Population is a crucial basis for the study of sociology, geography, environmental studies, and other disciplines; accurate estimates of population are of great significance for many countries. Many studies have developed population spatialization methods. However, little attention has been paid to the differential treatment of the spatial stationarity and non-stationarity of variables. Based on a semi-parametric, geographically weighted regression model (s-GWR), this paper attempts to construct a novel, precise population spatialization method considering parametric stationarity to enhance spatialization accuracy; the southwestern area of China is used as the study area for comparison and validation. In this study, the night-time light and land use data were integrated as weighting factors to establish the population model; based on the analysis of variables characteristics, the method uses an s-GWR model to deal with the spatial stationarity of variables and reduce regional errors. Finally, the spatial distribution of the population (SSDP) of the study area in 2010 was obtained. When assessed against the traditional regression models, the model that considers parametric stationarity is more accurate than the models without it. Furthermore, the comparison with three commonly-used population grids reveals that the SSDP has a percentage error close to zero at the county level, while at the township level, the mean relative error of SSDP is 33.63%, and that is >15% better than other population grids. Thus, this study suggests that the proposed method can produce a more accurate population distribution.
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