The Urban Systems of China and the United States

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University
Qian Xiong, Texas A&M University

This paper focuses on the urban hierarchies of China and the United States. We first discuss the emergence of Shanghai, and of New York City, as the Super Metropolises in the two countries. We then discuss the mainly western literature in demography and human ecology regarding the concept of the “urban hierarchy.” We then use data from the 2011 China City Statistical Yearbook and from the 2007 Economic Census of the U.S. to configure quantitatively the urban systems of China and the United States. We calculate metropolitan dominance scores for each of China’s 171 large cities and for each of the 67 large cities in the United States. We show how and why Shanghai is the most dominant city in China, and New York City the most dominant city in the U.S. and how the “urban systems” are similar and dissimilar from one another in the two countries.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 8