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Brief Introduction of Changsha

Updated: 2021-05-07

Changsha City, Hunan’s capital, is the political, economic, cultural, transportation, science and technology, financial, and information center of the province. It is an important city of the Yangtze middle reaches. It is a pilot area of the national “Resource-saving and Environment-friendly Society” construction. It is a nationally important grain center. It is a node city of the city cluster along the Yangtze  middle reaches, and the Yangtze Economic Belt. It is a hub for the Beijing-Guangzhou High-speed Railway, Shanghai-Kunming High-speed Railway, and Chongqing-Xiamen High-speed Railway. 

According to the data released from the Changsha Municipal Statistics Bureau: 

Total area: 11,819 km2 

Population: 8.3945 million (2019) 

Major industrial products: Cranes, automobiles and tobacco 

Major agricultural products: Grain, tea, fruit, livestock (pork, beef, lamb) 

Major mines: Iron, manganese, vanadium, copper, lead 

GDP: 1214.252 billion yuan (2020) 

Sum of exports: 154.872 billion yuan (2020) 

Sum of imports: 80.174 billion yuan (2020) 

Inbound and outbound tourist visits: 151.9431 million (2020) 

Tourism revenue: 166.132 billion yuan (2020) 

Per capita disposable income of urban residents: 57,971 yuan (2020) 

Per capita disposable income of rural residents: 34,754 yuan (2020) 

Fixed-asset investment: up 6.2% over 2019 (2020)

Location

Located in northeast Hunan Province, the lower reaches of the Xiangjiang and the western part of the Changliu Basin, Changsha lies between 111°53' to 114°15' east longitude and 27°53' to 28°41' north latitude: to the north is Yichun and Pingxiang of Jiangxi Province; the south Zhuzhou and Xiangtan; the west Loudi and Yiyang; and, the north Yueyang and Yiyang. It covers 11,819 square kilometers.

Weather

Changsha has a monsoonal humid subtropical climate. The annual average temperature is 18 degrees Celsius. Average annual  rainfall is 1726.7 mm. Changsha has four distinct seasons, with equally long summers and winters and equally short springs and autumns.

History and Culture

Changsha was in the first group of cities designated as “national famous historical and cultural” cities. It has a history of more than 3,000 years. It was the place where Qu Yuan, a great patriotic poet in the state of Chu during the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC) and Jia Yi, a renowned scholar in the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) once lived; a well-known Chu-Han City; and, the center of Confucian learning in Hunan. 

Changsha features many famous historical sites, including: the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb; the Four-Goat Square Zun; the Three Kingdom Wu bamboo slips; Yuelu Academy, and Tongguan Kiln. It is the cradle of Huxiang culture which is famous for its practicality and inclusiveness.

The 1898 Reform Movement and the first Democratic Revolution which ended the Qing Dynasty began, among other places, in Changsha. It is one of the new democracy movements’ birthplaces. It is the birthplace of such historically important individuals as Huang Xing, Cai E, and Liu Shaoqi.

Changsha is known as a “Mainland City with the Best Overseas Image”, an “East Asia Cultural City”, and “City of Media Arts” in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Cultural brands such as “Hunan TV”, “Hunan Publishing”, and “Hunan Animation” began here.

Changsha has 57 higher educational institutions, 97 independent research institutions, 52 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 14 national engineering and technology research centers, and 15 national key engineering laboratories. 

Changsha is also known for its scientific research achievements, including hybrid rice breeding technology, the Tianhe supercomputer, and the 3D sintering printer-- the first one produced in China. 

Population

By the end of 2019, Changsha’s total permanent resident population was nearly 8.4 million, an increase of 2.9% over 2018. Based on the registered population, the birth rate was 12.43‰, the death rate 7.9‰, and a natural growth rate 4.53‰. 

Administrative Divisions

Changsha governs six districts of Furong, Tianxin, Yuelu, Kaifu, Yuhua, and Wangcheng; two county-level cities of Ningxiang and Liuyang; and one county, Changsha County. Municipal government offices are located at No. 218, Yuelu Avenue, Yuelu District.

Economy

In 2020, Changsha’s GDP rose 4.0% from 2019 to over 1.214 trillion yuan, and its general public budget income increased by 3.2% to more than 164 billion yuan, including about 110 billion yuan from local governments, a 3.0% increase. Government general public budget expenditure was more than 148 billion yuan, up 3.8%.

Chinese source: Changsha.gov.cn; Changsha Municipal Statistics Bureau