Villages of the People's Republic of China

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Village-level divisions
Simplified Chinese 村级行政区
Traditional Chinese 村級行政區
Alternative Chinese name
A village in Yangxin County, Hubei

Villages (Chinese: ; pinyin: Cūn), formally village-level divisions (Chinese: 村级行政区; pinyin: Cūn Jí Xíngzhèngqū) in China, serve as a fundamental organizational unit for its rural population (census, mail system). Basic local divisions like neighborhoods and communities are not informal like in the West, but have defined boundaries and designated heads (one per area). In 2000, China's densely populated villages (>100 persons/square km) had a population greater than 500 million and covered more than 2 million square kilometers, or more than 20% of China's total area (Ellis 2004).

In general, the following villages are subdivided and grouped as followed:

A "village" in this case can either be:

  • a natural village (Chinese: 自然村; pinyin: zìráncūn), one that spontaneously and naturally exists, or
  • an administrative village (Chinese: 行政村; pinyin: xíngzhèngcūn), which is a bureaucratic entity

Instead of neighborhood committees and sub-districts, a city could have:

  • neighborhood (simplified Chinese: 居民区; traditional Chinese: 居民區; pinyin: jūmínqū)
  • community (simplified Chinese: 社区; traditional Chinese: 社區; pinyin: shèqū)

See also[edit]


  • Ellis, E.C. 2004. Long-term ecological changes in the densely populated rural landscapes of China. Pages 303-320 in R. S. DeFries, G. P. Asner, and R. A. Houghton, editors. Ecosystems and Land Use Change. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. download the paper

External links[edit]

The building housing the local village committee and other government offices and organizations in Baisha Village, Xiqiuwan Township, Badong County, Hubei