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Title: Urbanization and mental health in China: Linking the 2010 population census with a cross-sectional survey
Authors: Chen, J 
Chen, S
Landry, PF
Issue Date: 2015
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, Aug. 2015, v. 12, no. 8, p. 9012-9024
Abstract: Along with the rapid urbanization in China, the state of mental health also receives growing attention. Empirical measures, however, have not been developed to assess the impact of urbanization on mental health and the dramatic spatial variations. Innovatively linking the 2010 Chinese Population Census with a 2011 national survey of urban residents, we first assess the impact of urbanization on depressive symptoms measured by the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) of 1288 survey respondents. We then retrieve county-level characteristics from the 2010 Chinese Population Census that match the individual characteristics in the survey, so as to create a profile of the “average person” for each of the 2869 counties or city districts, and predict a county-specific CES-D score. We use this county-specific CES-D score to compute the CES-D score for the urban population at the prefectural level, and to demonstrate the dramatic spatial variations in urbanization and mental health across China: highly populated cities along the eastern coast such as Shenyang and Shanghai show high CES-D scores, as do cities in western China with high population density and a high proportion of educated ethnic minorities.
Keywords: China
Mental health
Population census
Spatial variation
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health 
ISSN: 1661-7827
EISSN: 1660-4601
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph120809012
Rights: © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
The following publication Chen, J.; Chen, S.; Landry, P.F. Urbanization and Mental Health in China: Linking the 2010 Population Census with a Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 9012-9024 is available at
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