PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 517-530.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2014.04.009

• Rural Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal characteristics and impacting factors of non-agriculturalization of China’s rural population

LONG Dongping, LI Tongsheng, MIAO Yuanyuan, LIU Chao, LI Xiaoyue, MENG Huanhuan   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2013-09-01 Revised:2014-02-01 Online:2014-04-25 Published:2014-04-25
  • Contact: 李同昇(1960- ),男,陕西岐山人,教授,博士生导师,主要从事经济地理学研究,。

Abstract: Rural population non- agriculturalization is a geographical phenomenon conforming to the development trend and social progress of rural areas, and its study can provide important insights on the modernization of Chinese agriculture, acceleration of urban development, and resolution of the "Three Rural Issues". China's rural population non-agriculturalization reflects the evolution of the economic and social structures of the countryside. The prominent feature of this change is the transfer of rural laborers to non-agricultural sectors on a large scale. According to the "Report on the Development of China's Floating Population in 2010", China's proportion of non-agricultural employment will reach 65% by 2015 and 70% by 2020; the population of urban residents will rise to 77% by 2050, which means that hundred millions of rural population will transform into urban residents in the next 30 or 40 years. From a cross-disciplinary perspective, this study uses statistical data since the reform and opening up of the late 1970s and the exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) and partial least squares (PLS) regression analysis methods to explore the spatial-temporal patterns of the rural population non-agriculturalization process and its impacting factors, for making appropriate policies and taking proper measures to facilitate the future development of non-agricultural employment of the rural population. The results indicate that: (1) In the temporal dimension, the non-agriculturalization of rural population has experienced three distinctive stages: nationwide and in the four regions, its growth rate has gone through an "inverted U- shaped" process of growth→fluctuating growth→steady growth since 1978. (2) Spatially, China's rural population non-agriculturalization shows clear regional differences. (3) Rural population non-agriculturalization has an apparent spatial polarization character—the growth hotspots moved from the north to the south and then to the central region, that is, the growth hotspots were first in two core agglomerations, then concentrated in one core area, and later diffused from a center of growth to the periphery in declining intensity. (4) The spatio-temporal differences of China's rural population non-agriculturalization is mainly controlled by the level of industrialization, urbanization, development of service industries, education, and agricultural modernization and the interaction of these factors, and the role each factor played during different time periods varied significantly. (5) Confronted with the new situations and challenges of non-agriculturalization of rural population in the transitional period at present, the research community of geography should come up with necessary theoretical frameworks for the study of this process and countermeasures for problems that occur.

Key words: China, impacting factor, non-agriculturalization, partial least square regression, rural population, spatial autocorrelation, spatio-temporal evolution

CLC Number: 

  • K901.3