Henan (河南; formerly romanized as Honan), is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou (中州) which literally means "central plain land" or "midland", although the name is also applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, and remained China's cultural, economical, and political center until approximately 1,000 years ago.

Henan province is a home to a large number of heritage sites which have been left behind including the ruins of Shang dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou are located in Henan. The practice of Tai Chi also began in Chen Jia Gou Village (Chen style), as did the later Yang and Wu styles.[5]

Although the name of the province (河南) means "south of the [Yellow] river",[6] 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 94 million. If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 14th most populous country in the world, ahead of Egypt and Vietnam.

Henan is the 5th largest provincial economy of China and the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to other eastern and central provinces.

Henan is considered to be one of the less developed areas in China. The economy continues to grow based on aluminum and coal prices, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, tourism, and retail. High-tech industries and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang.

Henan Province

Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese河南省 (Hénán Shěng)
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°ECoordinates: 33°54′N 113°30′E / 33.9°N 113.5°E
(and largest city)
Divisions17 prefectures, 159 counties, 2,455 townships
 • SecretaryWang Guosheng
 • GovernorChen Run'er
 • Total167,000 km2 (64,000 sq mi)
Area rank17th
Highest elevation
2,413.8 m (7,919.3 ft)
 • Total95,324,200
 • Rank3rd
 • Density570/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
 • Density rank7th
 • Ethnic compositionHan – 98.8%
Hui – 1%
 • Languages and dialectsZhongyuan Mandarin, Jin
ISO 3166 codeCN-HA
GDP (2018)CNY 4.81 trillion
USD 725.92 billion [3] (5th)
 • per capitaCNY 50,058
USD 7,562 (19th)
HDI (2014)0.727[4] (high) (22nd)
Henan (Chinese characters)
"Henan" in Chinese characters
Literal meaning"South of the (Yellow) River"


Widely regarded as the Cradle of Chinese civilization along with Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, Henan is known for its historical prosperity and periodic downturns. 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. Kaifeng, in particular, has been buried by the Yellow River's silt seven times due to flooding.

Ancient Era

Owl's face
A Yangshao pot that resembles an owl face.

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, 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, Yin, located in modern Anyang, is where the first Chinese writing was created.

In the 11th century BC, the Zhou dynasty of Shaanxi arrived from the west and overthrew the Shang dynasty. 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.

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

Ying Zheng, the leader of Qin, crowned himself (220 BCE) as the First Emperor. 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. 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.

Mural Painting of a Banquet Scene from the Han Dynasty Tomb of Ta-hu-t'ing
A late Eastern Han (25–220 AD) Chinese tomb mural showing lively scenes of a banquet (宴饮; yànyǐn), dance and music (舞乐; wǔyuè), acrobatics (百戏; bǎixì), and wrestling (相扑; xiāngpū), from the Dahuting Tomb(Chinese: 打虎亭汉墓,; pinyin: Dáhǔtíng Hànmù), on the southern bank of the Suihe River in Zhengzhou, Henan (just west of Xi County)

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. 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.[7] 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 River 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.[8][9] 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 province, 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

The Qing dynasty was overthrown by the 1911 Revolution and then the Republic of China was established in 1912, during which a man from Hanan, Yuan Shikai, played an important role and thus he became the first president of Republic of China.[10] 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 the Japanese forces from advancing further. 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. Grain requisition policies were continued by Chinese and Japanese authorities despite the shortage of food, making the death toll far greater than it might have been otherwise.

In 1954, the new government of the People's Republic of China moved the capital of Henan from Kaifeng to Zhengzhou, 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.

In 1958, Yashan in Suiping County, Henan, became the first people's commune of China, heralding the beginning of the "Great Leap Forward". 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 lives were lost.[11]

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.[12][13] Unofficial human life loss estimates, including deaths from the ensuing epidemics and famine, range as high as 85,600,[12] 171,000[14] or even 230 000.[12] This is considered the most deadly dam-related disaster in human history.[12]

By the early 1970s, China was one of the poorest countries in the world, and Henan was one of the poorest provinces in China. 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 Chinese and the Muslim Hui Chinese.[15] The reported number of deaths ranged between 7 and 148.


Luoyang - Boddhisatvas at Longmen Grotto
Longmen Grottoes (Mt. Longmen), Luoyang, Henan

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).[16]

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 riverbed 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.

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

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
Henan prfc map

     Prefecture-level city district areas      County-level cities

Division code[17] Division Area in km2[18] Population 2010[19] Seat Divisions[20]
Districts* Counties CL cities
  410000 Henan Province 167000.00 94,023,567 Zhengzhou city 52 85 21
1 410100 Zhengzhou city 7532.56 8,626,505 Zhongyuan District 6 1 5
5 410200 Kaifeng city 6260.95 4,676,159 Gulou District 5 4
7 410300 Luoyang city 15229.83 6,549,486 Luolong District 6 8 1
9 410400 Pingdingshan city 7909.42 4,904,367 Xinhua District 4 4 2
2 410500 Anyang city 7354.11 5,172,834 Beiguan District 4 4 1
3 410600 Hebi city 2136.85 1,569,100 Qibin District 3 2
13 410700 Xinxiang city 8249.45 5,707,801 Weibin District 4 6 2
4 410800 Jiaozuo city 4000.89 3,539,860 Jiefang District 4 4 2
10 410900 Puyang city 4187.90 3,598,494 Hualong District 1 5
15 411000 Xuchang city 4978.36 4,307,199 Weidu District 2 2 2
6 411100 Luohe city 6260.95 2,544,103 Yancheng District 3 2
11 411200 Sanmenxia city 9936.65 2,233,872 Hubin District 2 2 2
8 411300 Nanyang city 26508.69 10,263,006 Wolong District 2 10 1
12 411400 Shangqiu city 10700.23 7,362,472 Liangyuan District 2 6 1
14 411500 Xinyang city 18908.27 6,108,683 Shihe District 2 8
16 411600 Zhoukou city 11959.40 8,953,172 Chuanhui District 1 8 1
17 411700 Zhumadian city 15095.30 7,230,744 Yicheng District 1 9
18 419001 Jiyuan city** 1893.76 675,710 Qinyuan Subdistrict 1
* – including Ethnic districts

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

The seventeen prefecture-level divisions and one directly administered county-level city of Henan are subdivided into 158 county-level divisions (52 districts,21 county-level cities, and 85 counties; the sub-prefecture-level city of Jiyuan is counted as a county-level city here). Those are in turn divided into 2440 township-level divisions (866 towns, 1234 townships, twelve ethnic townships, and 328 subdistricts).

Urban areas

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.


Historical population
1912[22] 28,518,000—    
1928[23] 30,566,000+7.2%
1936–37[24] 34,290,000+12.2%
1947[25] 29,654,000−13.5%
1954[26] 44,214,594+49.1%
1964[27] 50,325,511+13.8%
1982[28] 74,422,739+47.9%
1990[29] 85,509,535+14.9%
2000[30] 91,236,854+6.7%
2010[31] 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.[32] 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;[33] 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)[34]

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

According to a 2012 survey[34] 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,[35] 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%.[36]

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 believes and is involved in ancestor veneration, the traditional Chinese religion of the lineages organised into lineage churches and ancestral shrines.[36]

行摄梓地 www.hiroko.cn MRG 7296
Detail with incense burner at the Guanlin, Temple Mausoleum of Guandi in Luoyang.
Indian Temple in White Horse Temple
Indian style pavilion of the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China.
City god temple in Anyang
Temple of the Chenghuangshen (City God) of Anyang.
Spring Temple Buddha
The Zhongyuan Buddha (Great Buddha of the Central Plains) of the Temple of the Spring in Lushan is currently the highest 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 Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary, colloquially termed the "Henan CPC Party Chief".


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, though still relatively impoverished on a national scale. In 2011, Henan's nominal GDP was 3.20 trillion RMB (US$427 billion),[37] making it the fifth largest economy in China, although it ranks nineteenth in terms of GDP per capita.

Henan is a semi-industrialized economy with an underdeveloped service sector. In 2009, Henan's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 277 billion RMB (US$40 billion), 1.097 trillion RMB (US$160 billion), and 563 billion RMB (US$82 billion), respectively. 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. Food production and processing makes up more than 14% of the output from the province's secondary industry,[38] and it is said that 90% of Chinese McDonald's and KFC ingredients comes from Henan.[39]

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. Export and processing of these materials is one of the main sources of revenues.

Henan is actively trying to build 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.[38] In 2008, the total trade volume (import and export) was US$17.5 billion, including US$10.7 billion for exports. Since 2002, 7,111 foreign enterprises have been approved, and foreign funds (FDI) of US$10.64 billion have been used in contracts with a realized FDI of US$5.3 billion. Foreign exchanges are increasing continuously. Friendly provincial relationships have been established with 16 states (districts) in the United States, Japan, Russia, France, Germany, and others. Some cities of Henan have established friendly relationships (sister city) with thirty-two foreign cities.

Henan's service sector is rather small and underdeveloped. Finance and commerce are largely concentrated in urban centers such as Zhengzhou and Luoyang, where the economy is fueled by a large and relatively affluent consumer base. In order to make the economy more knowledge- and technology-based, the government established a number of development zones in all of the major cities, promoting industries such as software, information technologies, new materials, bio-pharmaceutical and photo-machinery-electronics.[40] Henan is a major destination for tourists, with places such as Shaolin Temple and Longmen Grottoes attracting millions of tourists each year.


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 intersects at Zhengzhou. Other railway hubs such as Shangqiu, Xinxiang, and Luohe have also become important centers of trade and manufacturing as a result. A high-speed railway links Zhengzhou with Xi'an. 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 dialect" in popular usage, with easily identifiable stereotypical features.
  • Yu opera (Yuju) 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 cuisine of Kaifeng.
  • 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. Henan is one of the few provinces which has many historical relics in the country. There are 16 key national units of protecting historical relics and 267 provincial units of protecting historical relics. The over-ground historical relics are the second in China in number. Historical relics in museums take up one-eighth of those in China, and the underground historical relics are the first in China in number. In Henan Museum there are 120,000 historical relics, including over 40,000 rare ones.

Colleges and universities

Public (a partial list)

Auditorium of Henan University
Henan University


Zhengzhou Unviersity Teaching Area
Zhengzhou University

Notable individuals

Sports teams

Professional sports teams in Henan include;

See also


  1. ^ "Doing Business in China – Survey". Ministry of Commerce – People's Republic of China. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  2. ^ "百度百科-河南". National Bureau of Statistics of China.
  3. ^ "Statistical Communiqué of Henan on the 2017 National Economic and Social Development / 河南省2017年国民经济和社会发展统计公报" (in Chinese). Statistical Bureau of Henan. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. ^ 《2013中国人类发展报告》 (PDF) (in Chinese). United Nations Development Programme China. 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.china-taichi-guide.com/Taichi-Locations/Chenjiagou.php
  6. ^ (in Chinese) Origin of the Names of China's Provinces, People's Daily Online.
  7. ^ "What Were the Largest Cities Throughout History?". about.com.
  8. ^ "Ethics of China 7 BC To 1279 by Sanderson Beck". beck.org.
  9. ^ http://www.upkorea.net/news/photo/7345-2-7037.pdf
  10. ^ Shan, Patrick Fuliang (2018). Yuan Shikai: A Reappraisal, The University of British Columbia Press. ISBN 9780774837781.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 21 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ 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, pp. 25–38.
  13. ^ english@peopledaily.com.cn. "People's Daily Online – After 30 years, secrets, lessons of China's worst dams burst accident surface". people.com.cn.
  14. ^ Evan Osnos, "Faust, China, and Nuclear Power". New Yorker, 2011-10-12
  15. ^ Nanren, Hannah Beech (4 November 2004). "Henan's Ethnic Tensions" – via www.time.com.
  16. ^ http://dy.163.com/v2/article/detail/CTSRLRBH0524E1T0.html
  17. ^ 中华人民共和国县以上行政区划代码 (in Chinese). Ministry of Civil Affairs.
  18. ^ Shenzhen Bureau of Statistics. 《深圳统计年鉴2014》 (in Chinese). China Statistics Print. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Ministry of Civil Affairs (August 2014). 《中国民政统计年鉴2014》 (in Chinese). China Statistics Print. ISBN 978-7-5037-7130-9.
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External links


Anyang (simplified Chinese: 安阳; traditional Chinese: 安陽; pinyin: Ānyáng; [án.jǎŋ]) is a prefecture-level city in Henan province, China. The northernmost city in Henan, Anyang borders Puyang to the east, Hebi and Xinxiang to the south, and the provinces of Shanxi and Hebei to its west and north respectively.

It has a total population of 5,172,834 as of the 2010 census, 2,025,811 of whom live in the metropolitan area made of 4 urban districts and Anyang County largely agglomerated with the city proper.

Chinese famine of 1942–43

The Chinese famine of 1942–43 occurred mainly in Henan, most particularly within the eastern and central part of the province. The famine occurred within the context of the Second Sino-Japanese War and resulted from a combination of natural and human factors. 2 to 3 million people died of starvation or disease and upwards of 4 million fled Henan.


Dengfeng (Chinese: 登封; pinyin: Dēngfēng; postal: Tengfeng) is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, China. In ancient times, it was known as Yangcheng (simplified Chinese: 阳城; traditional Chinese: 陽城; pinyin: Yángchéng).Dengfeng has an area of 1,220 km2 (470 sq mi) and a population of 630,000. It occupies the southwestern corner of Zhengzhou and is its westernmost county-level division.

Dengfeng is located at the foot of the Mount Song, one of the most sacred mountains in China. The city is one of the most renowned spiritual centres of China, home to various religious institutions and temples, such as the Taoist Zhongyue Temple, the Buddhist Shaolin Temple, as well as the Confucian Songyang Academy, hence its poetic expression derived from Chinese literature as the spiritual "centre of heaven and earth".


Dengzhou (simplified Chinese: 邓州; traditional Chinese: 鄧州; pinyin: Dèngzhōu), formerly Deng County (邓县; 鄧縣; Dèng Xiàn), is a city in Nanyang, Henan, China. It has an area of 2,294 km2 (886 sq mi) and a population of 1,500,000. The urban area is 35 km², and the urban population is 300,000. The city is located in the southwest of Henan province, adjacent to the borders between Henan, Hubei and Shaanxi. It geometrically lies in the center of the triangle of Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Xi'an, with equal distance to any of these three cities.

It is a city with a long cultural history in China. Historically well known celebrities include: Zhang Zhongjing (ancient Chinese medicine practitioner with superb skills), Han Yu (great poet), Kou Zhun (most respected senator of Song dynasty), Fan Zhongyan (great writer), Yao Xueyin (modern writer), Zhou Daxin (modern writer) etc.

G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway

The Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway (Chinese: 北京-香港-澳门高速公路), commonly referred to as the Jinggang'ao Expressway (Chinese: 京港澳高速公路) is a 2,272.65-kilometre-long expressway (1,412.16 mi) that connects the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, at the border with Hong Kong. The expressway terminates at the Huanggang Port Control Point in Shenzhen, opposite the Lok Ma Chau border control point in Hong Kong. The connection to Zhuhai at the Macau border is made using the spur line G4W Guangzhou–Macau Expressway, which branches off from the main line in Guangzhou. When the expressway was completed in October 2004, it was China's first completed north-south expressway route.


Hebi (simplified Chinese: 鹤壁; traditional Chinese: 鶴壁; pinyin: Hèbì [xɤ̂.pî]; postal: Hopi) is a prefecture-level city in northern Henan province, China. Situated in mountainous terrain at the edge of the Shanxi plateau, Hebi is about 25 miles (40 km) south of Anyang, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Xinxiang and 65 miles (105 km) north of Kaifeng.

Hebi has several coal mines. The city is also home to Hebi New Area, an economic development zone.

Henan Jianye F.C.

Henan Jianye Football Club (simplified Chinese: 河南建业; traditional Chinese: 河南建業; pinyin: Hénán Jiànyè) is a professional football club that currently participates in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is based in Zhengzhou (Chinese: 郑州市), in the province of Henan (Chinese: 河南省) and their home stadium is the Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium that has a seating capacity of 29,860. Their owners are the Jianye Residential Group (China) Co., Ltd., which is part of the Central China Real Estate Limited.The clubs predecessor was the Henan Provincial Team who were founded in 1958 while the current professional football team was established on August 27, 1994. The club have never won the league title and the highest position they have ever achieved was when they came third in the 2009 Chinese Super League season.


Jiaozuo (Chinese: 焦作; pinyin: Jiāozuò [tɕjáu.tswô]; postal: Tsiaotso) is a prefecture-level city in northern Henan province, China. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yellow River, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the south, Xinxiang to the east, Jiyuan to the west, Luoyang to the southwest, and the province of Shanxi to the north.Jiaozuo is one of the core cities of the Central Plains urban agglomeration and a regional central city in the Jin-Yu border area.link

Its population was 3,700,000 at the 2016 census whom 1,301,732 live in the built-up area made of 4 urban districts (Jiefang, Shanyang, Zhongzhan and Macun) and Bo'ai County being urbanized.

Jiaozuo enjoys a humid subtropical climate with continental climate influences. Winters are cool and relatively dry while summers are hot and often rainy. Average temperature ranges from 0.3 °C in January to 27.5 °C in July. Extremes exist from -22.4 °C to 43.6 °C. Precipitation averages 659 mm.


Kaifeng (Chinese: 开封), known previously by several names, is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, China. It is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China, for being the capital seven times in history, and is most famous for being the capital of China in the Northern Song dynasty.

There are currently about 5 million people living in its metropolitan area. Located along the southern bank of the Yellow River, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the west, Xinxiang to the northwest, Shangqiu to the east, Zhoukou to the southeast, Xuchang to the southwest, and Heze of Shandong to the northeast.

Linzhou, Henan

Linzhou (Chinese: 林州; pinyin: Línzhōu), formerly Lin County or Linxian ((simplified Chinese: 林县; traditional Chinese: 林縣; pinyin: Lín Xiàn)), is a county-level city in Anyang, Henan, China. Adjacent to Shanxi Province and Hebei Province, it is located in the north of Henan Province and at the eastern foot of the Taihang Mountains. It covers an area of 2046 square kilometers and has a population of about one million.Linzhou is well known for its Red Flag Canal, which was constructed in the 1960s.


Luoyang (Luòyáng) is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River in the west of Henan province. Governed as a prefecture-level city, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast. As of the final 2010 census, Luoyang had a population of 6,549,941 inhabitants with 1,857,003 people living in the built-up (or metro) area made of the city's five urban districts, all of which except the Jili District are not urbanized yet.Situated on the central plain of China, Luoyang is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, and is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

Nanyang, Henan

Nanyang (simplified Chinese: 南阳; traditional Chinese: 南陽; pinyin: Nányáng) is a prefecture-level city in the southwest of Henan province, China. The city with the largest administrative area in Henan, Nanyang borders Xinyang to the southeast, Zhumadian to the east, Pingdingshan to the northeast, Luoyang to the north, Sanmenxia to the northwest, the province of Shaanxi to the west, and the province of Hubei to the south.

It had 10,263,660 inhabitants at the 2010 census, ranking eleventh in China. However, 1,811,812 residents live in the built-up area made of three urban districts (High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Wolong and Wancheng).Dinosaur egg fossils have been discovered in the Nanyang Basin.

The 35,000 capacity Nanyang Sports Centre Stadium is the main (football) venue in the city.

Operation Ichi-Go

Operation Ichi-Go (一号作戦 Ichi-gō Sakusen, lit. "Operation Number One") was a campaign of a series of major battles between the Imperial Japanese Army forces and the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China, fought from April to December 1944. It consisted of three separate battles in the Chinese provinces of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi.

These battles were the Japanese Operation Kogo or Battle of Central Henan, Operation Togo 1 or the Battle of Changheng, and Operation Togo 2 and Togo 3, or the Battle of Guilin-Liuzhou, respectively. The two primary goals of Ichi-go were to open a land route to French Indochina, and capture air bases in southeast China from which American bombers were attacking the Japanese homeland and shipping.In Japanese the operation was also called Tairiku Datsū Sakusen (大陸打通作戦), or "Continent Cross-Through Operation", while the Chinese refer to it as the Battle of Henan-Hunan-Guangxi (simplified Chinese: 豫湘桂会战; traditional Chinese: 豫湘桂會戰; pinyin: Yù Xīang Guì Huìzhàn).


Sanmenxia (simplified Chinese: 三门峡; traditional Chinese: 三門峽; pinyin: Sānménxiá; postal: Sanmenhsia) is a prefecture-level city in the west of Henan Province, China. The westernmost prefecture-level city in Henan, Sanmenxia borders Luoyang to the east, Nanyang to the southeast, Shaanxi Province to the west and Shanxi Province to the north. The city lies on the south side of the Yellow River at the point where the river cuts through the Loess Plateau on its way to the North China Plain.

It was home to 2,234,018 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 583,869 lived in the built-up area made of Hubin urban district and Pinglu county in Yuncheng, now within the agglomeration.

Shaolin Monastery

The Shaolin Monastery (Chinese: 少林寺; pinyin: Shàolín sì), also known as the Shaolin Temple, is a Chan ("Zen") Buddhist temple in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. Believed to have been founded in the 5th century CE, the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.

Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the "Historic Monuments of Dengfeng".


Weihui (simplified Chinese: 卫辉; traditional Chinese: 衛輝; pinyin: Wèihuī), formerly Jixian or Ji County (Chinese: 汲县), is a county-level city in the north of Henan province, China. It is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Xinxiang. The city has an area of 882 km2 (341 sq mi) and a population of 480,000


Xuchang (Chinese: 许昌; postal: Hsuchang) is a prefecture-level city in central Henan province in Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the northwest, Kaifeng to the northeast, Zhoukou to the east, Luohe to the southeast, and Pingdingshan to the southwest.

Its population was 4,307,488 inhabitants at the final 2010 census, of whom 1,952,666 lived in the built-up (or "metro") area made up of Weidu and Jian'an districts, Xuchang county and Changge City largely being urbanized. In 2007, the city was named as one of China's top ten livable cities by Chinese Cities Brand Value Report, which was released at 2007 Beijing Summit of China Cities Forum.

Yuzhou, Henan

Yuzhou (Chinese: 禹州; pinyin: Yǔzhōu; Wade–Giles: Yü-chou) is a county-level city in the central part of Henan province, People's Republic of China. It occupies the northwest corner of the prefecture-level city of Xuchang. The Xia Dynasty established the capital in Yuzhou, and Yuzhou was named for Yu the Great. There is a statue for Yu the Great (大禹像) in Yuzhou, and it is the symbol of the city.

The most famous specialty of Yuzhou is the "Jun-porcelain (钧瓷)" in the town of Shenhou (神垕镇), together with the "Ru (汝)", "Guan (官)", "Ge (哥)", "Ding (定)" porcelain,they were called five famous porcelain in the Northern Song Dynasty.

Also,Yuzhou is the main distribution center of Chinese herbal medicine in history.The Medicine King "Sun Simiao (孙思邈)", who has been a doctor here for a long time in Tang Dynasty.

For now, it was named the first historical and cultural city in Henan Province in 1989. In 2011, it was named "China Ceramics Historical and Cultural City",and in 2018, it was named "National Health City" by the National Aiwei Office.


Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan Province in the central part of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the National Central Cities in China, the centre of Central Plains area and serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational center of the province, as well as a major transportation hub in China (highway, railway, aviation, communication). The Zhengzhou metropolitan area (including Zhengzhou and Kaifeng) is the core area of the Central Plains Economic Zone.Zhengzhou is a National Civilized City, State-list Famous Historical and Culture City, one of the Eight Ancient Capital Cities and one of the birthplaces of Chinese Civilization, and the birthplace of the Yellow Emperor. Historically, Zhengzhou was the capital of China for a thousand years (five times). Currently, there are two World Cultural Heritage Sites (including 15 places) in Zhengzhou. The Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) is China's first futures exchange, Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone is China's first Airport Economy Zone.The city lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River, and is one of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China. As a center of China's national transportation network, there are railways connecting Zhengzhou and Europe, and a bustling international airport (Asia, Europe, Africa, America, Oceania).Zhengzhou has a population of 10,120,000 inhabitants,and had a GDP of 1,014 billion(RMB) in 2018. The city is one of the main built-up areas of Henan region. Greater Zhengzhou was named as one of the 13 emerging mega-cities in China in a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and officially named as the eighth National Central City in 2017 by the central government in Beijing.In 2011, a Journeyman documentary showcased the developments of the Zhengdong New Area of Zhengzhou as a ghost city. However, by 2016, the district had over 1.42 million residents and became the financial hub of Henan Province.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinHénán
Bopomofoㄏㄜˊ   ㄋㄢˊ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhHernan
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationHòh-nàahm
Southern Min
Administrative divisions in Chinese and varieties of romanizations
English Chinese Pinyin
Henan Province 河南省 Hénán Shěng
Zhengzhou city 郑州市 Zhèngzhōu Shì
Kaifeng city 开封市 Kāifēng Shì
Luoyang city 洛阳市 Luòyáng Shì
Pingdingshan city 平顶山市 Píngdǐngshān Shì
Anyang city 安阳市 Ānyáng Shì
Hebi city 鹤壁市 Hèbì Shì
Xinxiang city 新乡市 Xīnxiāng Shì
Jiaozuo city 焦作市 Jiāozuò Shì
Puyang city 濮阳市 Púyáng Shì
Xuchang city 许昌市 Xǔchāng Shì
Luohe city 漯河市 Luòhé Shì
Sanmenxia city 三门峡市 Sānménxiá Shì
Nanyang city 南阳市 Nányáng Shì
Shangqiu city 商丘市 Shāngqiū Shì
Xinyang city 信阳市 Xìnyáng Shì
Zhoukou city 周口市 Zhōukǒu Shì
Zhumadian city 驻马店市 Zhùmǎdiàn Shì
Jiyuan city 济源市 Jìyuán Shì
Population by urban areas of prefecture & county cities
# City Urban area[21] District area[21] City proper[21] 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[a] 725,573 896,117 4,676,483 2010-11-01
(7) Kaifeng (new district)[a] 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[b] 466,341 498,087 4,307,488 2010-11-01
(13) Xuchang (new district)[b] 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[c] 285,153 325,628 2,234,018 2010-11-01
(29) Sanmenxia (new district)[c] 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
Places adjacent to Henan
Henan topics
Visitor attractions
Prefecture-level cities
Autonomous regions
Special administrative regions

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