GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 85-101.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180497

Special Issue: 人口与城市研究

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial-temporal difference of "townization" of urban population in China

Shenghe LIU1,2(), Xueqin WANG1,2,3(), Wei QI1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2018-08-08 Revised:2018-11-30 Online:2019-01-20 Published:2019-01-20


In this paper, the urbanization of China's population was subdivided into "townization" and "cityization", and the indicators of "townization level" and "townization contribution rate" were adopted. From the perspective of different spatial scales and major function oriented zones, this paper conducted the system analysis on space-time disparity and influencing factors of the development of urban population in China from 1982 to 2015. The main conclusions included: (1) China's urban population's "townization level" and "townization contribution rate" continued to increase. In 2015, townization level was 41.8%, and the townization contribution rate was 55.1% during the period from 2010 to 2015. (2) The urbanization of China's urban population presented significant spatial and temporal differences. The townization-dominated counties and cities were mainly distributed in the central and western regions of China, accounting for more than 70% of the country's total land area. The cityization-dominated counties and cities were mainly concentrated in coastal urban agglomerations, and had a relatively small proportion in the national land area. (3) Looking into the future, China's urban population's "townization level" and "townization contribution rate" would increase steadily but slower and slower. It was necessary to strengthen the exploration of a differentiated development model of small towns based on the differentiation of major function oriented zones.

Key words: urbanization, small towns, townization level, townization contribution rate, China