From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Hunan Province)
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Henan Province.
Hunan Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 湖南省 (Húnán Shěng)
 • Abbreviation (pinyin: Xiāng)
Map showing the location of Hunan Province
Map showing the location of Hunan Province
Coordinates: 27°24′N 111°48′E / 27.4°N 111.8°E / 27.4; 111.8Coordinates: 27°24′N 111°48′E / 27.4°N 111.8°E / 27.4; 111.8
Named for hú – lake
nán – south
"south of the lake"
(and largest city)
Divisions 14 prefectures, 122 counties, 2576 townships
 • Secretary Xu Shousheng
 • Governor Du Jiahao
 • Total 210,000 km2 (80,000 sq mi)
Area rank 10th
Population (2014)[2]
 • Total 67,370,000
 • Rank 7th
 • Density 320/km2 (830/sq mi)
 • Density rank 13th
 • Ethnic composition Han-Chinese – 90%
Tujia – 4%
Miao – 3%
Dong – 1%
Yao – 1%
Other peoples – 1%
 • Languages and dialects Chinese dialects: Xiang, Gan, Southwestern-Mandarin, Xiangnan-Tuhua, Waxiang, Hakka. Non-Chinese languages: Qo-Xiong (Miao), Tujia, Mien (Yao), Dong
ISO 3166 code CN-43
GDP (2014) CNY 2.705 trillion
US$ 440.29 billion (10th)
 • per capita CNY 37,475
US$ 6,100 (20th)
HDI (2010) 0.681[3] (medium) (18th)
Traditional Chinese 湖南
Postal Hunan

Hunan Province (Chinese: 湖南; pinyin: About this sound Húnán; Hunanese: Shuangfeng, [ɣəu˩˧læ̃˩˧]; Changsha, [fu˩˧lã˩˧] ) is a province of the People's Republic of China. It is located in South Central China, south of the middle course of the Yangtze River, and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, which means "south of the lake").[4] Hunan is sometimes called and officially abbreviated as "" (pinyin: Xiāng) for short,[5] after the Xiang River which runs through the province.

Hunan borders Hubei Province in the north, Jiangxi Province to the east, Guangdong Province to the southeast, Guangxi Province to the southwest, Guizhou Province to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. The provincial capital is Changsha.


Hunan's primeval forests were first occupied by the ancestors of the modern Miao, Tujia, Dong and Yao peoples. It entered the written history of China around 350 BC, when under the kings of the Zhou Dynasty, it became part of the State of Chu. After Qin conquered the Chu heartland in 278 BC, the region came under the control of Qin, and then the Han dynasty. At this time, and for hundreds of years thereafter, it was a magnet for migration of Han Chinese from the north, who displaced or assimilated the indigenous people, cleared forests and began farming rice in the valleys and plains.[6] The agricultural colonization of the lowlands was carried out in part by the Han state, which managed river dikes to protect farmland from floods.[7] To this day many of the small villages in Hunan are named after the Han families who settled there. Migration from the north was especially prevalent during the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the Southern and Northern Dynasties Periods, when nomadic invaders pushed these peoples south.

During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Hunan was home to its own independent regime, Ma Chu.

Hunan and Hubei became a part of the province of Huguang (湖廣) until the Qing dynasty. Hunan province was created in 1664 from Huguang, renamed to its current name in 1723.

Western Han painting on silk was found draped over the coffin in the grave of Lady Dai (c. 168 BC) at Mawangdui near Changsha in Hunan province.

Hunan became an important communications center due to its position on the Yangzi River. It was an important centre of scholarly activity and Confucian thought, particularly in the Yuelu Academy in Changsha. It was also on the Imperial Highway constructed between northern and southern China. The land produced grain so abundantly that it fed many parts of China with its surpluses. The population continued to climb until, by the nineteenth century, Hunan became overcrowded and prone to peasant uprisings. Some of the uprisings, such as the ten-year Miao Rebellion of 1795–1806, were caused by ethnic tensions. The Taiping Rebellion began in the south in Guangxi Province in 1850. The rebellion spread into Hunan and then further eastward along the Yangzi River valley. Ultimately, it was a Hunanese army under Zeng Guofan who marched into Nanjing to put down the uprising in 1864.

Hunan was relatively quiet until 1910 when there were uprisings against the crumbling Qing dynasty, which were followed by the Communist's Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927. It was led by Hunanese native Mao Zedong, and established a short-lived Hunan Soviet in 1927. The Communists maintained a guerrilla army in the mountains along the Hunan-Jiangxi border until 1934. Under pressure from the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) forces, they began the Long March to bases in Shaanxi Province. After the departure of the Communists, the KMT army fought against the Japanese in the second Sino-Japanese war. They defended the Changsha until it fell in 1944. Japan launched Operation Ichigo, a plan to control the railroad from Wuchang to Guangzhou (Yuehan Railway). Hunan was relatively unscathed by the civil war that followed the defeat of the Japanese in 1945. In 1949, the Communists returned once more as the Nationalists retreated southward.

As Mao Zedong's home province, Hunan supported the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976. However, it was slower than most provinces in adopting the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in the years that followed Mao's death in 1976.

Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is also Hunanese, as are the late President Liu Shaoqi and the late Marshal Peng Dehuai.


Furong Ancient Town, located in Yongshun County of Xiangxi
Fenghuang Ancient Town, located in Fenghuang County of Xiangxi

Hunan is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River, about half way along its length, situated between 108° 47'–114° 16' east longitude and 24° 37'–30° 08' north latitude. It covers an area of 211,800 square kilometres (81,800 sq mi), making it the 10th largest provincial-level division. The east, south and west sides of the province are surrounded by mountains and hills, such as the Wuling Mountains to the northwest, the Xuefeng Mountains to the west, the Nanling Mountains to the south, and the Luoxiao Mountains to the east. The mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the area and plains comprises less than 20% of the whole province.

The Xiang, the Zi, the Yuan and the Lishui Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting in the north of Hunan. The center and northern parts are somewhat low and a U-shaped basin, open in the north and with Lake Dongting as its center. Most of Hunan lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.

Lake Dongting is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China.

Hunan's climate is subtropical, and, under the Köppen climate classification, is classified as being humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa), with short, cool, damp winters, very hot and humid summers, and plenty of rainfall. January temperatures average 3 to 8 °C (37 to 46 °F) while July temperatures average around 27 to 30 °C (81 to 86 °F). Average annual precipitation is 1,200 to 1,700 millimetres (47 to 67 in).

Administrative divisions[edit]

Hunan is divided into fourteen prefecture-level divisions: thirteen prefecture-level cities and an autonomous prefecture:

Map # Name Administrative
Hanyu Pinyin
Hunan prfc map.png
Prefecture-level city
1 Changsha
(Provincial seat)
Yuelu 长沙市
Chángshā Shì
7,044,118 11,819.46
2 Changde Wuling 常德市
Chángdé Shì
5,747,218 18,177.18
3 Chenzhou Beihu 郴州市
Chénzhōu Shì
4,581,778 19,317.33
4 Hengyang Zhengxiang 衡阳市
Héngyáng Shì
7,141,462 15,302.78
5 Huaihua Hecheng 怀化市
Huáihuà Shì
4,741,948 27,562.72
6 Loudi Louxing 娄底市
Lóudǐ Shì
3,785,627 8,107.61
7 Shaoyang Daxiang 邵阳市
Shàoyáng Shì
7,071,826 20,829.63
8 Xiangtan Yuetang 湘潭市
Xiāngtán Shì
2,748,552 5,006.46
9 Yiyang Heshan 益阳市
Yìyáng Shì
4,313,084 12,325.16
10 Yongzhou Lengshuitan 永州市
Yǒngzhōu Shì
5,180,235 22,255.31
11 Yueyang Yueyanglou 岳阳市
Yuèyáng Shì
5,477,911 14,897.88
12 Zhangjiajie Yongding 张家界市
Zhāngjiājiè Shì
1,476,521 9,516.03
13 Zhuzhou Tianyuan 株洲市
Zhūzhōu Shì
3,855,609 11,262.20
Autonomous prefecture
14 Xiangxi
(for Tujia and Miao)
Jishou 湘西土家族苗族自治州
Xiāngxī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu
2,547,833 15,462.30

The fourteen prefecture-level divisions of Hunan are subdivided into 122 county-level divisions (35 districts, 16 county-level cities, 64 counties, 7 autonomous counties). Those are in turn divided into 2587 township-level divisions (1098 towns, 1158 townships, 98 ethnic townships, 225 subdistricts, and eight district public offices).


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

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


As of the mid 19th century, Hunan exported rhubarb, musk, honey, tobacco, hemp, and birds.[8] The Lake Dongting area is an important center of ramie production, and Hunan is also an important center of tea cultivation. Aside from agricultural products, in recent years Hunan has grown to become an important center for steel, machinery and electronics production, especially as China's manufacturing sector moves away from coastal provinces such as Guangdong and Zhejiang.[9]

The Lengshuijiang area is noted for its stibnite mines, and is one of the major centers of antimony extraction in China.[citation needed]

Hunan is also well known for a few international makers of construction equipments such as concrete pumps, cranes, etc. These companies include Sany Group, Zoomlion and Sunward. Sany is one of the major players in the world. Liuyang is the major maker of fireworks in the world. [10] [11]

Its nominal GDP for 2011 was 1.90 trillion yuan (US$300 billion). Its per capita GDP was 20,226 yuan (US$2,961).[12]

Economic and technological development zones[edit]

  • Changsha National Economic and Technical Development Zone

The Changsha National Economic and Technology Development Zone was founded in 1992. It is located east of Changsha. The total planned area is 38.6 km2 (14.9 sq mi) and the current area is 14 km2 (5.4 sq mi). Near the zone is National Highways G319 and G107 as well as Jingzhu Highway. Besides that, it is very close to the downtown and the railway station. The distance between the zone and the airport is 8 km (5.0 mi). The major industries in the zone include high-tech industry, biology project technology and new material industry.[13]

  • Changsha National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Chenzhou Export Processing Zone

Approved by the State Council, Chenzhou Export processing Zone (CEPZ) was established in 2005 and is the only export processing zone in Hunan province. The scheduled production area of CEPZ covers 3km2. The industrial positioning of CEPZ is to concentrate on developing export-oriented hi-tech industries, including electronic information, precision machinery, and new-type materials. The zone has good infrastructure, and the enterprises inside could enjoy the preferential policies of tax-exemption, tax-guarantee and tax-refunding. By the end of the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan”, the CEPZ achieved a total export and import volume of over US$1 billion and provided more than 50,000 jobs. It aimed to be one of the first-class export processing zones in China.[14]

  • Zhuzhou National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone

Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was founded in 1992. Its total planned area is 35 km2 (14 sq mi). It is very close to National Highway G320. The major industries in the zone include biotechnology, food processing and heavy industry. In 2007, the park signed a cooperation contract with Beijing Automobile Industry, one of the largest auto makers in China, which will set up a manufacturing base in Zhuzhou HTP.[15]


Ethnic minorities areas in Hunan

As of the 2000 census, the population of Hunan is 64,400,700 consisting of forty-one ethnic groups. Its population grew 6.17% (3,742,700) from its 1990 levels. According to the census, 89.79% (57,540,000) identified themselves as Han people, 10.21% (6,575,300) as minority groups. The minority groups are Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Bai, Hui, Zhuang, Uyghurs and so on.

In Hunan, ethnic minority languages are spoken in the following prefectures.

Hunanese Uyghurs[edit]

Around 5,000 Uyghurs live around Taoyuan County and other parts of Changde.[16][17][18][19] Hui and Uyghurs have intermarried in this area.[20][21][22] In addition to eating pork, the Uygurs of Changde practice other Han Chinese customs, like ancestor worship at graves. Some Uyghurs from Xinjiang visit the Hunan Uyghurs out of curiosity or interest.[23] Also, the Uyghurs of Hunan do not speak the Uyghur language, instead, they speak Chinese as their native language.[24]


Circle frame.svg

Religion in Hunan[25][note 1]

  Christianity (0.77%)
  Other religions or not religious people[note 2] (79.04%)

The predominant religions in Hunan are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 20.19% of the population believes and is involved in cults of ancestors, while 0.77% of the population identifies as Christian.[25] The reports didn't give figures for other types of religion; 79.04% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims.

Puguang Buddhist Temple in Yongding, Zhangjiajie.
An ancestral shrine in the province.
Lufeng (Deer Peak) Buddhist Temple in Leiyang.


Xiang Chinese(湘語) is the biggest native language to Hunan province, and it is also a group of Chinese dialects spoken in most parts of Hunan and in a few adjacent areas.

Hunanese cuisine is noted for its use of chili peppers.

Nü shu is a writing system that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County.

Hunan's culture industry generated 87 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) in economic value in 2007,[26] a major contributor to the province's economic growth. The industry accounts for 7.5 percent of the region's GDP - 0.9 percentage points higher than the previous year.[citation needed]


Located in the south central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan has long been known for its natural beauty. It is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and by the Yangtze River on the north. Its mixture of mountains and water makes it among the most beautiful provinces in China. For thousands of years, the region has been a major center of agriculture, growing rice, tea, and oranges. China's first all glass suspension bridge was also opened in Hunan, in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park.[27]

Wulingyuan features thousands of quartzite sandstone peaks.


See List of universities and colleges in Hunan


Professional sports teams in Hunan include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The data was collected by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2009 and by the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) of 2007, reported and assembled by Xiuhua Wang (2015)[25] in order to confront the proportion of people identifying with two similar social structures: ① Christian churches, and ② the traditional Chinese religion of the lineage (i. e. people believing and worshipping ancestral deities often organised into lineage "churches" and ancestral shrines). Data for other religions with a significant presence in China (deity cults, Buddhism, Taoism, folk religious sects, Islam, et. al.) was not reported by Wang.
  2. ^ This may include:


  1. ^ "Doing Business in China – Survey". Ministry Of Commerce – People's Republic Of China. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "National Data: Annual by Province". National Bureau of Statistics of China. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  3. ^ 《2013中国人类发展报告》 (PDF) (in Chinese). United Nations Development Programme China. 2013. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  4. ^ (Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces, People's Daily Online.
  5. ^ 湖南被誉为三湘四水的由来
  6. ^ Harold Wiens. Han Expansion in South China. (Shoe String Press, 1967).
  7. ^ Brian Lander. State Management of River Dikes in Early China: New Sources on the Environmental History of the Central Yangzi Region . T'oung Pao 100.4-5 (2014): 325–362
  8. ^ Roberts, Edmund (1837). Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat. New York: Harper & Brothers. p. 123. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ | Changsha National Economic and Technology Development Zone
  14. ^ | Chenzhou Export Processing Zone
  15. ^ | Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  16. ^ stin Jon Rudelson, Justin Ben-Adam Rudelson (1992). Bones in the sand: the struggle to create Uighur nationalist ideologies in Xinjiang, China. Harvard University. p. 30. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  17. ^ Ingvar Svanberg (1988). The Altaic-speakers of China: numbers and distribution. Centre for Mult[i]ethnic Research, Uppsala University, Faculty of Arts. p. 7. ISBN 91-86624-20-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  18. ^ Ingvar Svanberg (1988). The Altaic-speakers of China: numbers and distribution. Centre for Mult[i]ethnic Research, Uppsala University, Faculty of Arts. p. 7. ISBN 91-86624-20-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  19. ^ Kathryn M. Coughlin (2006). Muslim cultures today: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 220. ISBN 0-313-32386-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  20. ^ Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press,. p. 133. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  21. ^ Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press,. p. 137. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  22. ^ Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press,. p. 138. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  23. ^ Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press,. p. 136. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  24. ^ Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press,. p. 133. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  25. ^ a b c China General Social Survey 2009, Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) 2007. Report by: Xiuhua Wang (2015, p. 15)
  26. ^ according to Hunan Provincial Bureau of Statistics
  27. ^ "China's first glass-bottom bridge opens -". CNN. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 

External links[edit]