Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2013, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 179-191.doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1002-1

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation of rural housing structure and its vulnerability in China

GAO Xiaolu1, JI Jue1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2012-05-04 Revised:2012-06-20 Online:2013-02-15 Published:2013-02-07


The damage of dwelling houses constitutes the primary cause of casualties and asset loss in seismic disasters that occurred in Chinese rural areas. The structure of houses is crucial for assessing the vulnerability of rural houses. However, at present, available data on rural housing structure are incomplete and their spatial scales are inconsistent. This paper estimated the amount and ratio of rural houses in five structures, namely ‘wood’, ‘brick’, ‘mixed’, ‘reinforced concrete’, and ‘other’, for 2380 counties across China. With the percentage sampling census data in 2005, four accuracy levels were specified. Then, a set of down-scaling models were established, where the impact of climate, economic development level and ethnic minority cultural factors on rural housing structure, as well as the spatial autocorrelation of neighboring spatial units were considered. Based on the estimation results, a database of county-level rural housing structure was established, based on which the vulnerability of rural houses in different areas was clarified.

Key words: downscaling, vulnerability, rural development, housing structure, county-level database