on results of index of Local Moran’s I. These counties are located at southeast and southern parts of Guizhou and have a high proportion of ethnic minorities’ population. For the determinants, the OLS estimation results show that topographic slope, distance to a local urban center, the percentage of teenagers, the percentage of ethnic minorities are key determinants of spatial variations in rural poverty at the county level. The effects of these four factors are found to have different spatial patterns based on GWR analysis. There is no significant effect for distance to the provincial capital on the rural poverty. The above results have important policy implication. The core implication is to combine place-based and people-based policy, which surpass the current Poverty-Targeting-Alleviation (jing zhun fu pin) initiatives dominating poverty-reduction policy of China’s governments.

Key words: rural poverty, spatial pattern, spatial autocorrelation, geographic weighed regression, Guizhou Province

CLC Number: 

  • K902