PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (1): 124-133.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2014.01.014

• Industry and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Multidimensional evaluation of county poverty degree in Hebei Province

YUAN Yuan, WANG Yanglin, MA Jing, WEI Hai, PENG Jian   

  1. Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2013-08-01 Revised:2013-11-01 Online:2014-01-25 Published:2014-01-22

Abstract: With the economic integration of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, there exists a poverty belt around Beijing and Tianjin within Hebei Province, which has received attention from academia and the public, so as to put the setting standards of poor counties into the spotlight. Despite some applications of not merely economic indicators but also social and natural indexes to identify poverty in academic researches, the setting of poor counties is only based on economic indicators in China. This paper adds indicators in social dimension representing human poverty and in natural dimension representing natural poverty to build a multidimensional poverty index system, and utilizes SOFM (self-organizing feature mapping) nonlinear clustering tool to classify all of the 136 counties in Hebei Province into 5 categories in view of the county poverty degree by the economic dimension & economic-social-natural dimensions separately. Clustering maps are compared with the map of currently poor counties in Hebei Province afterwards. The results show that the counties with low grades are the ones with high poverty degree. Meanwhile, counties with low grades are the majority, suggesting a high poverty degree all over Hebei Province. About the clustering results, whether in the single economic dimension or economic-social-natural dimensions, they are both consistent with the current distribution pattern of poor counties in Hebei Province which helps the transformation of "relative poverty" to "absolute poverty". Besides, in comparison to the results based on the single (economic) dimension, multidimensional (economic-social-natural) evaluation is more comprehensive because it takes current situation and potential of poverty into overall consideration. Furthermore, potential poverty degree in the natural dimension influences the comprehensive poor degree, indicating that both the current and potential poverty degree of poverty areas around Beijing and Tianjin are high and the region should cooperate with Beijing and Tianjin actively. In contrast, the potential poverty degree of poor counties in the south and middle Hebei Province is relatively low and the region is more easily to be lifted out of poverty. Moreover, these regions covers many counties that are not considered to be poor ones but very likely to become poor ones. Therefore, these regions deserve more attention and being treated differently. To make advances in the poverty relief and development work, the government should not only deal with things distinctively but also combine prevention with treatment and link the areas together. In this way we can expect the achievement of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development and the harmoniously simultaneous growth of wealth of society.

Key words: economic-social-natural, Hebei Province, multidimensional poverty, potential poverty, SOFM

CLC Number: 

  • K825.89