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Spatial and Temporal Shifts in the Demographic Development of China at the End of the 20th and the Beginning of the 21st Centuries

Ekaterina ANTIPOVA*1, Chen LI1
* Corresponding author
1Belarusian State University, Faculty of  Geography and Geoinformatics, Minsk, BELARUS  

Pages: 93-105

Abstract. The article provides an economic and geographical analysis of the demographic processes in China, considering a set of natural and geographic factors, selected to reflect the influence of the state policy of family planning, as well as the policy for the development of separate regions in the period under study. The methodology included the use of geoinformation technologies, classification method and geographical systematization. Based on the identified spatial differences at the level of provinces, radical and previously absent spatial shifts in the demographic processes in China were established for the first time. They consist in the formation of positive and negative dynamics zones, as well as natural increase and natural decline zones. The demographic balance, for the first time calculated for the provinces of China, for 2010 and 2019, made it possible to indicate the dominance of provinces of a progressive type (53.0%) and a zone of provinces of a regressive type (8.8%). The established trend proves not only a differentiation, but also a spatial polarization at the national level and acts as a phenomenon of modern demographic development in China, in the 21st century. The results of the geographical systematization of the demographic space has practical significance as it provides the opportunity to use this methodology at the microgeographic level in other territories and serves as a scientific justification for the development of the directions of China’s regional demographic policy.

K e y w o r d s: China, geodemographic zoning, migration, spatial differentiation and polarization, temporal trends, demographic balance, GIS technologies, family planning policy