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陝西 省  /  陕西 省
Shǎnxī Shěng
Abbreviation : or ( Pinyin : Shǎn or Qín)
Capital Xi'an

 - Total
 - share in the

Rank 11 out of 33

205,600 km²


 - Total 2018
 - density

Rank 16 out of 33

38,644,000 inhabitants
185 inhabitants / km²

Management type province
governor Liu Guozhong
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ISO-3166-2 code CN-SN
District level 10 cities
District level 71 counties, 30 city districts, 6 cities
Community level

Shaanxi ( Chinese  陝西 省  /  陕西 省 , Pinyin Shǎnxī ? / I Shěng ) is a province in the middle of the People's Republic of China . It is considered one of the cradles of Chinese culture and for more than a thousand years several important dynasties had their capital in the Shaanxi area. Despite the central location, the industry around the provincial capital Xi'an and the long history, it is one of the poorer provinces in the country. Audio file / audio sample


The name of the province is derived from the term 陕 (Shǎn), which in the Zhou period referred to the area west of the gorges of the Yellow River. According to the rules of the official Romanization Pinyin, the province name is to be transcribed as Shǎnxī . However, since the clay markers are often not written, this would lead to the same name as the neighboring province of Shānxī . For this reason, Shǎnxī is reproduced as Shaanxi in the romanization without a clay marker . In older transliteration the province was Schensi while Shanxi as Shansi was transcribed.


Shaanxi covers a territory of 205,600 square kilometers with a north-south extension of 878 kilometers and a west-east extension of 517 kilometers. It is the easternmost province of northwest China and borders the provinces of Shanxi and Henan in the east, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north , Ningxia and Gansu in the west and the provinces of Hubei and Sichuan in the south on the government-direct city of Chongqing .

Relief and waters

The province is divided into three regions by the Northern Mountains and the Qin Ling . The Mu-Us desert and the loess plateau in the north, furrowed by deep erosion channels , cover around 40% of the territory with 82,200 square kilometers and are located at heights of between 900 and 1900 meters. In the central part of Shaanxi there is the traditional Guanzhong region around the Wei River, a plain that covers 49,400 square kilometers or about 24% of the area of ​​the province and is 460 to 850 meters above sea level. In the south are the Qin Ling and Daba Shan mountains , this region covers about 74,000 square kilometers or 36% of the area of ​​Shaanxi and is located at 1000 to 3000 meters above sea level. With the Hua Shan , Taibai Shan , Zhongnan Shan and Li Shan, there are several nationally famous mountains or mountain peaks in Shaanxi. About 10% of the province is desert, especially in the north; 20% are covered with steppe vegetation, 20% of the area is agricultural land - they are mainly located in the valleys of the rivers - and 42% are forest areas, only a fraction of which is actually covered with forest.

The northern two thirds of Shaanxi are located in the catchment area of ​​the Yellow River , which flows 716 kilometers through the province. It has cut deeply into the loess plateau and winds between steep slopes and several gorges. On the border with the neighboring province of Shanxi , the Hukou waterfall is the largest waterfall in the river. In Shaanxi, the Yellow River receives numerous tributaries, 349 of which have a catchment area of more than 100 square kilometers. The largest of these is the 818-kilometer-long Wei River , and other major tributaries are the Kuye He , Wuding He , Yan He , Luo He and Jing He .

The southern third of Shaanxi lies in the catchment area of ​​the Yangtze River . Although this river does not flow through the province, it receives the water from 1772 rivers that flow directly or indirectly into the Yangtze. The most important of these rivers are the Han Jiang , the Jialing Jiang and their tributaries Dan Jiang and Bao He . A total of 31 billion cubic meters of water is carried away annually through the Yangtze from Shaanxi; Due to the rainfall, two thirds of Shaanxi's water resources are in the southern third of the province.

Shaanxi has very few natural lakes, but as of 2018 there were 1102 reservoirs with a total capacity of 9.4 billion cubic meters of water. In addition, large agricultural areas are artificially irrigated by dams and dykes. The Shaanxi rivers are mostly shallow and dry out regularly, so that only the Han Jiang and some sections of the Yellow River are navigable.

Climate and natural disasters

The east-west running Qin Ling Mountains form a weather divide between north and south China and the north and south of Shaanxi. While the north near the Great Wall of China belongs to the cold-temperate climate zone , most of the north is in the cool-temperate climate zone . The climate south of the mountains is subtropical . The climate of Shaanxi knows four seasons: Spring is generally relatively low in precipitation and changeable, dust storms often occur. Summer is very hot and dry, autumn cool and humid, winter cold to very cold and dry. The annual average temperatures are between 9 ° C and 16 ° C and rise to the south and east. Agriculture on the loess plateau is impaired by lack of water and severe winters: here, only between 400 and 500 millimeters of precipitation fall annually. In the southern mountains, however, around 1200 millimeters of precipitation fall annually, while in central Shaanxi it is between 500 and 700 millimeters.

Shaanxi has suffered many devastating droughts throughout its history, occurring every two to three decades, lasting two years, and causing up to 20% of the population to starve. The last such catastrophes occurred in 1899/1900 and 1929/31; Since then, Shaanxi's connection to modern transport and the construction of irrigation systems have alleviated the danger. Another danger is heavy rain in summer, which swells small rivers in the loess plain and turns them into destructive currents that carry a lot of sediment with them and not only carry everything along on their way, but also bury large areas under a thick layer of mud. Shaanxi is repeatedly hit by earthquakes; the 1556 earthquake is one of the most devastating in the history of China.


Most of the major cities are located in the densely populated valley of the Wei River , including the provincial capital Xi'an , Weinan , Baoji and Xianyang . Two thirds of the population live in the Wei River Plain.

The ten largest cities in the province with the actual urban settlement population as of the 2010 census are as follows:

rank city population rank city population
1 Xi'an 5,206,253 6th Ankang 379,707
2 Baoji 871.940 7th Hanzhong 350.167
3 Xianyang 835,648 8th Weinan 347.484
4th Tongchuan 463.866 9 Yan'an 336.856
5 Yulin 429.189 10 Shenmu 282,650

Administrative division

The Chinese province of Shaanxi

As of the end of 2018, Shaanxi Province was made up of ten district-free cities (the numbers correspond to the adjacent map):

  1. Xi'an City ( 西安市 );
  2. City of Ankang ( 安康 市 );
  3. Baoji City ( 寶雞 市  /  宝鸡 市 );
  4. Hanzhong City ( 漢中 市  /  汉中 市 );
  5. Shangluo City ( 商洛 市 ).
  6. Tongchuan City ( 銅川 市  /  铜川 市 );
  7. City of Weinan ( 渭南 市 );
  8. Xianyang City ( 咸陽 市  /  咸阳 市 );
  9. Yan'an City ( 延安 市 );
  10. Yulin City ( 榆林 市 );

At the district level, the above-mentioned administrative units were composed of five independent cities , 27 urban districts and 72 districts as of the end of 2018 .


The first hominids settled here as early as 1.15 million years ago and spread along the Yellow River , the Lantian man lived in the region in the Pleistocene . Shaanxi is considered to be one of the most important cradles of Chinese civilization. Fourteen dynasties resided here for more than 1000 years, including the Zhou , Qin , Han and Tang dynasties.

On January 23 and February 2, 1556 , 830,000 people were killed in the earthquake in Shaanxi in 1556 , the worst earthquake in history, which also affected areas in today's neighboring provinces. During the Dungan uprisings , the provincial capital Xi'an was besieged by Taiping rebels invading the south of the province in 1862, and then by Muslim Hui the following year. Until 1872, the Hui controlled mainly the north and west of the province, but also other areas in southern Shaanxi and large parts of northern China. During the Muslim uprisings, millions of Hui, as well as numerous Han, were killed, after which the majority of the Muslim communities in the province were destroyed or weakened.

At the end of 1911, Xi'an was also hit by the revolution, and Shaanxi province renounced the imperial central government. After the establishment of the Republic of China , Shaanxi was drawn into the civil war between Northern Militarists , Nationalists and Communists from 1916 onwards . If the province was under the influence of the Anhui clique around 1920, the Zhili generals dominated around 1924 and the Guominjun in 1926 . The " Chinese Soviet Republic " of Yan'an , established by communists in 1935, was located in the northern part of the province, while the 1936 incident in Xi'an took place in the southern part .


At the end of 2018, Shaanxi had a resident population of 38,644,000. It had grown by 289,600 people compared to the previous year. The urban population was 22,463,800 people, or 58.13% of the province's resident population. The proportion of men is 51.61% of the resident population, which is a consequence of widespread infanticide. 14.5% of the population were under 14 years old, 74.1% was between the ages of 15 and 64 years, and 11.4% was older than 65 years. There were 410,800 births and 240,200 deaths in 2018, which is a natural growth of 0.44%. The 2000 population census showed a total population of 35,365,072 people in 9,429,482 households, of which 18,378,759 men and 16,986,313 women. The same population census found that 8,820,129 people under the age of 14, 24,368,981 people between the ages of 15 and 64, and 2,175,962 people over the age of 65 lived in Shaanxi.

The majority of the population is Han , there are also Muslim Hui . Next to the drum tower in Xi'an there is a Muslim quarter in which a wooden mosque from the Tang period has been preserved to this day .

Up until the end of the 19th century, the Hui and other Muslim peoples of China made up over 78% of the population at that time (6.5 million out of 8.3 million inhabitants). Today it is less than 1%.

Population development

Population growth in the province since 1954.

year population
1953 census 15,881,281
1964 census 20,766,915
1982 census 28,904,423
1990 census 32,882,000
2000 census 36,050,000
2010 census 37,327,379
Guess 2018 38,644,000


The gross domestic product of Shaanxi Province was about 2,444 billion yuan in 2018 . 7.5% of the total was generated in the primary sector , 49.7% in the secondary sector and 42.8% in the tertiary sector. The GDP per capita was 63,477 yuan in 2018, up 7.5%.

Agriculture contributed about 138 billion yuan to the gross domestic product in 2018. Grain was grown on 3 million hectares, with summer crops being harvested in the north, while wheat, maize, cotton and rapeseed are grown in the plain of the Wei River. Cotton cultivation has been declining since the 1970s at the expense of growing tobacco, vegetables and oilseeds. In the mountainous south, the cultivation of grain on terrace fields dominates. Here maize cultivation was carried out on 12.4 million hectares of forestry, 8.4 million pigs, 1.5 million cattle, 8.7 million sheep and goats and 72 million poultry were kept. The meat production amounted to 1.14 million tons.

Shaanxi's industrialization began in the 1930s. Since the 1950s, heavy and armaments industries have been settled in the province because the region is considered a bridge to western China and is far from the coast. This is why there are important companies in the Chinese aircraft, mechanical engineering and armaments industries around Xi'an, but the state-owned companies in particular fell into a crisis in the 1990s because they were not competitive with companies in the coastal provinces. The industry contributed around 963 billion yuan to gross domestic product in 2018, an increase of 9% over 2017. Power generation and high-tech industries grew the most, with public fixed assets increasing by 15.1%. Shaanxi's exports were 208 billion yuan in 2018 and grew 25.3%, while imports were 143.5 billion yuan and grew 35.4%.

Large areas of Shaanxi, especially in the north and in regions of the south affected by environmental degradation, are financially supported by the central government.


UNESCO World Heritage Site in the provincial capital Xi'an: Terracotta army in the mausoleum of Qin Shihuangdis, the founder of China's empire

The provincial capital Xi'an is one of the most historically interesting cities in China. The old capital, which flourished 1,300 years ago, only contains two buildings from that era: the large and small wild goose pagoda . The mighty city ​​wall from the late 14th century, the mosque, the bell tower and several museums are also worth seeing . Also near Xi'an is the terracotta army in the mausoleum of the first emperor of China Qin Shihuangdi ( World Heritage Site ).

More Attractions:


In 1934, the provincial capital Xi'an was connected to the Chinese railway network. By 1945 the railway was extended beyond Xi'an to Tianshui . Today, Xi'an is a railway junction at which the high-speed line Zhengzhou-Xi'an , the high-speed line Xi'an-Baoji , the high-speed line Datong-Xi'an , the Longhai Railway , the railway , Nanjing-Xi'an and railway Xi'an-Ankang meet several important railway lines. Other important railway lines that run through Shaanxi are the Baoji – Chengdu Railway and the Baoji-Zhongwei Railway . With the Xi'an – Yan'an railway line , the construction of a connection between North Shaanxi and the high-speed network was approved in December 2018.

As of 2018, Shaanxi's road network comprised 172,500 kilometers, of which 5279 kilometers were motorways. Almost all administrative units at district level are now connected to the motorway network.

The largest airport in the province is Xi'an-Xianyang Airport , and Yulin , Ankang , Yan'an and Hanzhong Airports are also important.

Web links

Commons : Shaanxi  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i Eduard B. Vermeer : Shaanxi . In: Brunhild Staiger (Ed.): The great China Lexicon: history, geography, society, politics, economy, education, science, culture . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-14988-2 , pp. 668-669 .
  2. 省 情 概况.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, June 5, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  3. a b c 地貌 气候.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, May 9, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  4. a b c 水文.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, May 24, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  5. China: Provinces and Major Cities - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather, and Web Information. Retrieved May 7, 2018 .
  6. 陕西 省. State Statistical Office of the People's Republic of China , accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  7. 行政 区划.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, June 3, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  8. a b 人口 和 民族.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, May 19, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  9. 陕西 省 乡 、 镇 、 街道 人口. State Statistics Office of the People's Republic of China , archived from the original on April 7, 2012 ; accessed on August 11, 2019 (Chinese).
  10. ^ Meyers Konversationslexikon, Volume 4, p. 47 (China, population) and p. 51 (religions). Fifth edition, Leipzig / Vienna 1897
  11. a b c 经济 发展.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, June 7, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).
  12. a b c 交通.陕西 省 地 方志 编纂 委员会 陕西 省 地 方志 办公室 主办, June 7, 2019, accessed October 4, 2019 (Chinese).

Coordinates: 34 ° 0 '  N , 109 ° 0'  E