PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (7): 820-831.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.07.004

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Change in spatial distribution of population and economy and influencing factors in the Yangtze River Delta

Dongsheng YAN1,2(), Jin YANG2,3   

  1. 1. School of Economics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geography, Nanjing Institute of Geography Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2017-07-31 Published:2017-07-31
  • Supported by:
    Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41130750]


Population and economic activities are the two main indicators of regional difference, and their spatial distribution is closely related to the formation of regional disparities. Industry is the basic carrier of economic development, and industrial structure is an important factor affecting the coordination of spatial distribution of population and economy. In the context of accelerating industrial transfer in the Yangtze River Delta, the spatial distribution patterns of population and economic activities are changing, and thus it is of great practical significance to examine the spatial coordination of change. Using the methods of gravity center analysis, inconsistency index, and imbalance index, this study analyzed the characteristics of change in the spatial distributions of population and economic activities in the Yangtze River Delta during 2000-2013, as well as the influencing factors of population and economic activity inconsistency index. The results show that with the deepening of industry transfer, the economic growth of the core area is slowing down but that of the periphery is accelerating, despite that the trend of concentration of population to the core area persists. The analysis based on the inconsistency index and the imbalance index shows that unlike the significant change in the spatial distribution of GDP with rapid growth at the periphery, population growth of the periphery is not significant and concentrated in some cities. Despite the relatively stable core-periphery pattern of the population and economic distribution inconsistency index, the incongruity of population and economic growth has promoted the overall coordination of population and economy in the Yangtze River Delta. This article attempts to explain the change of population and economic distributions from the perspective of the market, the government, and per capita GDP of the Yangtze River Delta. The results may provide a scientific basis for related strategic decision making.

Key words: population, economy, change of spatial distribution, influencing factors, Yangtze River Delta