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Sci Data. 2016 Jul 05;3:160047. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.47.

Spatiotemporal dataset on Chinese population distribution and its driving factors from 1949 to 2013.

Scientific data

Lizhe Wang, Lajiao Chen


  1. School of Computer Science, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, P.R. China.
  2. Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Haidian, Beijing 100094, P.R. China.

PMID: 27377410 PMCID: PMC4932880 DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2016.47


Spatio-temporal data on human population and its driving factors is critical to understanding and responding to population problems. Unfortunately, such spatio-temporal data on a large scale and over the long term are often difficult to obtain. Here, we present a dataset on Chinese population distribution and its driving factors over a remarkably long period, from 1949 to 2013. Driving factors of population distribution were selected according to the push-pull migration laws, which were summarized into four categories: natural environment, natural resources, economic factors and social factors. Natural environment and natural resources indicators were calculated using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) techniques, whereas economic and social factors from 1949 to 2013 were collected from the China Statistical Yearbook and China Compendium of Statistics from 1949 to 2008. All of the data were quality controlled and unified into an identical dataset with the same spatial scope and time period. The dataset is expected to be useful for understanding how population responds to and impacts environmental change.


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