Population: 68,602,000 (2018)
Area: 211,800 square kilometers, ranking the 10th in the country, and the first in Central China
Location: Central China
Hunan, which literally means the southern part of the Dongting Lake, is called Xiang for short. Located in the central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan province is next to Jiangxi province in the east, Chongqing municipality and Guizhou province in the west, Guangdong province and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in the south, and Hubei province in the north. Lying in the transitional zone of the country's eastern coastal areas and the midwest areas, and the junction part of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Coastal Open Economic Zone, the province enjoys an advantageous geographical position connecting the east and west, and linking the north and south of the country.
Hunan has a humid subtropical climate. The monsoon rain falls mostly in April, May and June. July and August are uncomfortably hot and humid. The best travel time is fall, when the temperature is cooler and the rainfall lighter. Low temperatures in winter are usually above freezing, with daily highs around 10 C.
Hunan province has large reserves of nonferrous metals and non-metal ores. Discoveries of 144 minerals had been made in 2018, accounting for 83.72 percent of discovered minerals in China. The province boasts 109 types of minerals with proven reserves, including seven energy mineral resources, 39 metal minerals and 61 non-metallic minerals. Viewed as one of the most precious gene banks in China and the world, Hunan has various and abundant biological resources.
Hunan province is one of the most important birthplaces of Chinese civilization and Huaxia culture. It is said that Yandi, also known as Shennong, one of the three legendary primeval kings of the Han people, taught his people how to farm, weave cloth and make earthen wares in the province. The Yuelu Academy in the west of Changsha, founded in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), has been an academic institution for more than 1,000 years. Changsha, the capital city, became the first Chinese city to be recognized as a UNESCO Creative City in media arts in 2017.
With a complete industrial system, Hunan province has 10 advantageous industrial clusters, including engineering machinery, electronic information, new materials, petrochemical engineering, automobiles and auto parts, and lead and zinc cemented carbide and its deep processing. There are four 100-billion-yuan ($14.46 billion) industrial parks in the province: Changsha Economic and Technological Development Zone, Changsha High-tech Zone, Zhuzhou High-tech Zone and Xiangtan Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Hunan, one of the key grain production bases across the country, has been called a land of rice and fish since ancient times. The total grain output in 2018 reached 30.23 million kilograms, of which the rice grain yield ranked first in the whole country for many years, and the output of ramie and tea being first and second in China.
The tertiary industry has witnessed sharp growth, and Hunan has led the country in the broadcasting and television industry over many years.
In 2018, Hunan province recorded a GDP of 3.64 trillion yuan, up 7.8 percent year-on-year. The per capita GDP was 52,949 yuan, an increase of 7.2 percent year-on-year, while value-added industrial output rose 7.4 percent year-on-year to 1.19 trillion yuan in 2018.
Surrounded by mountains on the east, west and south, and by the Yangtze River on the north, Hunan province has long been known for its natural beauty. It boasts two world natural heritage sites–Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, and Shaoyang Langshan Mountain–and 22 national tourist attractions. In 2018, the province received 750 million domestic visitors, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent, while inbound trips by overseas tourists exceeded 3.65 million, growing by 13.1 percent, and Hunan earned 835.57 billion yuan in tourism revenue, up 16.5 percent year-on-year.
Hunan province governs 13 prefecture-level cities and one autonomous prefecture. They are Changsha, its provincial capital, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Hengyang, Shaoyang, Yueyang, Changde, Zhangjiajie, Yiyang, Chenzhou, Yongzhou, Huaihua, Loudi, and Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture.