Prefecture-level city

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Prefecture-level municipality
Prefecture-level city
Prefectural-level city
China Prefectural-level cities.png
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 地级市
Traditional Chinese 地級市
Literal meaningRegional-level municipality
Tibetan name
Tibetan ས་ཁུལ་རིམ་པ་གྲོང་ཁྱེར།
Uyghur name
Uyghur ۋىلايەت دەرىجىلىك شەھەر
A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" (Huang Shi Shi Qu 
) rather than simply "Huangshi" (Huang Shi 
). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located already within Huangshi prefectural level city (immediately upon entering its Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the Huangshi main urban area. Yangxin-renmin-huanyin-ni-0022.jpg
A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" (黄石市区) rather than simply "Huangshi" (黄石). This is a useful distinction, because the sign is located already within Huangshi prefectural level city (immediately upon entering its Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the Huangshi main urban area.

A prefectural-level municipality (Chinese :地级市), prefectural-level city or prefectural city; formerly known as province-administrated city (Chinese :省辖市) from 1949 to 1983, is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China (PRC), ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative structure (alongside prefectures, leagues and autonomous prefectures). Administrative chiefs (mayors) of prefectural level cities generally have the same rank as a division chief (Chinese :司长) of a national ministry. Since the 1980s, most former prefectures have been renamed into prefectural level cities.

A prefectural level city is a "city" (Chinese :; pinyin :shì) and "prefecture" (Chinese :地区; pinyin :dìqū) that have been merged into one consolidated and unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal entry with subordinate districts, and a prefecture with subordinate county-level cities and counties which is an administrative division of a province.

A prefectural level city is often not a "city" in the usual sense of the term (i.e., a large continuous urban settlement), but instead an administrative unit comprising, typically, a main central urban area (a city in the usual sense, usually with the same name as the prefectural level city), and its much larger surrounding rural area containing many smaller cities, towns and villages. The larger prefectural level cities span over 100 kilometres (62 mi).

Prefectural level cities nearly always contain multiple counties, county level cities, and other such sub-divisions. This results from the fact that the formerly predominant prefectures, which prefectural level cities have mostly replaced, were themselves large administrative units containing cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. To distinguish a prefectural level city from its actual urban area (city in the strict sense), the term 市区 shìqū ("urban area"), is used.

The first prefectural level cities were created on 5 November 1983. Over the following two decades, prefectural level cities have come to replace the vast majority of Chinese prefectures; the process is still ongoing.

Most provinces are composed entirely or nearly entirely of prefectural level cities. Of the 22 provinces and 5 autonomous regions of the PRC, only 9 provinces (Yunnan, Guizhou, Qinghai, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Gansu, Jilin, Hubei, Hunan) and 3 autonomous regions (Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia) have at least one or more second level or prefectural level divisions that are not prefectural level cities. In the case of the disputed Taiwan, it has 6 prefectural level cities, but these are governed separately by the Republic of China as their special municipalities.

Criteria that a prefecture must meet to become a prefectural level city:

15 large prefectural level cities have been granted the status of sub-provincial city, which gives them much greater autonomy.

Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou are the largest prefectural level cities with populations approaching or exceeding some sub-provincial cities.

A sub-prefecture-level city is a county-level city with powers approaching those of prefectural level cities.


There are total of three classification of prefecture-level city:

Cartographic expression and statistics

In Europe and North America, cities are generally represented as points, while counties are represented as areas. Thus, Bloomington, Indiana is indicated on the map by a point, which is distinct from, and enclosed by, the area of Monroe County, Indiana. In China, however, large cities such as City of Xianning may, in reality, contain both urban and rural elements. Moreover, they may enclose counties or other cities. On a less detailed map, City of Xianning would be indicated by a point, more or less corresponding to the coordinates of its city government. Other populous areas may also be exhibited as points, such as County of Tongshan, with no indication that County of Tongshan is, in fact, enclosed by City of Xianning. On a more detailed map, City of Xianning would be drawn as an area, similar to a county of the United States, and County of Tongshan would be drawn as a smaller area within City of Xianning.

This convention may lead to difficulty in the identification of places mentioned in older sources. For example, Guo Moruo writes that he was born in Town of Shawan, within Prefecture of Leshan, and attended primary school in Town of Jiading. A modern map is unlikely to show either town: Shawan, because it is too small, and Jiading, because it is the seat of City of Leshan, and is therefore indicated on the map by a point labelled "Leshan." A more detailed map would show Shawan as a district within City of Leshan, but Jiading would still be missing.

Statistics of China such as population and industrial activity are generally reported along prefectural city lines. Thus, the relatively unknown City of Huangshi has 2.5 million residents, more than most European capitals, but upon closer inspection, the city covers an area almost 100 kilometers across. Furthermore, Huangshi contains several other cities, such as City of Daye. If a person wished to calculate the population of the urban area of Huangshi, and had a map of Huangshi, and a table of its population by district, the task might not be easy. The urban area might be split between several districts, and some of those districts may include rural elements as well.

Prefecture-level city list

As of June 2020, there are 299 prefecture-level cities total:

City Chinese ProvinceArea
Former divisions
Anqing 安庆市 Anhui 13,5281979-11-04Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Bengbu 蚌埠市 Anhui 5,9121949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Bozhou 亳州市 Anhui 8,4292000-05-21Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Chizhou 池州市 Anhui 8,2722000-06-25Reorganized from Chizhou Prefecture (池州地区)
Chuzhou 滁州市 Anhui 13,3981992-12-20Reorganized from Chuxian Prefecture (滁县地区)
Fuyang 阜阳市 Anhui 9,7751996-01-01Reorganized from Fuyang Prefecture (阜阳地区)
Hefei 合肥市 Anhui 11,4961949-10-01Carved out of Hefei County (合肥县)
Huaibei 淮北市 Anhui 2,7321960-04-16Upgraded from Huaibei Mining District (淮北矿区)
Huainan 淮南市 Anhui 5,6501951-01-18Upgraded from Huainan Mining District (淮南矿区)
Huangshan 黄山市 Anhui 9,8071987-11-27Reorganized from Huizhou Prefecture (徽州地区)
Lu'an 六安市 Anhui 15,4521999-09-02Reorganized from Lu'an Prefecture (六安地区)
Ma'anshan 马鞍山市 Anhui 4,0421956-10-12Upgraded from Ma'anshan Mining District (马鞍山矿区)
Suzhou 宿州市 Anhui 9,7871998-12-06Reorganized from Suxian Prefecture (宿县地区)
Tongling 铜陵市 Anhui 3,0081971-12-11Reorganized from Tongling Prefecture (铜陵特区)
Wuhu 芜湖市 Anhui 5,9871972-12-30Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Xuancheng 宣城市 Anhui 12,3402000-06-25Reorganized from Xuancheng Prefecture (宣城地区)
Fuzhou 福州市 Fujian 11,7881949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Longyan 龙岩市 Fujian 19,0521996-11-20Reorganized from Longyan Prefecture (龙岩地区)
Nanping 南平市 Fujian 26,3121994-09-05Reorganized from Nanping Prefecture (南平地区)
Ningde 宁德市 Fujian 13,6441999-11-14Reorganized from Ningde Prefecture (宁德地区)
Putian 莆田市 Fujian 3,8951983-09-09Carved out of Putian County (莆田县)
Quanzhou 泉州市 Fujian 10,8641985-05-14Reorganized from Jinjiang Prefecture (晋江地区)
Sanming 三明市 Fujian 23,1911983-04-28Reorganized from Sanming Prefecture (三明地区)
Xiamen 厦门市 Fujian 1,5161949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Zhangzhou 漳州市 Fujian 12,6081985-05-14Reorganized from Longxi Prefecture (龙溪地区)
Baiyin 白银市 Gansu 21,2101985-05-14Upgraded from Baiyin District, Lanzhou (兰州市白银区)
Dingxi 定西市 Gansu 20,3302003-04-04Reorganized from Dingxi Prefecture (定西地区)
Jiayuguan 嘉峪关市 Gansu 2,9351971-09-10Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Jinchang 金昌市 Gansu 8,9271981-02-09Carved out of Yongchang County (永昌县)
Jiuquan 酒泉市 Gansu 189,9972002-06-18Reorganized from Jiuquan Prefecture (酒泉地区)
Lanzhou 兰州市 Gansu 13,0831949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Longnan 陇南市 Gansu 27,8382004-01-11Reorganized from Longnan Prefecture (陇南地区)
Pingliang 平凉市 Gansu 11,1692002-06-02Reorganized from Pingliang Prefecture (平凉地区)
Qingyang 庆阳市 Gansu 27,1192002-06-22Reorganized from Qingyang Prefecture (庆阳地区)
Tianshui 天水市 Gansu 14,4311985-07-08Reorganized from Tianshui Prefecture (天水地区)
Wuwei 武威市 Gansu 33,2382001-05-09Reorganized from Wuwei Prefecture (武威地区)
Zhangye 张掖市 Gansu 40,8262002-03-01Reorganized from Zhangye Prefecture (张掖地区)
Chaozhou 潮州市 Guangdong 3,0981991-12-07Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Dongguan 东莞市 Guangdong 2,5121988-01-07Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Foshan 佛山市 Guangdong 3,8751975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Guangzhou 广州市 Guangdong 7,4361954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Heyuan 河源市 Guangdong 15,6441988-01-07Upgraded from Heyuan County (河源县)
Huizhou 惠州市 Guangdong 11,1591988-01-07Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jiangmen 江门市 Guangdong 9,5541975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Jieyang 揭阳市 Guangdong 5,2691991-12-07Upgraded from Jieyang County (揭阳县)
Maoming 茂名市 Guangdong 11,3451975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Meizhou 梅州市 Guangdong 15,9251988-01-07Reorganized from Meixian Prefecture (梅县地区)
Qingyuan 清远市 Guangdong 19,2651988-01-07Upgraded from Qingyuan County (清远县)
Shantou 汕头市 Guangdong 2,1231975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Shanwei 汕尾市 Guangdong 4,9571988-01-07Carved out of Haifeng County (海丰县)
Shaoguan 韶关市 Guangdong 18,3981975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Shenzhen 深圳市 Guangdong 2,019.951979-03-05Upgraded from Bao'an County (宝安县)
Yangjiang 阳江市 Guangdong 8,0061988-01-07Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Yunfu 云浮市 Guangdong 7,7781994-04-05Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Zhanjiang 湛江市 Guangdong 11,6921975-11-22Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Zhaoqing 肇庆市 Guangdong 15,0061988-01-07Reorganized from Zhaoqing Prefecture (肇庆地区)
Zhongshan 中山市 Guangdong 1,7701988-01-07Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Zhuhai 珠海市 Guangdong 1,6961979-03-05Upgraded from Zhuhai County (珠海县)
Baise 百色市 Guangxi 36,2062002-06-02Reorganized from Baise Prefecture (百色地区)
Beihai 北海市 Guangxi 3,3371983-10-08Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Chongzuo 崇左市 Guangxi 17,3312002-12-23Reorganized from Nanning Prefecture (南宁地区)
Fangchenggang 防城港市 Guangxi 6,2271993-05-23Upgraded from Fangcheng County (防城各族自治县)
Guigang 贵港市 Guangxi 10,5961995-10-27Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Guilin 桂林市 Guangxi 27,8091961-11-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Hechi 河池市 Guangxi 33,4942002-06-18Reorganized from Hechi Prefecture (河池地区)
Hezhou 贺州市 Guangxi 11,8552002-06-18Reorganized from Hezhou Prefecture (贺州地区)
Laibin 来宾市 Guangxi 13,3862002-09-29Reorganized from Liuzhou Prefecture (柳州地区)
Liuzhou 柳州市 Guangxi 18,6521961-11-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Nanning 南宁市 Guangxi 22,3411961-12-23Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Qinzhou 钦州市 Guangxi 10,7831994-06-28Reorganized from Qinzhou Prefecture (钦州地区)
Wuzhou 梧州市 Guangxi 12,5821961-11-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Yulin 玉林市 Guangxi 12,8391997-04-22Reorganized from Yulin Prefecture (玉林地区)
Anshun 安顺市 Guizhou 9,2692000-06-23Reorganized from Anshun Prefecture (安顺地区)
Bijie 毕节市 Guizhou 26,8522011-10-22Reorganized from Bijie Prefecture (毕节地区)
Guiyang 贵阳市 Guizhou 8,0351949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Liupanshui 六盘水市 Guizhou 9,9141978-12-18Reorganized from Liupanshui Prefecture (六盘水地区)
Tongren 铜仁市 Guizhou 18,0022011-10-22Reorganized from Tongren Prefecture (铜仁地区)
Zunyi 遵义市 Guizhou 30,750.411997-06-10Reorganized from Zunyi Prefecture (遵义地区)
Danzhou 儋州市 Hainan 3,4002015-02-19Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Haikou 海口市 Hainan 2,3151986-05-31Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Sansha 三沙市 Hainan 132012-06-21Upgraded from XNZ Islands Authority (西沙群岛、南沙群岛、中沙群岛办事处)
Sanya 三亚市 Hainan 1,9181987-11-20Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Baoding 保定市 Hebei 22,1351983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Cangzhou 沧州市 Hebei 13,4881983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Chengde 承德市 Hebei 39,7191983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Handan 邯郸市 Hebei 12,066.181983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Hengshui 衡水市 Hebei 8,7581996-05-31Reorganized from Hengshui Prefecture (衡水地区)
Langfang 廊坊市 Hebei 6,4201988-09-13Reorganized from Langfang Prefecture (廊坊地区)
Qinhuangdao 秦皇岛市 Hebei 7,8131983-03-03Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Shijiazhuang 石家庄市 Hebei 14,5301978-03-11Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Tangshan 唐山市 Hebei 13,8291978-03-11Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Xingtai 邢台市 Hebei 12,1431983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Zhangjiakou 张家口市 Hebei 36,3031983-11-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Daqing 大庆市 Heilongjiang 21,6431965-12-28Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Harbin 哈尔滨市 Heilongjiang 53,1861954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Hegang 鹤岗市 Heilongjiang 14,6651966-02-08Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Heihe 黑河市 Heilongjiang 68,2851993-02-08Reorganized from Heihe Prefecture (黑河地区)
Jiamusi 佳木斯市 Heilongjiang 32,4701983-10-08Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jixi 鸡西市 Heilongjiang 22,5511966-02-08Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Mudanjiang 牡丹江市 Heilongjiang 38,8271983-10-08Reorganized from Mudanjiang Prefecture (牡丹江地区)
Qiqihar 齐齐哈尔市 Heilongjiang 44,2871964-01-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Qitaihe 七台河市 Heilongjiang 6,2211983-10-08Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Shuangyashan 双鸭山市 Heilongjiang 22,8021966-02-08Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Suihua 绥化市 Heilongjiang 35,2111999-12-28Reorganized from Suihua Prefecture (绥化地区)
Yichun 伊春市 Heilongjiang 32,8001979-12-14Reorganized from Yichun Prefecture (伊春地区)
Anyang 安阳市 Henan 7,3551982-03-10Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Hebi 鹤壁市 Henan 2,2991974-01-19Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Jiaozuo 焦作市 Henan 4,0721974-01-19Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Kaifeng 开封市 Henan 6,2471961-12-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Luohe 漯河市 Henan 2,6171986-01-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Luoyang 洛阳市 Henan 15,4921964-04-30Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Nanyang 南阳市 Henan 26,5911994-07-01Reorganized from Nanyang Prefecture (南阳地区)
Pingdingshan 平顶山市 Henan 7,8741969-03-15Reorganized from Pingdingshan Prefecture (平顶山特区)
Puyang 濮阳市 Henan 4,2661983-09-01Upgraded from Puyang County (濮阳县)
Sanmenxia 三门峡市 Henan 10,4751986-01-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Shangqiu 商丘市 Henan 10,6581997-06-10Reorganized from Shangqiu Prefecture (商丘地区)
Xinxiang 新乡市 Henan 8,6291982-03-10Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Xinyang 信阳市 Henan 18,8191998-06-09Reorganized from Xinyang Prefecture (信阳地区)
Xuchang 许昌市 Henan 4,9771986-01-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Zhengzhou 郑州市 Henan 7,5071949-10-01Upgraded from Zheng County (郑县)
Zhoukou 周口市 Henan 11,9682000-06-08Reorganized from Zhoukou Prefecture (周口地区)
Zhumadian 驻马店市 Henan 14,9742000-06-08Reorganized from Zhumadian Prefecture (驻马店地区)
Ezhou 鄂州市 Hubei 1,5051983-08-19Upgraded from Echeng (鄂城市) & Echeng County (鄂城县)
Huanggang 黄冈市 Hubei 17,4531995-12-23Upgraded from Huanggang Prefecture (黄冈地区)
Huangshi 黄石市 Hubei 4,5761950-08-30Reorganized from Huangshi Special District (黄石特区)
Jingmen 荆门市 Hubei 12,1001983-08-19Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jingzhou 荆州市 Hubei 14,1041994-09-29Reorganized from Jingzhou Prefecture (荆州地区) & Shashi (沙市市)
Shiyan 十堰市 Hubei 23,6981973-02-17Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Suizhou 随州市 Hubei 9,6362000-06-25Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Wuhan 武汉市 Hubei 8,4831954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Xiangyang 襄阳市 Hubei 19,6261979-06-21Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Xianning 咸宁市 Hubei 10,0191998-12-06Reorganized from Xianning Prefecture (咸宁地区)
Xiaogan 孝感市 Hubei 8,9411993-04-10Reorganized from Xiaogan Prefecture (孝感地区)
Yichang 宜昌市 Hubei 21,0811979-06-21Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Changde 常德市 Hunan 18,1901988-01-23Reorganized from Changde Prefecture (常德地区)
Changsha 长沙市 Hunan 11,8161949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Chenzhou 郴州市 Hunan 19,3421994-12-17Reorganized from Chenzhou Prefecture (郴州地区)
Hengyang 衡阳市 Hunan 15,3001980-02-20Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Huaihua 怀化市 Hunan 27,5731997-11-29Reorganized from Huaihua Prefecture (怀化地区)
Loudi 娄底市 Hunan 8,1101999-01-20Reorganized from Loudi Prefecture (娄底地区)
Shaoyang 邵阳市 Hunan 20,8221980-02-20Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Xiangtan 湘潭市 Hunan 5,0051980-02-20Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Yiyang 益阳市 Hunan 12,3201994-03-07Reorganized from Yiyang Prefecture (益阳地区)
Yongzhou 永州市 Hunan 22,2591995-11-21Reorganized from Lingling Prefecture (零陵地区)
Yueyang 岳阳市 Hunan 14,8581983-02-08Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Zhangjiajie 张家界市 Hunan 9,5341988-05-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Zhuzhou 株洲市 Hunan 11,2481956-11-30Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Baotou 包头市 Inner Mongolia 27,6521950-02-13Inherited from Nationalist government
Bayannur 巴彦淖尔市 Inner Mongolia 66,2632003-12-01Reorganized from Bayannur League (巴彦淖尔盟)
Chifeng 赤峰市 Inner Mongolia 90,0641983-10-10Reorganized from Ju'ud League (昭乌达盟)
Hohhot 呼和浩特市 Inner Mongolia 17,3441950-01-18Inherited from Nationalist government
Hulunbuir 呼伦贝尔市 Inner Mongolia 262,0622001-10-10Reorganized from Hulunbuir League (呼伦贝尔盟)
Ordos 鄂尔多斯市 Inner Mongolia 86,873.552001-02-26Reorganized from Ihju League (伊克昭盟)
Tongliao 通辽市 Inner Mongolia 59,3641999-01-13Reorganized from Jirem League (哲里木盟)
Ulanqab 乌兰察布市 Inner Mongolia 54,7952003-12-01Reorganized from Ulanqab League (乌兰察布盟)
Wuhai 乌海市 Inner Mongolia 1,7541975-08-30Merger of Wuda (乌达市) & Haibowan (海勃湾市) cities
Changzhou 常州市 Jiangsu 4,3741962-06-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Huai'an 淮安市 Jiangsu 10,0471983-01-18Reorganized from Huaiyin Prefecture (淮阴地区)
Lianyungang 连云港市 Jiangsu 7,6141962-06-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Nanjing 南京市 Jiangsu 6,5861953-12-17Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Nantong 南通市 Jiangsu 8,0011962-06-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Suqian 宿迁市 Jiangsu 8,4621996-07-19Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Suzhou 苏州市 Jiangsu 8,4881962-06-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Taizhou 泰州市 Jiangsu 5,7881996-07-19Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Wuxi 无锡市 Jiangsu 4,6281949-10-01Carved out of Wuxi County (无锡县)
Xuzhou 徐州市 Jiangsu 11,2581962-06-25Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Yancheng 盐城市 Jiangsu 16,9721983-01-18Reorganized from Yancheng Prefecture (盐城地区)
Yangzhou 扬州市 Jiangsu 6,5921983-01-18Reorganized from Yangzhou Prefecture (扬州地区)
Zhenjiang 镇江市 Jiangsu 3,8471983-01-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Fuzhou 抚州市 Jiangxi 18,8172000-06-23Reorganized from Fuzhou Prefecture (抚州地区)
Ganzhou 赣州市 Jiangxi 39,3791998-12-24Reorganized from Ganzhou Prefecture (赣州地区)
Ji'an 吉安市 Jiangxi 25,3412000-05-11Reorganized from Ji'an Prefecture (吉安地区)
Jingdezhen 景德镇市 Jiangxi 5,2701953-06-15Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Jiujiang 九江市 Jiangxi 18,8231980-03-28Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Nanchang 南昌市 Jiangxi 7,4021949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Pingxiang 萍乡市 Jiangxi 3,8021970-03-10Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Shangrao 上饶市 Jiangxi 22,7912000-06-23Reorganized from Shangrao Prefecture (上饶地区)
Xinyu 新余市 Jiangxi 3,1781983-07-27Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Yichun 宜春市 Jiangxi 18,7072000-05-22Reorganized from Yichun Prefecture (宜春地区)
Yingtan 鹰潭市 Jiangxi 3,5541983-07-27Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Baicheng 白城市 Jilin 25,6831993-06-14Reorganized from Baicheng Prefecture (白城地区)
Baishan 白山市 Jilin 17,4851985-02-04Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Changchun 长春市 Jilin 24,5921954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Jilin 吉林市 Jilin 27,7221949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Liaoyuan 辽源市 Jilin 5,1251983-08-30Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Siping 四平市 Jilin 10,2961983-08-30Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Songyuan 松原市 Jilin 20,1591992-06-06Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Tonghua 通化市 Jilin 15,6981985-02-04Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Anshan 鞍山市 Liaoning 9,2521954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Benxi 本溪市 Liaoning 8,4131954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Chaoyang 朝阳市 Liaoning 19,7361984-06-30Reorganized from Chaoyang Prefecture (朝阳地区)
Dalian 大连市 Liaoning 13,2381954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Dandong 丹东市 Liaoning 15,0301949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Fushun 抚顺市 Liaoning 11,3441954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Fuxin 阜新市 Liaoning 10,4451949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Huludao 葫芦岛市 Liaoning 10,4341989-06-12Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jinzhou 锦州市 Liaoning 10,0591949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Liaoyang 辽阳市 Liaoning 4,7411965-12-27Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Panjin 盘锦市 Liaoning 4,1211984-06-05Upgraded from Panshan County (盘山县)
Shenyang 沈阳市 Liaoning 12,9801954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Tieling 铁岭市 Liaoning 13,0291984-06-30Reorganized from Tieling Prefecture (铁岭地区)
Yingkou 营口市 Liaoning 5,2621949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Guyuan 固原市 Ningxia 13,4502001-07-07Reorganized from Guyuan Prefecture (固原地区)
Shizuishan 石嘴山市 Ningxia 5,2081975-11-23Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Wuzhong 吴忠市 Ningxia 21,4201998-05-11Reorganized from Yinnan Prefecture (银南地区)
Yinchuan 银川市 Ningxia 8,8741958-08-11Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Zhongwei 中卫市 Ningxia 17,4482003-12-31Upgraded from Zhongwei County (中卫县)
Haidong 海东市 Qinghai 13,2022013-02-08Reorganized from Haidong Prefecture (海东地区)
Xining 西宁市 Qinghai 7,6791956-07-14Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Ankang 安康市 Shaanxi 23,5352000-06-23Reorganized from Ankang Prefecture (安康地区)
Baoji 宝鸡市 Shaanxi 18,1621971-10-05Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Hanzhong 汉中市 Shaanxi 27,0931996-02-21Reorganized from Hanzhong Prefecture (汉中地区)
Shangluo 商洛市 Shaanxi 19,5812001-08-31Reorganized from Shangluo Prefecture (商洛地区)
Tongchuan 铜川市 Shaanxi 3,8811966-06-24Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Weinan 渭南市 Shaanxi 13,0331994-12-17Reorganized from Weinan Prefecture (渭南地区)
Xi'an 西安市 Shaanxi 10,1061954-06-19Downgraded from municipality (直辖市)
Xianyang 咸阳市 Shaanxi 10,2831983-09-09Reorganized from Xianyang Prefecture (咸阳地区)
Yan'an 延安市 Shaanxi 37,0321996-11-05Reorganized from Yan'an Prefecture (延安地区)
Yulin 榆林市 Shaanxi 42,9231999-12-05Reorganized from Yulin Prefecture (榆林地区)
Binzhou 滨州市 Shandong 9,1562000-06-10Reorganized from Binzhou Prefecture (滨州地区)
Dezhou 德州市 Shandong 10,3611994-12-17Reorganized from Dezhou Prefecture (德州地区)
Dongying 东营市 Shandong 8,6171982-11-10Carved out of Huimin Prefecture (惠民地区)
Heze 菏泽市 Shandong 12,2562000-06-23Reorganized from Heze Prefecture (菏泽地区)
Jinan 济南市 Shandong 10,4231949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Jining 济宁市 Shandong 11,1911983-08-30Reorganized from Jining Prefecture (济宁地区)
Liaocheng 聊城市 Shandong 8,7211997-08-29Reorganized from Liaocheng Prefecture (聊城地区)
Linyi 临沂市 Shandong 17,1921994-12-17Reorganized from Linyi Prefecture (临沂地区)
Qingdao 青岛市 Shandong 11,0641949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Rizhao 日照市 Shandong 5,3591989-06-12Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Tai'an 泰安市 Shandong 7,7621985-03-27Reorganized from Tai'an Prefecture (泰安地区)
Weifang 潍坊市 Shandong 16,1381983-08-30Reorganized from Weifang Prefecture (潍坊地区)
Weihai 威海市 Shandong 5,7971987-06-15Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Yantai 烟台市 Shandong 13,6541983-08-30Reorganized from Yantai Prefecture (烟台地区)
Zaozhuang 枣庄市 Shandong 4,5641961-09-12Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Zibo 淄博市 Shandong 5,9641961-09-12Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (专辖市)
Changzhi 长治市 Shanxi 13,9451975-07-09Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Datong 大同市 Shanxi 14,0561972-03-09Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Jincheng 晋城市 Shanxi 9,4251985-04-30Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jinzhong 晋中市 Shanxi 16,3911999-09-24Reorganized from Jinzhong Prefecture (晋中地区)
Linfen 临汾市 Shanxi 20,3012000-06-23Reorganized from Linfen Prefecture (临汾地区)
Lüliang 吕梁市 Shanxi 21,1402003-10-23Reorganized from Lüliang Prefecture (吕梁地区)
Shuozhou 朔州市 Shanxi 10,6261988-03-24Upgraded from Shuo County (朔县) & Pinglu County (平鲁县)
Taiyuan 太原市 Shanxi 6,9091949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Xinzhou 忻州市 Shanxi 25,1542000-06-14Reorganized from Xinzhou Prefecture (忻州地区)
Yangquan 阳泉市 Shanxi 4,5591972-03-09Upgraded from prefecture-controlled city (地辖市)
Yuncheng 运城市 Shanxi 14,1832000-06-14Reorganized from Yuncheng Prefecture (运城地区)
Bazhong 巴中市 Sichuan 12,2922000-06-14Reorganized from Bazhong Prefecture (巴中地区)
Chengdu 成都市 Sichuan 14,3121949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Dazhou 达州市 Sichuan 16,6051999-06-20Reorganized from Dachuan Prefecture (达川地区)
Deyang 德阳市 Sichuan 5,9111983-08-18Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Guang'an 广安市 Sichuan 6,3441998-07-31Reorganized from Guang'an Prefecture (广安地区)
Guangyuan 广元市 Sichuan 16,3101985-02-08Upgraded from Guangyuan County (广元县)
Leshan 乐山市 Sichuan 12,7591985-02-11Reorganized from Leshan Prefecture (乐山地区)
Luzhou 泸州市 Sichuan 12,2321983-03-03Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Meishan 眉山市 Sichuan 7,1342000-06-10Reorganized from Meishan Prefecture (眉山地区)
Mianyang 绵阳市 Sichuan 20,2571985-02-08Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Neijiang 内江市 Sichuan 5,3861985-02-11Reorganized from Neijiang Prefecture (内江地区)
Nanchong 南充市 Sichuan 12,5141993-07-02Reorganized from Nanchong Prefecture (南充地区)
Panzhihua 攀枝花市 Sichuan 7,4401965-04-22Upgraded from Panzhihua Special District (攀枝花特区)
Suining 遂宁市 Sichuan 5,3261985-02-08Upgraded from Suining County (遂宁县)
Ya'an 雅安市 Sichuan 15,3032000-06-14Reorganized from Ya'an Prefecture (雅安地区)
Yibin 宜宾市 Sichuan 13,2711996-10-05Reorganized from Yibin Prefecture (宜宾地区)
Zigong 自贡市 Sichuan 4,3821949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Ziyang 资阳市 Sichuan 5,7572000-06-14Reorganized from Ziyang Prefecture (资阳地区)
Kaohsiung 高雄市 Taiwan 2,946Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
New Taipei 新北市 Taiwan 2,052Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
Taichung 台中市 Taiwan 2,214Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
Tainan 台南市 Taiwan 2,191Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
Taipei 台北市 Taiwan 271Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
Taoyuan 桃园市 Taiwan 1,220Controlled by the Republic of China as the special municipality.
Lhasa 拉萨市 Tibet 31,6621960-01-07Carved out of Changchub Jurisdiction (绛曲基巧)
Qamdo 昌都市 Tibet 110,1542014-10-20Reorganized from Qamdo Prefecture (昌都地区)
Nagqu 那曲市 Tibet 369,6742017-07-18Reorganized from Nagqu Prefecture (那曲地区)
Nyingchi 林芝市 Tibet 116,1752015-03-16Reorganized from Nyingchi Prefecture (林芝地区)
Shannan 山南市 Tibet 79,6992016-01-07Reorganized from Shannan Prefecture (山南地区)
Xigazê 日喀则市 Tibet 182,0002014-06-26Reorganized from Xigazê Prefecture (日喀则地区)
Hami 哈密市 Xinjiang 138,9192016-01-07Reorganized from Hami Prefecture (哈密地区)
Karamay 克拉玛依市 Xinjiang 7,7341982-02-16Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Turpan 吐鲁番市 Xinjiang 70,0492015-03-16Reorganized from Turpan Prefecture (吐鲁番地区)
Ürümqi 乌鲁木齐市 Xinjiang 13,7881949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Baoshan 保山市 Yunnan 19,6372000-12-30Reorganized from Baoshan Prefecture (保山地区)
Kunming 昆明市 Yunnan 21,4731949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Lincang 临沧市 Yunnan 24,4692003-12-26Reorganized from Lincang Prefecture (临沧地区)
Lijiang 丽江市 Yunnan 21,2192002-12-26Reorganized from Lijiang Prefecture (丽江地区)
Pu'er 普洱市 Yunnan 45,3852003-10-30Reorganized from Simao Prefecture (思茅地区)
Qujing 曲靖市 Yunnan 29,8551997-05-06Reorganized from Qujing Prefecture (曲靖地区)
Yuxi 玉溪市 Yunnan 15,2851997-12-13Reorganized from Yuxi Prefecture (玉溪地区)
Zhaotong 昭通市 Yunnan 23,0212001-01-13Reorganized from Zhaotong Prefecture (昭通地区)
Hangzhou 杭州市 Zhejiang 16,5961949-10-01Inherited from Nationalist government
Huzhou 湖州市 Zhejiang 5,7941983-07-27Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jiaxing 嘉兴市 Zhejiang 3,9151983-07-27Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Jinhua 金华市 Zhejiang 10,9191985-05-15Reorganized from Jinhua Prefecture (金华地区)
Lishui 丽水市 Zhejiang 17,2982000-05-20Reorganized from Lishui Prefecture (丽水地区)
Ningbo 宁波市 Zhejiang 9,3651949-12-20Carved out of Yin County (鄞县)
Quzhou 衢州市 Zhejiang 8,8371985-05-15Upgraded from county-level city (县级市)
Shaoxing 绍兴市 Zhejiang 8,2561983-07-27Reorganized from Shaoxing Prefecture (绍兴地区)
Taizhou 台州市 Zhejiang 9,4131994-08-22Reorganized from Taizhou Prefecture (台州地区)
Wenzhou 温州市 Zhejiang 11,7841949-11-06Carved out of Yongjia County (永嘉县)
Zhoushan 舟山市 Zhejiang 1,4401987-01-23Reorganized from Zhoushan Prefecture (舟山地区)

Dissolved Prefecture-level cities

City Chinese ProvinceFoundedDissolved
Chaohu 巢湖市 Anhui 1999-07-092011-07-14
Tianjin 天津市 Hebei 1958-02-111967-01-02
Shashi 沙市市 Hubei 1979-06-211994-09-29
Gongzhuling 公主岭市 Jilin 1985-02-041985-12-19
Meihekou 梅河口市 Jilin 1985-02-041985-12-19
Laiwu 莱芜市 Shandong 1992-11-222018-12-26
Chongqing 重庆市 Sichuan 1954-06-191997-03-14
Fuling 涪陵市 Sichuan 1995-11-051997-03-14
Wanxian 万县市 Sichuan 1992-12-111997-03-14
Dongchuan 东川市 Yunnan 1958-10-201998-12-06

See also

Related Research Articles

Due to China's large population and area, the administrative divisions of China have consisted of several levels since ancient times. The constitution of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical levels of local government: the provincial, prefecture, county, township, and village.

A sub-provincial division in the People's Republic of China is like a prefecture-level city that is governed by a province, but is administered independently in regard to economy and law.

Prefectures of China

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District (China)

The term district, in the context of China, is used to refer to several unrelated political divisions in both ancient and modern China.

County-level city

A county-level municipality, county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city, is a county-level administrative division of the People's Republic of China. County-level cities have judicial but no legislative rights over their own local law and are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions. Three of the claim county-level cities are part of the disputed Taiwan Province, but all of them are controlled by the Republic of China as its provincial cities.

Towns of China

When referring to political divisions of China, town is the standard English translation of the Chinese 镇. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China currently classifies towns as third-level administrative units, along with townships and ethnic minority townships. A township is typically smaller in population and more remote than a town (zhèn).

The bureaucratic administration of Japan is divided into three basic levels; national, prefectural, and municipal. Below the national government there are 47 prefectures, six of which are further subdivided into subprefectures to better service large geographical areas or remote islands. The municipalities are the lowest level of government; the twenty most-populated cities outside Tokyo Metropolis are known as designated cities and are subdivided into wards.

Leshan Prefecture-level city in Sichuan, Peoples Republic of China

Leshan, formerly known as Jiading or Jiazhou, is a prefecture-level city located at the confluence of the Dadu and Min rivers in Sichuan Province, China. Leshan is located on the southwestern fringe of the Sichuan Basin in southern Sichuan, about 120 km (75 mi) from Chengdu. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,235,759, of whom 662,814 lived in the built-up area made of Shizhong district, as Wutongqiao and Jinkouhe districts are not conurbated yet.

Huanggang Prefecture-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Huanggang is a prefecture-level city in easternmost Hubei Province, China. It is situated to the north of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and is bounded in the north by the Dabie Mountains and is named after Mount Huanggang. It borders Henan in the north, Anhui in the east and Jiangxi in the south.

Huangshi Prefecture-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Huangshi, alternatively romanized as Hwangshih, is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Hubei province, People's Republic of China. Its population was 2,429,318 inhabitants at the 2010 census; 1,601,687 of whom lived in the built-up area made up of 4 urban districts plus the city of Daye, now being part of the agglomeration.

Xianning Prefecture-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Xianning is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Hubei province, People's Republic of China, bordering Jiangxi to the southeast and Hunan to the southwest. It is known as the "City of Osmanthus".

Yangxin County, Hubei County in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Yangxin County is a county within the prefecture-level city of Huangshi in southeastern Hubei province, People's Republic of China. The county is mostly rural but is more prosperous than its neighbor, Tongshan County. According to the Fifth Population Census of China (2000), the county's population was 949,102 giving it a population density of 341 people per square kilometer.

Daye County-level city in Hubei, Peoples Republic of China

Daye is a county-level city in eastern Hubei province, China. It is under the administration of the Huangshi prefecture-level city.

Beilin District, Xian District in Shaanxi, Peoples Republic of China

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Shawan District District in Sichuan, Peoples Republic of China

Shawan District is a district of the city of Leshan, Sichuan Province, China. Shawan is located on the Dadu River around 40 km southwest from what was then called the city of Jiading (Lu), and now is the central urban area of the prefecture-level city of Leshan in Sichuan Province. It's known as the birth-place of Chinese writer Guo Moruo.

Louxing District District in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Louxing District is the only urban district and the seat of Loudi Prefecturel-level City, Hunan Province, China.

Direct-administered municipalities of China

A municipality, formally a municipality under the direct administration of central government, is the highest level of classification for cities used by the People's Republic of China. These cities have the same rank as provinces, and form part of the first tier of administrative divisions of China.


  1. "China's Political System". Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-09-22.