Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (1): 130-148.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1836-x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Multidimensional measurement of poverty and its spatio-temporal dynamics in China from the perspective of development geography

DONG Yin1(), JIN Gui2,*(), DENG Xiangzheng3, WU Feng3   

  1. 1. School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    2. School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2020-08-16 Accepted:2020-09-30 Online:2021-01-25 Published:2021-03-25
  • Contact: JIN Gui;
  • About author:Dong Yin (1992–), PhD Candidate, specialized in land resource evaluation and national land management. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(71974070);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41501593);National Key R&D Project(2016YFA0602500);Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation of Ministry of Education of China(19YJCZH068)


Exploring the spatio-temporal dynamics of poverty is important for research on sustainable poverty reduction in China. Based on the perspective of development geography, this paper proposes a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model that combines the human development approach with the global indicator framework for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to identify the poverty-causing and the poverty-reducing factors in China. The aim is to measure the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) of China’s provinces from 2007 to 2017, and use the exploratory spatio-temporal data analysis (ESTDA) method to reveal the characteristics of the spatio-temporal dynamics of multidimensional poverty. The results show the following: (1) The poverty-causing factors in China include the high social gross dependency ratio and crop-to-disaster ratio, and the poverty-reducing factors include the high per capita GDP, per capita social security expenditure, per capita public health expenditure, number of hospitals per 10,000 people, rate of participation in the new rural cooperative medical scheme, vegetation coverage, per capita education expenditure, number of universities, per capita research and development (R&D) expenditure, and funding per capita for cultural undertakings. (2) From 2007 to 2017, provincial income poverty (IP), health poverty (HP), cultural poverty (CP), and multidimensional poverty have been significantly reduced in China, and the overall national poverty has dropped by 5.67% annually. there is a differentiation in poverty along different dimensions in certain provinces. (3) During the study period, the local spatial pattern of multidimensional poverty between provinces showed strong spatial dynamics, and a trend of increase from the eastern to the central and western regions was noted. The MPI among provinces exhibited a strong spatial dependence over time to form a pattern of decrease from northwestern and northeastern China to the surrounding areas. (4) The spatio-temporal networks of multidimensional poverty in adjacent provinces were mainly negatively correlated, with only Shaanxi and Henan, Shaanxi and Ningxia, Qinghai and Gansu, Hubei and Anhui, Sichuan and Guizhou, and Hainan and Guangdong forming spatially strong cooperative poverty reduction relationships. These results have important reference value for the implementation of China’s poverty alleviation strategy.

Key words: development geography, multidimensional poverty, poverty measurement, spatio-temporal dynamics, collaborative poverty reduction