Resources Utilization and Management

Spatio-temporal Analysis of Population and Residential Land Change in Rural China

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2010-05-14

  Revised date: 2010-07-15

  Online published: 2010-10-20


A better understanding of the spatio-temporal characteristics and driving mechanism of population and residential land change in rural China under rapid urbanization and industrialization is the important premise for constituting feasible policy and strategy promoting the farmland protection and new countryside construction. This paper systematically analyzes the overall trend, regional patterns and coupling types of China’s rural population and residential land change, using rural demographics from China Statistics Bureau and land-use data from the Department of Land and Resources of each province. The results showed that: since economic reform and open-door policy adopted in 1978, resident population in rural areas and agricultural household registration population have entered the transitional period of rapid decrease in 1996 and 2001, respectively. However, rural residential land continues to expand significantly. The benign pattern of the co-evolution of population and residential land in rural areas has not appeared, and the land utilization tends to be extensive, especially in northern and eastern coastal provinces. The root cause for rural residential land use plight is the dual-track institutional system which has long existed between urban and rural areas. Under the relatively common institutional background of migration and land management, combined differences in natural and geographical conditions, levels of economic development, history and social culture and other factors resulted in the dynamic patterns of population and residential land change in rural China. Based on improving the control system of rural land use, propelling the comprehensive consolidation of rural settlements scientifically according to local conditions is an integrated approach to coordinate the numeric change of population and residential land in rural areas, protect farmland, add quota of construction land and promote the new countryside construction. Breaking the urban-rural dual-track structure and coordinating urban-rural development are necessary guarantees of realizing above objectives.

Cite this article

LI Yu-rui, LIU Yan-sui, LONG Hua-lou . Spatio-temporal Analysis of Population and Residential Land Change in Rural China[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2010 , 25(10) : 1629 -1638 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2010.10.001


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