Climate and Environmental Change

Temporal and spatial differences and imbalance of China’s urbanization development during 1950–2006

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. The Administration Centre of Urban-Rural Planning Ministry of House &|Urban-Rural Development of P.R.China, Beijing 100835, China

Received date: 2009-02-27

  Revised date: 2009-04-29

  Online published: 2009-12-25

Supported by

National Science and Technology Supporting Program of “the Eleventh Five-Year Plan”, No.2006BAJ05A06; 2006BAJ14B03-01; Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX2-YW-307-02


A better understanding of the regional disparity and imbalance characteristics of China’s urbanization development is the important premise for constituting correct policy and strategy and promoting the healthy and sustainable development of urbanization in the 21st century. The regional differences of China’s urbanization level have close relations with natural conditions of landform and climate etc., the urbanization level reduces with the elevation of topography and decrease of precipitation. According to the statistical data set of urbanization in 1950–2006, the temporal change course of inter-provincial disparity of Chinese urbanization level since the founding of New China in 1949 was studied, and then the inter- regional and intra-regional disparities of urbanization development were analyzed by the Theil index and its nested decomposition method, to grasp the dynamic change of spatial disparities of China’s urbanization level on the whole. Using the imbalance index model, the imbalance status of urban population distribution relative to total population, grain output, total agricultural output value, gross output value of industry, tertiary industrial output value as well as gross regional product was discussed, to hold the balance characteristics of urbanization development relative to the regional development conditions from the macroscopic scales.

Cite this article

FANG Chuanglin, LIU Xiaoli . Temporal and spatial differences and imbalance of China’s urbanization development during 1950–2006[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2009 , 19(6) : 719 -732 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-009-0719-3