SHEN Zehao, LI Peng, SUN Hongkai, PANG Lihua. Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2011, 21(4): 454-464.
Citation: SHEN Zehao, LI Peng, SUN Hongkai, PANG Lihua. Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2011, 21(4): 454-464.

Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity

  • Publish Date: 2011-08-03
  •  Ethnicity is a carrier of language and culture. Spatial distribution of ethnic diversity is fundamental for identifying and reconstructing the migration patterns and evolution histories of cultures and languages. Utilizing the Chinese 4th National Census (1990) data, we investigated the specific time geographical patterns of population and diversity of Chinese ethnic minorities. As anticipated, results show that Chinese minorities are chiefly concentrated in distant plateaus and mountains in the southwest, northwest and northeast of China. Further, population density centers of the 10 major minorities are rather scattered, alternatively dominating at different parts of the country. This study provides a first comprehensive quantitative test on a prevailing notion of ′six plates and three corridors′ on the empirical clustering patterns of Chinese ethnic minorities. There are more consistent evidences supporting this notion in the north of China, with the central and southern regions showing more complex patterns, potentially transformed by processes such as migration, fragmentation, and percolation. The results of this study suggest that a geographical approach can provide heuristic and complementary information for better understanding of historical social processes.
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity

Abstract:  Ethnicity is a carrier of language and culture. Spatial distribution of ethnic diversity is fundamental for identifying and reconstructing the migration patterns and evolution histories of cultures and languages. Utilizing the Chinese 4th National Census (1990) data, we investigated the specific time geographical patterns of population and diversity of Chinese ethnic minorities. As anticipated, results show that Chinese minorities are chiefly concentrated in distant plateaus and mountains in the southwest, northwest and northeast of China. Further, population density centers of the 10 major minorities are rather scattered, alternatively dominating at different parts of the country. This study provides a first comprehensive quantitative test on a prevailing notion of ′six plates and three corridors′ on the empirical clustering patterns of Chinese ethnic minorities. There are more consistent evidences supporting this notion in the north of China, with the central and southern regions showing more complex patterns, potentially transformed by processes such as migration, fragmentation, and percolation. The results of this study suggest that a geographical approach can provide heuristic and complementary information for better understanding of historical social processes.

SHEN Zehao, LI Peng, SUN Hongkai, PANG Lihua. Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2011, 21(4): 454-464.
Citation: SHEN Zehao, LI Peng, SUN Hongkai, PANG Lihua. Geographical Patterns of Chinese Ethnic Minority Population Composition and Ethnic Diversity[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2011, 21(4): 454-464.

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