PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (8): 921-931.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.08.001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Spatial patterns and regional differences of population ageing in China based on the county scale

Lucang WANG1(), Rongwei WU2,3, Haimeng LIU4,3, Peng ZHOU1, Jiangjiang KANG5   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    5. College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China
  • Online:2016-08-25 Published:2016-08-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41261042


Population ageing is becoming one of the major challenges that cannot be overlooked in the process of socioeconomic development in china. China has entered into the ageing society since 2000. Based on the county-scale data in the 2000 and 2010 censuses and using standard deviational ellipse (SDE) and geographical detector methods, this study systematically analyzed the spatial distribution characteristics and regional differences of population ageing. The results are as follows: First, Population ageing varies spatially. Population ageing on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau usually shows an even distribution. Population ageing on the southeastern side of China usually shows a center-periphery type of distribution and coastal-inland contrast. Second, the mean value of aged population proportion increased from 6.7% to 8.0% between 2000 and 2010. By 2010, China had become an aged society. The counties that had high percentage of aged population concentrated in the interior, the Northeast, and along the silk road economic region. The spatial pattern of population ageing is relatively stable, but significant difference was found in the trend of population ageing change. Third, there are regional differences in the population ageing of China, characterized by differences between urban areas and the countryside, ethnic minority regions and other regions, and poverty-stricken region and non-poverty areas. But the direction of change is not consistent. Last, There are many factors affecting population ageing level of counties, mainly including population ageing of the year 2000, population age structure, natural conditions, emigration rate, and economic development stage. The distribution of social and economic development level was not consistent with the distribution of population ageing change.

Key words: population ageing, county scale, spatial pattern, regional differences, China