The shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) were designed to project future socioeconomic developments as they might unfold in the absence of explicit additional policies and measures to limit climate forcing or to enhance adaptive capacity. Based on the sixth national population census and the third economic census data of China in 2010, this paper projects the population and economic conditions of the Yangtze River basin from 2010 to 2100 under the SSPs. The results showed that: (1) the population growth rate in most areas of the Yangtze River basin will decrease from 2021 to 2100. The population of the eastern Sichuan Province will decrease obviously, while it will increase obviously in Shanghai during this period. The population of the Yangtze River basin will decline from 2010 to 2100 under the SSPs except for SSP3; (2) The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in most regions will increase by more than CNY 30 billion (Chinese Yuan) compared with 2010 and the total GDP will continue to rise after 2020; (3) The population of the three major urban agglomerations will decrease from 2020 to 2100. However, the GDP of the three major urban agglomerations will increase year by year, among which the YRDUA (Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration) has obvious economic advantages. The GDP growth rate will maintain above 6% in 2020 under different SSPs, and then the growth rate will slow down or stall, even with negative growth in SSP1 and SSP4; (4) The GDP Per of the Yangtze River basin shows growth under different SSPs and it will maintain a growth rate of 6–9% until 2020. While the average annual growth rate of the SSP5 will be about 2.56% at the end of the 21st century, and it will remain at about 1% under other scenarios. This paper provides a scientific basis for the study of future population and socioeconomic changes and climate predictions for quantifying disaster risks.
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