International Development Planning Review

Regional disparities in China's urbanisation: An examination of trends 1982–2007

International Development Planning Review (2009), 31, (4), 355–376.

Abstract

This article examines the inter-provincial, inter-regional and intra-regional disparities of urbanisation in China. Data are collected from census publications, which are province-based and corrected for consistency over time. Three indicators – the coefficient of variation (CV), the Gini coefficient and the Theil index – are calculated for analysis. Findings reveal that the trajectory of regional disparities in urbanisation displays a trend that is different from that of regional economic disparity. The inter-provincial disparities in urbanisation narrowed in the study period due to the decline of intra-regional disparity in urbanisation. Since 2000, inter-regional disparity in urbanisation had also been reduced. In contrast, inter-provincial disparity in economic growth was explained mainly by inter-regional disparity. Possible forces behind these changes include state development policies. These results demonstrate one of the multiple dimensions in understanding China's urban and regional development.

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Zhang, Li

Han, Sun Sheng