26 SEP 2018 (WED) 14:30-15:30

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

How “dependent” is the population in China? An exploratory spatiotemporal analysis of the youth and elderly populations in China

Room 11.04, 11/F Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Professor David Wong

About the Speaker:

David Wong, Professor in Geography & GeoInformation Science Department at George Mason University. He was professor in Geography Department at HKU between 2013 and 2015. He has broad research interests, ranging from the technical areas in geovisualization, to the more social-oriented issues in spatial epidemiology. His primary research interests are on spatial analysis and statistics, and population analysis, particularly in measuring segregation. He has also developed new concepts in mapping data by incorporating the error information of the estimates, an important research topic on spatial data quality. His recent research investigates the spatiotemporal patterns of demographic structure of the U.S. and China. He has received research funding from US NIH (NICHD), NOAA, HUD, USGS, US Census Bureau, and HK RGC.


Aging is a recognized demographic characteristic of populations across many countries, including the U.S. and China. It is often the size of the elderly population relative to the sizes of other age cohorts is relevant. Dependency ratios have been used to assess the burdens that the youth and elderly populations may have imposed onto the economic active population. This talk presents some preliminary results of an exploratory analysis of dependency ratios of China from both the spatial and temporal perspectives using 1990, 2000 and 2010 census data at the provincial-autonomous region-municipality level.

The study shows that the two dependency ratios have very different spatial patterns in China. Contributions from elderly increased over time with the exceptions of Guangdong and Xizang, while youth dependency decreased for all units over the three decades. The haphazard spatial p