PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (8): 952-964.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.08.00

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal and structural characteristics of interprovincial population flow during the 2015 Spring Festival travel rush

Ziyu ZHAO1(), Ye WEI2, Ruiqiu PANG2, Ran YANG2, Shijun WANG2()   

  1. 1. College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, China
    2. School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
  • Online:2017-08-31 Published:2017-08-28
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41630749;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41401172, No.51178091


China is one of the most active areas of the world's population mobility. The social structure of China during the socioeconomic transition period, the country's development phase, and its unique cultural background together form the Spring Festival travel rush, a social behavioral phenomenon with a significant regularity and a high degree of uniformity and unity. By constructing the 2015 Spring Festival interprovincial population flow relation matrix, we examined the dynamics of population flow and its spatial characteristics. The results are as follows: (1) 13-17 February and 25 February-1 March were the peak population flow periods before and after the holiday season. Inflow and outflow of population between provinces during these time periods can be indicative of interprovincial migration of floating population in China. We identified 14 net population inflow provinces and 17 net population outflow provinces. The top six and bottom eight population inflow provinces in the eastern and central regions form the double vertical pattern of immigration and emigration of floating population in China. (2) Provincial population outflow primary directions are clear and flow from the central to the eastern coastal areas is the main direction and path of migration of the floating population. Guangdong and Beijing are the primary migration destinations of the floating population in southern and northern china. These two province/municipality monopolized 2/3 of the interprovincial population flow of the country. (3) The source areas of the floating population in the Beijing and Tianjin area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Pearl River Delta—the three major population agglomeration areas—are significantly different. Those in the Beijing and Tianjin area and the Pearl River Delta are mainly directly from the floating population emigration provinces, but the Yangtze River Delta has formed a more advanced network structure. (4) Mobility-based study on the temporal and spatial characteristics of China's population flow contains a wealth of information on floating population migration, and the Spring Festival travel rush provides an opportunity for such study. By comparing the result with previous research results, similarity between the new data and many conclusions based on the census data is clear.

Key words: Spring Festival travel rush, population flow, interprovincial flow, network structure, China