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Shānxī Shěng
Abbreviation :  /  ( Pinyin : Jìn)
Capital Taiyuan

 - Total
 - share in the

Rank 19 out of 33

156,800 km²


 - Total 2016
 - density

Rank 19 out of 33

36,820,000 inhabitants
235 inhabitants / km²

Management type province
governor Lou Yangsheng
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About this picture
ISO-3166-2 code CN-SX
District level 11 cities
District level 81 counties, 25 city districts, 11 cities
Community level 628 municipalities, 568 large municipalities, 195 street districts

Shanxi ( Chinese  山西 , Pinyin Shānxī ? / I ) is a province in the north of the People's Republic of China . Occasionally it is confused with the western neighboring province of Shaanxi ( Chinese 陝西  /  陕西 , Pinyin Shǎnxī ), since the pronunciation of the names differs only in the tone of the first syllable. Audio file / audio sample  

Because of its location west of the Taihangshan Mountains, the province bears the name Shānxī, which means west of the mountains . The abbreviation for the province is Jin (  /  ). Jin is the name of an ancient Chinese state that was in the Shanxi area.


Shanxi lies between the north Chinese plain and the middle course of the Huáng Hé , which borders the province in the west and south. In the north, the Great Wall of China runs along the border. Neighboring provinces are Shaanxi in the west, Henan in the south, Hebei in the east and Inner Mongolia in the north.

A large part of the province is higher than 1000 m above sea level. Mountains make up 67.5% of the area of ​​the province and are mainly in the northeast. Important mountains are Lüliang Shan (up to 2831 m), Taihangshan (up to 2322 m), Wutai Shan (up to 3058 m), Heng Shan (up to 2017 m) and Taiyue Shan (up to 2567 m). Shanxi is in the east of the Loess Plateau .

The climate in Shanxi is cold and dry. Average annual temperatures are around 5 ° C in the north and around 15 ° C in the south. In the north, only four months are frost-free. In the south there are at least seven. The annual precipitation increases from northwest to southeast and amounts to 350 to 700 mm. About 60% of the precipitation falls in summer.

Important rivers are Huang He , Fen He , Sanggang He and Hutuo He .

Important cities besides the capital Taiyuan are Datong , Yuci , Yangquan , Changzhi , Linfen , Jincheng and Yuncheng .


Shanxi is one of the cradles of Chinese culture. Among other things, the early Xia dynasty developed in Shanxi in the Neolithic . In particular, the fertile south of the province with its loess soils belonged to this core. The archaeological finds in the north of the province prove the development of this area by the Zhou dynasty (1100–771 BC).

During the Warring States Period , the region first belonged to the Jin Kingdom (capitals in Linfen and Quwo , among others ), then to the Wei and Zhao kingdoms . After the unification of the empire by Qin Shihuangdi , this territory was a permanent part of China. During the Han Dynasty , the mining of coal began near Datong (Tatung).

The Tang Dynasty (618–907) originated in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Due to the historical significance or the influence and strength of the Tang Dynasty in history, the term "Tang Ren" ( 唐人 , Tángrén  - "People of the Tang period") became a synonym for Chinese in general in the Chinese language. During the Tang Dynasty, the Hedong region ( 河東  /  河东 , Hédōng ), literally "east of the (Yellow) River", was called. Empress Wu Zetian , China's sole ruler , was born in Shanxi Province.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties , the city of Pingyao was the financial center of China. In 1556 Shanxi Province was also affected by the severe earthquake in Shaanxi .

The Boxer Rebellion spread to Shanxi around 1900 , and the province has been ruled and rebuilt by Military Governor Yan Xishan since the 1911 Revolution . In the second Sino-Japanese War , the province was occupied by the Japanese from 1937 to 1945. In 1947, the communists under Mao Zedong , whose base was in neighboring Yan'an , took power.

Administrative structure

At the district level, Shanxi is made up of eleven district-free cities :

  • Taiyuan ( 太原市 , Tàiyuán Shì )
  • Datong ( 大同市 , Dàtóng Shì )
  • Yangquan ( 陽泉 市  /  阳泉 市 , Yángquán Shì )
  • Changzhi ( 長治 市  /  长治 市 , Chángzhì Shì )
  • Jincheng ( 晉城市  /  晋城市 , Jìnchéng Shì )
  • Shuozhou ( 朔州 市 , Shuòzhōu Shì )
  • Jinzhong ( 晉中 市  /  晋中 市 , Jìnzhōng Shì )
  • Yuncheng ( 運 城市  /  运 城市 , Yùnchéng Shì )
  • Xinzhou ( 忻州 市 , Xīnzhōu Shì )

Biggest cities

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 Taiyuan 3,154,157 6th Jincheng 476.945
2 Datong 1,362,314 7th Jinzhong 444.002
3 Changzhi 653.125 8th Yuncheng 432,554
4th Yangquan 623.671 9 Shuozhou 381,566
5 Linfen 571.237 10 Xinzhou 279.875


In the 2002 census, 32,368,083 members of the Han nationality , that is 99.68% of the population, were counted. Other ethnic groups are the Hui with 0.19% of the population, the Manchu with 0.04%, the Mongols with 0.03% and the Miao with 0.01%.

Population development

Population growth in the province since 1954.

year population
1954 census 14,314,485
1964 census 18,015,067
1982 census 25.291.389
1990 census 28,758,846
2000 census 32,471,242
2010 census 35.712.101
Guess 2016 36,820,000

Economy and Transport

A double locomotive of the CR range HXD2 ago coming from Shanxi coal train

Shanxi has very rich deposits of coal and other raw materials, such as bauxite , copper , aluminum and sulfur . The coal fields make up 37 percent of Shanxi's area and, at 200 billion tons, are home to a third of China's coal reserves. Shanxi coal is exported and delivered to more than 20 provinces, sub-government cities and autonomous regions. Furthermore, the production of steel , mechanical engineering , the chemical industry and the textile industry , with cotton export, are important branches of the economy. The transport of goods, especially coal, is primarily carried out via the Chinese rail network . Of the 20 largest freight yards in the People's Republic of China, measured by the amount of goods loaded in tonnes, 15 were in Shanxi Province alone in 2012. Important nodes are Datong , where the railway line Datong Puzhou and the railway Daqin start, and the capital of Taiyuan .

In agriculture, the cultivation of wheat, millet and gaoliang ( 高粱 , gāoliang , a genus of sorghum millet, from which one likes to make a high-proof schnapps ) in terrace farming are important, as well as pig breeding.

The gross domestic product in 2003 was 245.7 billion RMB and 7410 RMB per capita.

In June 2007, police in Shanxi and Henan freed hundreds of slave workers, including dozens of children, from coal mines and brickworks. Most of them were job seekers from rural areas in Henan who had fallen into the clutches of illegal employment agencies.


  • Various monuments are scattered across the Heng Shan . The most famous is the Hanging Monastery , which was built near the Pass of the Golden Dragon on a steep rock face 30 meters above the valley floor. The monastery, which was built in the 6th century, consists of 40 small halls and pavilions. The buildings are supported by beam structures that are anchored in crevices in the rock.
  • 16 kilometers southwest of Datong are the Yungang Grottoes , known for their cave temples with numerous Buddhist statues from the 5th and 6th centuries. As an outstanding example of Buddhist cave and stone carving art, the Yungang grottoes have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 .
  • The city of Pingyao , 80 kilometers southwest of Taiyuan, is best known for its well-preserved cityscape from the Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1997 Pingyao was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The Wutai Mountains are the highest point in the province. The mountain is considered the residence of the Bodhisattva of wisdom Manjushri and is the most important of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism .


Web links

Commons : Shanxi  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Shanxi (China): Prefecture Level, Cities & Counties - Population Statistics, Maps, Graphics, Weather and Web Information. Retrieved May 12, 2018 .
  2. China: Provinces and Major Cities - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather, and Web Information. Retrieved May 7, 2018 .
  3. ^ Zhenhua Chen, Kingsley E. Haynes: Chinese Railways in the Era of High-Speed. Emerald Group, Bingley 2015, ISBN 978-1-78441-985-1 .
  4. The slave scandal shakes China

Coordinates: 38 ° 0 '  N , 112 ° 0'  E