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Identifying the Impacts of Social, Economic, and Environmental Factors on Population Aging in the Yangtze River Delta Using the Geographical Detector Technique

Xin Xu (), Yuan Zhao (), Xinlin Zhang () and Siyou Xia ()
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Xin Xu: School of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Yuan Zhao: School of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Xinlin Zhang: School of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
Siyou Xia: School of Geographic Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-15

Abstract: Under the background of social transformation and space reconstruction, population aging in China is becoming more and more diverse and complex. “Aging before getting rich”, a notion in population and economic development, has been a serious threat to sustainable development in China. On the basis of town- and street block-scale data from the Fifth and Sixth National Census in the Yangtze River Delta, we studied spatial distribution characteristics of population aging using global Moran’s I and hotspot analysis, and applied the geographical detector technique to explain the spatial heterogeneity of population aging. Several conclusions were drawn. (1) The promotion and replacement of aging coexist. Cluster of aging degree exhibits an increasing trend. Population aging is more severe in suburban areas than urban areas. (2) Migration is the main factor affecting the spatial heterogeneity of population aging. Per capital GDP and road network density are the second most influential factors. By contrast, the relief degree of land surface and the air quality index minimally influence population aging. The mechanisms of aging in various regions are affected by varying development levels. (3) The interaction among social, economic, and environmental factors enhances their effects and, thus, interacting factors have a greater influence on population aging than any single factor. The findings of this study have significant implications for local inhabitants and policy makers to address the population aging challenge in achieving sustainability of society, economy, and environment.

Keywords: social, economic, and environmental factors; population aging; geographical detector technique; Yangtze River Delta (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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