Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (3): 516-527.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003354

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Spatial Pattern of Population Flow in China's Typical Outflow Areas: A Case Study of the Sichuan-Chongqing Area

Cong Li1(), Huiming Zong1(), Lei Xiao2   

  1. 1.School of Geographical Sciences of Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
    2.Western Branch of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, Chongqing 401120, China
  • Received:2020-08-20 Revised:2020-11-23 Online:2021-07-01 Published:2021-07-01
  • Contact: Huiming Zong;


Population flow is an important component of regional spatial network, but there are few empirical studies on its quantity and spatial pattern in outflow areas in extant literature. The development of the population flow pattern since 2010 has important theoretical contributions to the understanding of the population flow pattern and mechanism in modern China. Based on the Migrants Dynamic Survey of China's floating population by the National Health Commission, PRC, in 2017, this study systematically analyzed the spatial pattern and mobile network of the floating population in Sichuan-Chongqing, one of the most important outflow areas in China. The study found that the scale of the interregional outflow in this area is still large in terms of floating population. However, there has been a certain degree of population backflow since 2010 and the floating population has begun to surpass interregional mobility, which shows that Sichuan-Chongqing is increasingly attracting population. In terms of the spatial distribution pattern of floating population, the outflow to other provinces is mainly from the county units in the northeastern part of Sichuan-Chongqing and the inflow is mainly from the neighboring provinces of Sichuan-Chongqing. Further, the outflow to urban agglomerations is mainly toward the eastern coastal regions and the neighboring provinces in southwest China, whereas the inflow is toward the urban areas of Chengdu and Chongqing. Overall, the population flow here is mainly toward the urban center in both Chengdu and Chongqing. The areas that attract the utmost population flow are as follows, in order: the urban area of Chongqing; the urban area of Chengdu, which is a center for Sichuan; and the urban areas of Panzhihua and Yibin. The distribution of the population flow is highly concentrated in the central region of Sichuan-Chongqing, which shows a spatial pattern of "core-periphery." Short-distance population flow dominates the mobility network in this region. Further, the core of Chongqing urban area is closely connected with not only most districts and counties in the city but also Guang'an City and Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, whereas the core of Chengdu urban area is closely connected with the Chengdu Plain Economic Zone. Cities located along the border of Sichuan and Chongqing, such as Zigong, Yibin, Ziyang, Neijiang, and Dazhou, are greatly influenced by the cores of both Chengdu and Chongqing, and the population flow network is comparatively complex. The population flow between the two cores is weak. This shows that the administrative boundary between Chongqing and Sichuan has a significant influence on the population flow in this area.

Key words: population flow, spatial pattern, network analysis, Sichuan-Chongqing area

CLC Number: 

  • C924.24