Jump to content


Coordinates: 33°54′N 113°30′E / 33.9°N 113.5°E / 33.9; 113.5
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Henan province)

Province of Henan
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese河南省 (Hénán shěng)
 • AbbreviationHA / HEN / ()
Map showing the location of Henan Province
Map showing the location of Henan Province
Coordinates: 33°54′N 113°30′E / 33.9°N 113.5°E / 33.9; 113.5
Named for
Capital (and largest city)Zhengzhou
Divisions17 prefectures, 159 counties, 2,455 townships
 • TypeProvince
 • BodyHenan Provincial People's Congress
 • CCP SecretaryLou Yangsheng
 • Congress chairmanLou Yangsheng
 • GovernorWang Kai
 • CPPCC chairmanKong Changsheng
 • Total167,000 km2 (64,000 sq mi)
 • Rank17th
Highest elevation2,413.8 m (7,919.3 ft)
 • Total99,365,519
 • Rank3rd
 • Density600/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
  • Rank7th
 • Ethnic composition
  • Han: 98.6%
  • Others: 1.4%
 • Languages and dialectsZhongyuan Mandarin, Jin
GDP (2023)[3]
 • TotalCN¥5,913 billion (6th)
(US$ 839 billion)
 • Per capitaCN¥60,073 (25th)
ISO 3166 codeCN-HA
HDI (2019)0.742[4] (high) (18th)
"Henan" in Chinese characters
Literal meaningSouth of the Yellow River

Henan[a] is an inland province of China. Henan is home to many heritage sites, including the ruins of Shang dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the historical capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng and Zhengzhou, are in Henan.[8]

Although the name of the province means "south of the river",[9] approximately a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River, also known as the Huang He. With an area of 167,000 km2 (64,479 sq mi), Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain. Its neighboring provinces are Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, and Hubei.

Henan is China's third-most populous province with a population of over 99 million as of 2020. It is also the world's seventh-most populous subnational entity, and, if it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 14th-most populous country in the world, ahead of Egypt and Vietnam. People from Henan often suffer from regional discrimination.[10][11]

Henan is the 5th-largest provincial economy of China, the second largest in South Central China after Guangdong, and the largest among inland provinces, with a nominal GDP of 5.88 trillion RMB (US$926 billion) as of 2021, ahead of the GDP of Turkey of 815 billion.[12][13] If it were a country, it would be the 18th-largest economy as of 2021.[14] However, per capita GDP is low compared to other eastern and central provinces.[15] The economy continues to grow based on aluminum and coal prices, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, tourism and retail. High-tech industries and the service sector are concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang.

Henan hosts more than 150 higher education institutions, ranking first in the Central China region.[16] As of 2023, three major cities in the province ranked in the top 200 cities in the world (Zhengzhou 76th, Kaifeng 154th and Xinxiang 195th) by scientific research output, as tracked by the Nature Index.[17]


Widely regarded as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization along with the provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi, Henan is known for its historical prosperity and periodic downturns.[18] The economic prosperity resulted from its extensive fertile plains and its location at the heart of the country. However, its strategic location also means that it has suffered from nearly all of the major wars in China. In addition, the numerous floods of the Yellow River have caused significant damage from time to time.[19] Kaifeng, in particular, has been buried by China's Yellow River's silt seven times due to flooding.


Archaeological sites reveal that prehistoric cultures such as the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture were active in what is now northern Henan since the Neolithic Era. The more recent Erlitou culture has been controversially identified with the Xia dynasty, the first and largely legendary Chinese dynasty that was established,[20] roughly, in the 21st century BC. Virtually the entire kingdom existed within what is now north and central Henan.

The Xia dynasty collapsed around the 16th century BC following the invasion of Shang, a neighboring vassal state centered around today's Shangqiu in eastern Henan. The Shang dynasty (16th–11th centuries BC) was the first literate dynasty of China. Its many capitals are located at the modern cities of Shangqiu, Yanshi, and Zhengzhou. Their last and most important capital of Yin, located in modern Anyang, is where the first Chinese writing was created.

Shang dynasty oracle bone script, the first form of Chinese writing

In the 11th century BC, the Zhou dynasty of Shaanxi arrived from the west and overthrew the Shang dynasty.[21] The capital was moved to Chang'an, and the political and economical center was moved away from Henan for the first time. In 722 BC, when Chang'an was devastated by Xionites invasions, the capital was moved back east to Luoyang. This began the Spring and Autumn period, a period of warfare and rivalry. What is now Henan and all of China was divided into a variety of small, independent states, constantly at war for control of the central plain. Although regarded formally as the ruler of China, the control that Zhou king in Luoyang exerted over the feudal kingdoms had virtually disappeared. Despite the prolonged period of instability, prominent philosophers such as Confucius emerged in this era and offered their ideas on how a state should be run. Laozi, the founder of Taoism, was born in northern Chu, part of modern-day Henan.[22]

Later on, these states were replaced by seven large and powerful states during the Warring States period, and Henan was divided into three states, the Wei to the north, the Chu to the south, and the Han in the middle. In 221 BC, state of Qin forces from Shaanxi conquered all of the other six states, ending 800 years of warfare.

Imperial era[edit]

Ying Zheng, the leader of Qin, crowned himself (220 BCE) as the first emperor of China. He abolished the feudal system and centralized all powers, establishing the Qin dynasty and unifying the core of the Han Chinese homeland for the first time. The empire quickly collapsed after the death (210 BCE) of Ying Zheng and was replaced by the Han dynasty in 206 BC, with its capital at Chang'an. Thus, a golden age of Chinese culture, economy, and military power began. The capital moved east to Luoyang in 25 AD, in response to a coup in Chang'an that created the short-lived Xin dynasty. Luoyang quickly regained control of China, and the Eastern Han dynasty (25–220) began, extending the golden age for another two centuries.

The late Eastern Han dynasty saw war and rivalry between regional warlords. Xuchang in central Henan was the power base of Cao Cao, who eventually succeeded in unifying all of northern China under the Kingdom of Wei.[23] Wei then moved its capital to Luoyang, which remained the capital after the unification of China by the Western Jin dynasty. During this period Luoyang became one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world, despite being repeatedly damaged by warfare.

A late Eastern Han (25–220 AD) Chinese tomb mural showing lively scenes of a banquet, dance and music, acrobatics, and wrestling, from the Dahuting Han tombs, on the southern bank of the Suihe River in Xinmi

With the fall of the Western Jin dynasty in the 4th and 5th centuries, nomadic peoples from the north invaded northern China and established many successive regimes in northern China, including Henan. These people were gradually assimilated into the Chinese culture in a process known as sinification.

The short-lived Sui dynasty reunified China again in 589 with its capital back in Chang'an. It collapsed due to Sui Emperor Yang's costly attempt to relocate the capital from Chang'an to Luoyang and the construction of many extravagant palaces there.[24] The succeeding Tang dynasty (618–907) kept its capital in Chang'an, marking the beginning of China's second golden age, with Henan being one of the wealthiest places in the empire.

The Tang dynasty lasted for three centuries before it eventually succumbed to internal strife. In the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907–960) that followed, Kaifeng in eastern Henan became the capital of four dynasties. The Song dynasty that reunified China in 982 also had its capital at Kaifeng. Under Song rule, China entered another era of culture and prosperity, and Kaifeng overtook Luoyang and Chang'an as the largest city in China and in the world.[25] In 1127, however, the Song dynasty succumbed to Jurchen (Jin dynasty) invaders from the north in the Jin–Song war, and in 1142 ceded all of northern China, including Henan. The Song government moved its capital to Hangzhou in Southern China, which, under the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279) continued to enjoy relative economic and culture prosperity. A prolonged period of peace and cultural and economic prosperity in the Yangtze delta Jiangnan region (modern southern Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang, and Shanghai) made this the new center of Chinese culture and economy.

Kaifeng served as the Jurchen's "southern capital" from 1157 (other sources say 1161) and was reconstructed during this time.[26][27] But the Jurchen kept their main capital further north, until 1214, when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng in order to flee the Mongol onslaught. In 1234 they succumbed to combined Mongol and Song dynasty forces. Mongols took control, and in 1279 they conquered all of China, establishing the Yuan dynasty and set up the equivalent of modern Henan, with borders very similar to the modern ones. Neither its territories nor its role in the economy changed under later dynasties. Henan remained important in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and Qing dynasty (1644–1911) that followed, though its economy slowly deteriorated due to frequent natural disasters.

Modern era[edit]

The Qing dynasty was overthrown by the 1911 Revolution and then the Republic of China was established in 1912,[28] during which a man from Henan, Yuan Shikai, played an important role and thus he became the first president of Republic of China.[29] The construction and extension of the Pinghan Railway and Longhai Railway had turned Zhengzhou, a minor county town at the time, into a major transportation hub. Despite the rise of Zhengzhou, Henan's overall economy repeatedly stumbled as it was the hardest hit by the many disasters that struck China in its modern era.

Henan suffered greatly during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1938, when the Imperial Japanese Army captured Kaifeng, the government led by Chiang Kai-shek bombed the Huayuankou dam in Zhengzhou in order to prevent Japanese forces from advancing further.[30] However, this caused massive flooding in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. In 1942 Henan was hit by a great famine resulting from a mix of drought, locusts and destruction caused by the war.[31]

In 1954, the new government of the People's Republic of China moved the capital of Henan from Kaifeng to Zhengzhou,[32] as a result of its economic importance. The PRC had earlier established a short-lived Pingyuan Province consisting of what is now northern Henan and western Shandong with Xinxiang as its capital. This province was abolished in 1952.[33]

In 1958, Yashan in Suiping County, Henan, became the first people's commune of China, heralding the beginning of the "Great Leap Forward".[34] In the subsequent famines of the early 1960s popularly attributed to the Great Leap Forward, Henan was one of the hardest hit and millions of people died.[35][unreliable source?] Suffering under famine and economic chaos caused by the Great Leap, locals in Henan offered low-level resistance mostly through banditry.[36] In 1959, however, a full peasant uprising erupted and was only defeated after twenty days of fighting.[37]

A destructive flooding of the Huai River in the summer of 1950 prompted large-scale construction of dams on its tributaries in central and southern Henan. Unfortunately, many of the dams were not able to withstand the extraordinarily high levels of rainfall caused by Typhoon Nina in August 1975. Sixty-two dams, the largest of which was the Banqiao Dam in Biyang County collapsed; catastrophic flooding, spread over several counties throughout Zhumadian Prefecture and further downstream, killed at least 26,000 people.[38][39] Unofficial human life loss estimates, including deaths from the ensuing epidemics and famine, range as high as 85,600,[38] 171,000[40] or even 230 000.[38] This is considered the most deadly dam-related disaster in human history.[38]

By the early 1970s, China was one of the poorest countries in the world, and Henan was one of the poorest provinces in China.[41] In 1978, however, when the communist leader Deng Xiaoping initiated the open door policy and embraced capitalism, China entered an economic boom that continues today. The boom did not reach inland provinces such as Henan initially, but by the 1990s Henan's economy was expanding at an even faster rate than that of China overall.

In November 2004, martial law was declared in Zhongmou County, Henan, to quell deadly ethnic clashes between Han and Hui Chinese.[42] The reported number of deaths ranged between 7 and 148.

In July 2021, high amounts of rainfall caused flooding, killing 302 and damaging amounting to 82 billion yuan.[43]

In January 2024 there was the Yingcai Boarding School fire in the dormitory of a primary boarding school in Dushu.[44] The fire resulted in one injury and the deaths of at least 13 third-grade students between nine and ten years old.[45] In the same month also the 2024 Pingdingshan mining explosion occurred.


Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang

Henan has a diverse landscape with floodplains in the east and mountains in the west. Much of the province forms part the densely populated North China Plain, an area known as the "breadbasket of China". The Taihang Mountains intrude partially into Henan's northwestern borders from Shanxi, forming the eastern edge of Loess Plateau. To the west the Xionger and Funiu Mountains form an extensive network of mountain ranges and plateaus, supporting one of the few remaining temperate deciduous forests which once covered all of Henan. The renowned Mount Song and its Shaolin Temple is located in the far east of the region, near the capital city Zhengzhou. To the far south, the Dabie Mountains divides Hubei from Henan. The Nanyang Basin, separated from North China Plain by these mountains, is another important agricultural and population center, with culture and history distinct from the rest of Henan and closer to that of Hubei's. Unlike the rest of northern China, desertification is not a problem in Henan, though sandstorms are common in cities near the Yellow River due to the large amount of sand present in the river. At 2413.8 meters above sea level, the highest point in Henan province is Laoyachanao (老鸦岔垴).[46]

The Yellow River passes through central Henan. It enters from the northwest, via the Sanmenxia Reservoir. After it passes Luoyang, the mountains gave way to plains. Excessive amount of sediments are formed due to the silt it picks up from the Loess Plateau, raising the river bed and causing frequent floods which shaped the habitat of the region. More recently however, construction of dams and levees, as well as the depletion of water resources have ended the floods. The Huai River in southern Henan is another important river, and has been recognized as part of the boundary dividing northern and southern Chinese climate and culture.[47]

Henan shares borders with six other provinces. It is bordered to the west by Shaanxi, to the south by Hubei, and to the north by Shanxi (northwest) and Hebei (northeast). To the east lie Shandong (northeast) and Anhui (southeast), whose borders meet at a narrow strip of land which separates Henan from Jiangsu to the east.


Henan has a temperate climate that is humid subtropical (Köppen Cwa or Cfa) to the south of the Yellow River and bordering on humid continental (Köppen Dwa) to the north. It has a distinct seasonal climate characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cool to cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Temperatures average around the freezing mark in January and 27 to 28 °C in July. A great majority of the annual rainfall occurs during the summer.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Henan is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions: all prefecture-level cities; along with one directly administered county-level city (a sub-prefecture-level city):

Administrative divisions of Henan
Division code[48] Division Area in km2[49] Population 2020[50] Seat Divisions[51]
Districts* Counties CL cities
410000 Henan Province 167,000.00 99,366,019 Zhengzhou city 54 82 21
410100 Zhengzhou city 7,532.56 12,600,574 Zhongyuan District 6 1 5
410200 Kaifeng city 6,260.95 4,824,016 Gulou District 5 4
410300 Luoyang city 15,229.83 7,056,699 Luolong District 7 7
410400 Pingdingshan city 7,909.42 4,987,137 Xinhua District 4 4 2
410500 Anyang city 7,354.11 5,477,614 Beiguan District 4 4 1
410600 Hebi city 2,136.85 1,565,973 Qibin District 3 2
410700 Xinxiang city 8,249.45 6,251,929 Weibin District 4 5 3
410800 Jiaozuo city 4,000.89 3,521,078 Jiefang District 4 4 2
410900 Puyang city 4,187.90 3,772,088 Hualong District 1 5
411000 Xuchang city 4,978.36 4,379,998 Weidu District 2 2 2
411100 Luohe city 6,260.95 2,367,490 Yancheng District 3 2
411200 Sanmenxia city 9,936.65 2,034,872 Hubin District 2 2 2
411300 Nanyang city 26,508.69 9,713,112 Wolong District 2 10 1
411400 Shangqiu city 10,700.23 7,816,831 Liangyuan District 2 6 1
411500 Xinyang city 18,908.27 6,234,401 Shihe District 2 8
411600 Zhoukou city 11,959.40 9,026,015 Chuanhui District 2 7 1
411700 Zhumadian city 15,095.30 7,008,427 Yicheng District 1 9
419001 Jiyuan city** 1,893.76 727,765 Qinyuan Subdistrict 1
* – including Ethnic districts

** – Directly administered county-level divisions (Jiyuan was formerly part of Jiaozuo)

These 17 prefecture-level cities and one directly administered county-level city of Henan are in turn subdivided into 157 county-level divisions (54 districts, 21 county-level cities, and 82 counties; the sub-prefecture-level city of Jiyuan is counted as a county-level city here). Those are in turn divided into 2454 township-level divisions (1181 towns, 598 townships, twelve ethnic townships, and 663 subdistricts).

Urban areas[edit]

Population by urban areas of prefecture & county cities
# City Urban area[52] District area[52] City proper[52] Census date
1 Zhengzhou 3,677,032 4,253,913 8,627,089 2010-11-01
2 Luoyang 1,584,463 1,926,079 6,549,941 2010-11-01
3 Xinxiang 918,078 1,047,088 5,708,191 2010-11-01
4 Anyang 908,129 1,146,839 5,173,188 2010-11-01
5 Nanyang 899,899 1,811,812 10,263,660 2010-11-01
6 Pingdingshan 855,130 1,034,042 4,904,701 2010-11-01
7 Kaifeng[b] 725,573 896,117 4,676,483 2010-11-01
(7) Kaifeng (new district)[b] 168,569 698,799 see Kaifeng 2010-11-01
8 Jiaozuo 702,527 865,413 3,540,101 2010-11-01
9 Xinyang 625,302 1,230,042 6,109,106 2010-11-01
10 Shangqiu 618,549 1,536,392 7,362,975 2010-11-01
11 Luohe 575,956 1,294,974 2,544,266 2010-11-01
12 Hebi 477,659 634,721 1,569,208 2010-11-01
13 Xuchang[c] 466,341 498,087 4,307,488 2010-11-01
(13) Xuchang (new district)[c] 208,168 767,449 see Xuchang 2010-11-01
14 Puyang 465,980 655,674 3,598,740 2010-11-01
15 Zhumadian 447,559 721,723 7,231,234 2010-11-01
16 Dengzhou 415,082 1,468,157 see Nanyang 2010-11-01
17 Yongcheng 414,312 1,240,382 see Shangqiu 2010-11-01
18 Yuzhou 372,815 1,131,896 see Xuchang 2010-11-01
19 Gongyi 366,265 807,911 see Zhengzhou 2010-11-01
20 Xinmi 359,148 797,256 see Zhengzhou 2010-11-01
21 Xiangcheng 355,449 1,003,698 see Zhoukou 2010-11-01
22 Xinzheng 337,356 758,128 see Zhengzhou 2010-11-01
23 Jiyuan 334,697 675,757 675,757 2010-11-01
24 Linzhou 321,755 789,702 see Anyang 2010-11-01
25 Zhoukou 308,360 505,171 8,953,793 2010-11-01
26 Yanshi 300,743 666,696 see Luoyang 2010-11-01
27 Ruzhou 296,913 927,934 see Pingdingshan 2010-11-01
28 Dengfeng 293,028 668,637 see Zhengzhou 2010-11-01
29 Sanmenxia[d] 285,153 325,628 2,234,018 2010-11-01
(29) Sanmenxia (new district)[d] 118,388 343,679 see Sanmenxia 2010-11-01
30 Changge 281,578 687,130 see Xuchang 2010-11-01
31 Xingyang 269,655 613,804 see Zhengzhou 2010-11-01
32 Huixian 261,767 740,435 see Xinxiang 2010-11-01
33 Lingbao 231,101 721,049 see Sanmenxia 2010-11-01
34 Qinyang 223,647 367,113 see Jiaozuo 2010-11-01
35 Weihui 167,454 495,744 see Xinxiang 2010-11-01
36 Wugang 147,521 313,828 see Pingdingshan 2010-11-01
37 Mengzhou 138,393 447,701 see Jiaozuo 2010-11-01
38 Yima 136,461 144,779 see Sanmenxia 2010-11-01
  1. ^ Henan; UK: /hɜːˈnæn/;[5] or /həˈnæn/;[6] US: /hʌˈnɑːn/;[7] Chinese: 河南; alternatively Honan
  2. ^ a b New district established after census: Xiangfu (Kaifeng County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  3. ^ a b New district established after census: Jian'an (Xuchang County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  4. ^ a b New district established after census: Shanzhou (Shanxian County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
Most populous cities in Henan
Source: China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2018 Urban Population and Urban Temporary Population[53]
Rank Municipal pop. Rank Municipal pop.
1 Zhengzhou 6,261,900 11 Luohe 610,300 Nanyang
2 Luoyang 2,359,800 12 Xinyang 609,200
3 Nanyang 1,604,700 13 Xuchang 565,800
4 Kaifeng 1,023,000 14 Zhumadian 513,800
5 Shangqiu 964,800 15 Sanmenxia 494,200
6 Pingdingshan 964,500 16 Hebi 490,200
7 Jiaozuo 801,000 17 Yongcheng 466,000
8 Xinxiang 789,600 18 Yuzhou 434,400
9 Anyang 760,000 19 Zhoukou 431,300
10 Puyang 611,400 20 Ruzhou 410,000


Historical population
1912[54] 28,518,000—    
1928[55] 30,566,000+7.2%
1936–37[56] 34,290,000+12.2%
1947[57] 29,654,000−13.5%
1954[58] 44,214,594+49.1%
1964[59] 50,325,511+13.8%
1982[60] 74,422,739+47.9%
1990[61] 85,509,535+14.9%
2000[62] 91,236,854+6.7%
2010[63] 94,023,567+3.1%

With a population of approximately 93.6 million, Henan is the third most populous Chinese province after Guangdong and Shandong. It is also the fifth most populous sub-national division in the world. If it were a country by itself, it would be the twelfth most populous in the world, just behind Mexico and ahead of the Philippines. However, the hukou system shows Henan as the most populous province in China with over 103 million people, as it counts the migrant Henanese laborers as residents of Henan, instead of the province they currently reside in. On the other hand, Guangdong is shown as having only 81 million people, though the actual population is 95 million due to the influx of migrants from other provinces.

The population is highly homogeneous with 98.8% of the population being Han. Small populations of Mongols and Manchus exists in scattered rural communities as well as major urban centers. Along with Jiangxi, Henan has one of the most unbalanced gender ratios in China. As a result of the Chinese government's one-child policy (many parents do not want the only child to be female and abort the fetus), the gender ratio was 118.46 males for 100 females in 2000. Subsequently, aborting fetuses due to their female sex was banned in Henan and heavy fines are issued for those who violate the law. In addition, daughter-only families receive an annual allowance from the government.[64] Despite these efforts the problem seems to have become far worse. Based on a 2009 British Medical Journal study, the ratio is over 140 boys for every 100 girls in the 1–4 age group;[65] this might be a strong exaggeration, as many families with more than one child do not register their daughters to the hukou in order to escape fines.


Religion in Henan (2012)[66]

  Non religious and traditional faiths (86.1%)
  Buddhism (6.4%)
  Protestantism (5.6%)
  Catholic (0.5%)
  Islam (1.3%)
  Others (0.2%)

According to a 2012 survey[66] only around 13% of the population of Henan belongs to organised religions, the largest groups being Buddhists with 6.4%, followed by Protestants with 5.6%, Muslims with 1.3% and Catholics with 0.5%. Henan has some important centres of Chinese Buddhism, the White Horse Temple and the famous Shaolin Monastery.

Henan has also the largest Christian population by numbers and percentage of any province of China,[66] 6.1% of the province's population as of 2012, corresponding to approximately 7 million Christians. A 2009 survey reported the share of Christians to be 9.33%.[67] In 2019, Communist officials demolished the True Jesus Church near Zhumadian.[68] In 2020, Communist officials demolished the Sunzhuang Church.[69]

The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 86% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Confucianism, Taoism and folk religious sects (for example, a sect that is endogenous to Henan is the Tianxian miaodao). According to a 2007 survey, approximately 8% of the Henanese believe in and are involved in ancestor veneration, the traditional Chinese religion of the lineages organised into lineage churches and ancestral shrines.[67]

Detail with incense burner at the Guanlin, Temple Mausoleum of Guandi in Luoyang.
Indian style pavilion of the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China.
Temple of the Chenghuangshen (City God) of Anyang.
The Zhongyuan Buddha (Great Buddha of the Central Plains) of the Temple of the Spring in Lushan is currently the second tallest statue in the world.


The Government of Henan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Henan is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Henan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Henan Chinese Communist Party Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Henan CCP Party Chief".


Farmland in Xiping County, Zhumadian

Henan has seen rapid development in its economy over the past two decades, and its economy has expanded at an even faster rate than the national average of 10%. This rapid growth has transformed Henan from one of the poorest provinces to one that matches other central provinces.

Henan is the 5th-largest provincial economy of China, the second largest in South Central China after Guangdong, the largest in Central China and the largest among inland provinces, with a nominal GDP of 5.88 trillion RMB (US$926 billion) as of 2021, ahead of the GDP of Turkey of 815 billion.[12][13] If it were a country, it would be the 18th-largest economy as well as the 14th most populous as of 2021.[14] However, per capita GDP is low compared to other eastern and central provinces.[15]

Henan is a semi-industrialized economy with an underdeveloped service sector. Agriculture has traditionally been a pillar of its economy, with the nation's highest wheat and sesame output and second highest rice output, earning its reputation as the breadbasket of China. Henan is also an important producer of beef, cotton, maize, pork, animal oil, and corn.

Although Henan's industry has traditionally been based on light textiles and food processing, recent developments have diversified the industry sector to metallurgy, petrol, cement, chemical industry, machinery and electronics. Henan has the second largest molybdenum reserves in the world. Coal, aluminum, alkaline metals and tungsten are also present in large amounts in western Henan. Henan houses some of the biggest limestone reserves in China estimated over 24 billion tons.[70] Export and processing of these materials is one of the main sources of revenues.

Henan has planned its economy around the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, and it is hoped that the province may become an important transportation and manufacturing hub in the years to come.[71]

In July 2021, extreme flooding inflicted an estimated US$12.7 billion[72] of economic damage in Henan.


Henan has some of the most advanced transportation system in China due to its flat terrain and its location at the heart of central China's construction boom. The Jingguang and Longhai Railway, the nation's two most important railways, run through much of the province and intersect at Zhengzhou. Other railway hubs such as Shangqiu, Xinxiang, and Luohe have also become important centers of trade and manufacturing as a result. Zhengzhou is also an important hub of China's high-speed railway network with railway lines connecting the city from 8 directions with all preferecture-level cities in Henan and other important cities in the country. Zhengzhou East Railway Station is one of the largest high speed railway stations in China and the world. Henan's expressway system is highly developed and the total length is approximately 5,000 km (3,100 mi), the highest total for any Chinese province. The state of air transport is less stellar, the only 3 public airports are located in Xinzheng (near Zhengzhou), Luoyang, and Nanyang.


  • Most of Henan speaks dialects of the Mandarin group of dialects spoken in northern and southwestern China. Linguists put these dialects into the category of "Zhongyuan Mandarin". The northwestern corner of Henan is an exception, where people speak Jin dialects instead. The dialects of Henan are collectively called "the Henan dialec" in popular usage, with easily identifiable stereotypical features.
  • Yu opera is the local form of Chinese opera; it is also well-known and popular across the rest of China. Henan Quju and Henan Yuediao are also important local opera forms.
  • Henan cuisine is the local cuisine, with traditions such as the Luoyang Shuixi (Luoyang "Water Table", consisting entirely of various soups, etc.); Xinyang Duncai (Xinyang brewed vegetables), and the traditional Kaifeng cuisine.
  • Important traditional art and craft products include: Junci, a type of porcelain originating in Yuzhou noted for its unpredictable colour patterns; the jade carvings of Zhenping; and Luoyang's Tangsancai ("Tang Three Colours"), which are earthenware figurines made in the traditional style of the Tang dynasty.


Henan is located in the Yellow River valley where ancient people lived. Intricate pottery, writing and musical instruments of the Peiligang Culture and Yangshao Culture arose during neolithic times. Three of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China are in Henan: Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang. 16 historical sites in Henan are protected at the national level and 267 more at the provincial level.

White Horse Temple

Colleges and universities[edit]

Henan is considered one of China's leading provinces in education. The province hosts more than 156 higher education institutions, ranking first in the Central China region, ranked second in South Central China after Guangdong and third among all Chinese provinces/municipalities after Jiangsu and Guangdong.[16]

As of 2023, three major cities in the province ranked in the top 200 cities in the world (Zhengzhou 76th, Kaifeng 154th and Xinxiang 195th) by scientific research output, as tracked by the Nature Index.[17] Along with Jiangsu, Henan is one of only two Chinese provinces with at least three major cities that are among the top 200 in the world by scientific research output.[17]

Henan University

Notable individuals[edit]

Sports teams[edit]

Professional sports teams in Henan include;

See also[edit]




  1. ^ "Doing Business in China". Ministry of Commerce. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Communiqué of the Seventh National Population Census (No. 3)". National Bureau of Statistics of China. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  3. ^ GDP-2021 is a preliminary data "Home - Regional - Quarterly by Province" (Press release). China NBS. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.; see also "zh: 2023年河南省国民经济和社会发展统计公报". henan.gov.cn. 30 March 2024. Retrieved 19 June 2024.
  4. ^ 《2013中国人类发展报告》 (PDF) (in Chinese). United Nations Development Programme China. 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  5. ^ Longman, J.C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3 ed.). Pearson. ISBN 978-1405881173.
  6. ^ "Henan". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Henan". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary.
  8. ^ 中国八大古都_共产党员网. www.12371.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  9. ^ (in Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces Archived 27 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine, People's Daily Online.
  10. ^ Chris Buckley (11 October 2016). "Henan Province, a Butt of Jokes in China, Gets a Champion in Court". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Many Chinese suffer discrimination based on their regional origin". The Economist. 11 April 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Decoding China's 2021 GDP Growth Rate: A Look at Regional Numbers". China Briefing News. 7 February 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  13. ^ a b "GDP (current US$) - Turkiye | Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  14. ^ a b "GDP (current US$) | Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  15. ^ a b "China dreams on hold: heartland city feels chill of economic slowdown". Reuters. 28 May 2019. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  16. ^ a b ""List of National Colleges and Universities – Government Portal of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China"". www.moe.gov.cn. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  17. ^ a b c "Nature Index 2023 Science Cities". www.nature.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  18. ^ "增强中华文明传播力影响力|河南:行走中原大地 读懂中国文脉". www.cppcc.gov.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  19. ^ Storozum, Michael J; Zhen, Qin; Xiaolin, Ren; Haiming, Li; Yifu, Cui; Kui, Fu; Haiwang, Liu (2 August 2018). "The collapse of the North Song dynasty and the AD 1048–1128 Yellow River floods: Geoarchaeological evidence from northern Henan Province, China". The Holocene. 28 (11): 1759–1770. Bibcode:2018Holoc..28.1759S. doi:10.1177/0959683618788682. hdl:10356/137334. ISSN 0959-6836.
  20. ^ "考古第一现场:神秘夏朝是否真实存在?真相只有一个-中新网". www.chinanews.com.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  21. ^ "古代中国-中国国家博物馆". www.chnmuseum.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  22. ^ "中国古代著名思想家、道家学派创始人老子". ve.china-embassy.gov.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  23. ^ "三国时期曹操建魏都于许昌,其实早在春秋末期,这里就是魏国疆土_许国". www.sohu.com. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  24. ^ "中国古代史 中国历史:中国是世界上最早诞生文明的国家之一,有近5000年的历史。中国古代史包括三个阶段:原始社会阶段(距今约170万年前-约公元前2070年)、奴隶社会阶段(约公元前2070年-公元前475年)和封建社会阶段(公元前475年-公元1840年)全文介绍_科技进步_中国管理科学研究院科技管理研究所". ceshi.zgykjs.com. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  25. ^ Development, PodBean. "Feeding and Supplying the World's Largest City: The Environmental Impact of Northern Song Kaifeng | The Chinese History Podcast". www.chinesehistorypodcast.com. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  26. ^ "Ethics of China 7 BC To 1279 by Sanderson Beck". beck.org. Archived from the original on 4 February 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
  27. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "纪念辛亥革命100周年". www.cppcc.gov.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  29. ^ Shan, Patrick Fuliang (2018). Yuan Shikai: A Reappraisal, The University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 9780774837781
  30. ^ "花园口:抗战岁月里的黄河之殇-新华网". www.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  31. ^ 宋, 致新 (2005年). 1942: 河南大饥荒 [1942: Henan Famine] (in Chinese). 湖北人民出版社. p. 171. ISBN 9787216043229.
  32. ^ "【解密档案】开封到郑州省会大搬迁-手机大河网". 4g.dahe.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  33. ^ "观察丨河南和山东之间的"平原省"为什么被撤销了?_澎湃号·政务_澎湃新闻-The Paper". www.thepaper.cn. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  34. ^ "河南省 旅遊 - Henan Tour". 大陸旅遊網China Tour Travel Website (in Chinese). Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  35. ^ "党史资料:中国大陆五十年非正常死亡调查". Boxun.com. 30 September 2002. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009.
  36. ^ Rummel (1991), pp. 247–248.
  37. ^ Smith (2015), p. 346.
  38. ^ a b c d Yi Si, "The World's Most Catastrophic Dam Failures: The August 1975 Collapse of the Banqiao and Shimantan Dams", in: Dai Qing et al, The River Dragon Has Come!: The Three Gorges Dam and the Fate of China’s Yangtze River and Its People Archived 7 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine, pp. 25–38.
  39. ^ "After 30 years, secrets, lessons of China's worst dams burst accident surface". People's Daily Online. 1 October 2005. Archived from the original on 3 January 2006.
  40. ^ Evan Osnos, "Faust, China, and Nuclear Power Archived 13 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine". New Yorker, 2011-10-12
  41. ^ 完世伟 (1 January 2016). 河南决胜全面小康论 (in Chinese). 社会科学文献出版社. ISBN 978-7-5201-0258-2.
  42. ^ Hannah Beech (15 November 2004). "Henan's Ethnic Tensions". Time. Archived from the original on 13 January 2005.
  43. ^ Davidson, Helen (23 January 2022). "Chinese officials arrested for concealing true scale of flood death toll". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  44. ^ "Thirteen children die in Chinese boarding school fire". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 January 2024. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  45. ^ "At least 13 students killed in China school fire: State media". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 20 January 2024. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  46. ^ "河南山峰海拔排名,第一谁也没想到,你都去过几座?_网易订阅" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  47. ^ "淮河". www.mwr.gov.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  48. ^ 中华人民共和国县以上行政区划代码 (in Simplified Chinese). Ministry of Civil Affairs. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  49. ^ Shenzhen Bureau of Statistics. 《深圳统计年鉴2014》 (in Simplified Chinese). China Statistics Print. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  50. ^ Census Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China; Population and Employment Statistics Division of the National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China (2012). 中国2010人口普查分乡、镇、街道资料 (1 ed.). Beijing: China Statistics Print. ISBN 978-7-5037-6660-2.
  51. ^ Ministry of Civil Affairs (August 2014). 《中国民政统计年鉴2014》 (in Simplified Chinese). China Statistics Print. ISBN 978-7-5037-7130-9.
  52. ^ a b c 国务院人口普查办公室、国家统计局人口和社会科技统计司编 (2012). 中国2010年人口普查分县资料. Beijing: China Statistics Print. ISBN 978-7-5037-6659-6.
  53. ^ Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China(MOHURD) (2019). 中国城市建设统计年鉴2018 [China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2018] (in Chinese). Beijing: China Statistic Publishing House. Archived from the original on 18 July 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  54. ^ 1912年中国人口. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  55. ^ 1928年中国人口. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  56. ^ 1936–37年中国人口. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  57. ^ 1947年全国人口. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  58. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于第一次全国人口调查登记结果的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009.
  59. ^ 第二次全国人口普查结果的几项主要统计数字. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012.
  60. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于一九八二年人口普查主要数字的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  61. ^ 中华人民共和国国家统计局关于一九九〇年人口普查主要数据的公报. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012.
  62. ^ 现将2000年第五次全国人口普查快速汇总的人口地区分布数据公布如下. National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012.
  63. ^ "Communiqué of the National Bureau of Statistics of People's Republic of China on Major Figures of the 2010 Population Census". National Bureau of Statistics of China. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013.
  64. ^ "China's most populous province legislates to curb gender imbalance". People's Daily Online. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  65. ^ Zhu, Wei Xing; Lu, Li; Hesketh, Therese (9 April 2009). "China's excess males, sex selective abortion, and one child policy: analysis of data from 2005 national intercensus survey". BMJ. 338: b1211. doi:10.1136/bmj.b1211. PMC 2667570. PMID 19359290.
  66. ^ a b c China Family Panel Studies 2012: 当代中国宗教状况报告——基于CFPS(2012)调查数据 (PDF) (in Chinese (China)). CASS. 3 March 2014. pp. 13, 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  67. ^ a b China General Social Survey 2009, Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) 2007. Report by: Xiuhua Wang (2015, p. 15) Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  68. ^ "China: Authorities forcibly demolish 'illegal' church; elderly congregants injured". 15 October 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  69. ^ Kumar, Anugrah (27 June 2020). "China: 200 communist officials demolish church, beat Christians". The Christian Post. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  70. ^ Ministry of Natural Resources (22 October 2018). Wei, Tiejun (ed.). "China Mineral Resources" (PDF). Beiijing: Geological Publishing House. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  71. ^ "China Economy @ China Perspective". thechinaperspective.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  72. ^ "China floods: people still searching for missing relatives after official says four died in road tunnel". scmp.com. 24 July 2021. Archived from the original on 25 July 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  73. ^ "张坚同志当选安徽省高级人民法院院长-中国法院网". www.chinacourt.org. Archived from the original on 14 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]