PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (12): 1480-1494.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.12.001

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review and frame-work setting of geographical research on aging in China

Xiaolu GAO1(), Danxian WU1,2, Zening XU1,2, Bingqiu YAN1,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Beijing Opera Art's College, Beijing 100068, China
  • Online:2015-12-31 Published:2015-12-31


China is going through a very special era characterized by rapid population aging, abrupt social and economic transformations, and widespread restructuring of urban and rural spaces. With the factors and mechanisms underlying the aging process becoming increasingly complicated, integration of geographic research on aging with gerontology and other disciplines is indispensable, and it is time to examine the direction of geographical research on aging from the perspective of disciplinary development. Based on an intensive literature review, this article extracts five themes from existing geographic studies on aging in China, that is, the spatial and temporal characteristics of population aging, the social and spatial impacts of aging, interactions of human health and environments, the spatial behavior of elderly people, and spatial planning of senior services. Comments are made on existing studies along these lines respectively. Through a comparison of Chinese and western studies with regard to the socioeconomic backgrounds, policy needs, and research foci, key issues in geographical research on aging in China are raised, including academic framework and theoretical and methodological constructions. Future research emphases are discussed, with the aim to provide a general framework for understanding and studying China's aging process from the perspective of geography.

Key words: population aging, P-E-S Fit model, areal system, human health and environment, senior service, elderly-friendly living environment, spatial planning