Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese凉山彝族自治州
(Liángshān Yízú Zìzhìzhōu)
 • Yiꆃꎭꆈꌠꊨꏦꏱꅉꍏ
(niep sha nuo su zyt jie jux dde zho)
Location of Liangshan Prefecture in Sichuan
Location of Liangshan Prefecture in Sichuan
Coordinates (Liangshan Prefecture government): 27°53′N 102°16′E / 27.88°N 102.27°E / 27.88; 102.27
CountryPeople's Republic of China
Prefecture seatXichang
 • Total60,261 km2 (23,267 sq mi)
 • Total4,858,359
 • Density81/km2 (210/sq mi)
 • TotalCN¥ 131.5 billion
US$ 21.1 billion
 • Per capitaCN¥ 28,276
US$ 4,540
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
ISO 3166 codeCN-SC-34
Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese凉山彝族自治州
Traditional Chinese涼山彞族自治州
Simplified Chinese凉山州
Traditional Chinese涼山州
Yi name
niep sha nuo su zyt jie jux dde zho

Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture[a] is an autonomous prefecture occupying much of the southern extremity of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. Its seat is Xichang. Liangshan covers an area of 60,261 km2 (23,267 sq mi) and has over 4.8 million inhabitants as of 2020.[1] It has the largest population of ethnic Yi (or Nosu) among China's prefectures. Liangshan contains a number of isolated villages high up on its cliffs, often known as "cliff villages".[3]

Xichang has the Xichang Qingshan Airport and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The prefecture also features a substantial network of railways for both passengers and freight.

Terrain and climate

The Anning River, which runs into the Jinsha River (Yangtze River headwaters), is the main river in the area.

Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, Liangshan has a mild climate. Under the Köppen system, the prefecture belongs to the humid subtropical zone (Köppen Cwa). Winters feature mild days and cool nights, while summers are very warm and humid. Monthly daily mean temperatures range from 9.6 °C (49.3 °F) in January to 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) in July. Unlike much of the province, which lies in the Sichuan Basin, humidity levels in winter are rather low, but like the rest of the province, rainfall is concentrated in the months of June through September, and the prefecture is virtually rainless in winter.

Cliff villages

"Cliff villages" redirects here. For the village in Newton County, Missouri, see Cliff Village, Missouri.

Due to the mountainous terrain, many villages that lie among the mountain cliffs of Liangshan Yi are isolated from the rest of Sichuan. They are called cliff villages as they tend to be isolated and lie at vertical heights of about 800 m (2,600 ft).[4] Access to these cliff villages tends to be through vines of trees along the cliffs and steep ladders made of ropes. In 2016, the state run The Beijing News reported one such village called Atulie'er where children climbed up a rope ladder for two hours to reach their home from school, often leading to falls and deaths.[5] In light of this, the local government constructed a special steel ladder (dubbed "Stairway to heaven") in November 2016 for people to climb up and down in a safer manner.[6]


Liangshan directly controls two county-level cities, 14 counties, and 1 autonomous county.

Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Yi Yi Pinyin Population
(2010 Census)
Area (km2) Density
Xichang City 西昌市 Xīchāng Shì ꀒꎂꏃ Op Rro Shyp 712,434 2,655 268.33
Yanyuan County 盐源县 Yányuán Xiàn ꋂꂿꑤ Ce Mo Xiep 350,176 8,388 41.74
Dechang County 德昌县 Déchāng Xiàn ꄓꍣꑤ Dep Cha Xiep 214,405 2,284 93.87
Huili City 会理市 Huìlǐ Shì ꑌꄷꏃ Nyi Ddix Shyp 430,066 4,527 95.00
Huidong County 会东县 Huìdōng Xiàn ꉼꄏꑤ Hop Do Xiep 362,944 3,227 112.47
Ningnan County 宁南县 Níngnán Xiàn ꆀꆆꑤ Nip Nap Xiep 170,673 1,667 102.38
Puge County 普格县 Pǔgé Xiàn ꁌꐭꑤ Pu Jjyt Xiep 155,740 1,905 81.75
Butuo County 布拖县 Bùtuō Xiàn ꀭꄮꑤ Bux Te Xiep 160,151 1,685 95.04
Jinyang County 金阳县 Jīnyáng Xiàn ꏁꇉꑤ Shyx lo Xiep 165,121 1,587 104.04
Zhaojue County 昭觉县 Zhāojué Xiàn ꏪꐦꑤ Juo Jjop Xiep 251,836 2,699 93.30
Xide County 喜德县 Xǐdé Xiàn ꑝꅇꑤ Xit Ddop Xiep 165,906 2,206 75.20
Mianning County 冕宁县 Miǎnníng Xiàn ꍿꆈꑤ Rruo Nuo Xiep 351,245 4,423 79.41
Yuexi County 越西县 Yuèxī Xiàn ꃺꄧꑤ Vyt Tuo Xiep 269,896 2,257 119.58
Ganluo County 甘洛县 Gānluò Xiàn ꇤꇉꑤ Ga Lo Xiep 195,100 2,156 90.49
Meigu County 美姑县 Měigū Xiàn ꂿꈬꑤ Mo Ggu Xiep 221,505 2,573 86.08
Leibo County 雷波县 Léibō Xiàn ꃀꁧꑤ Mop Bbo Xiep 223,885 2,932 76.35
Muli Tibetan Autonomous County 木里藏族自治县 Mùlǐ Zàngzú
ꃆꆹꀒꋤꊨꏦꏱꅉꑤ Mup Li Op Zzup

Zyt Jie Jux Dde Xiep

131,726 13,252 9.94

Ethnic groups in Liangshan, 2010 census

Nationality Population Percentage
Yi 2,226,755 49.13%
Han 2,155,357 47.55%
Tibetan 60,679 (2000) 1.49% (2000)
Mosuo and Mongol 27,277 (2000) 0.67% (2000)
Hui 18,385 (2000) 0.45% (2000)
Miao 11,912 (2000) 0.29%
Lisu 9,121 (2000) 0.22% (2000)
Buyei 5,459 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
Nakhi 5,199 (2000) 0.13% (2000)
Others 8,751 0.22%

See also


  1. ^


  1. ^ a b "四川省第七次全国人口普查公报(第二号)" [Seventh National Census of the Sichuan Province (bulletin No. 2)]. Sichuan Statistics Bureau. 2021-05-26. Archived from the original on 24 Aug 2021.
  2. ^ 四川省统计局、国家统计局四川调查总队 (September 2016). 《四川统计年鉴-2016》. 中国统计出版社. ISBN 978-7-5037-7871-1.
  3. ^ Chi, Ma (25 May 2016). "Kids climb vine ladder in 'cliff village' in Sichuan". China People's Daily. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. ^ Chi, An (21 November 2016). ""Ladders of heaven" gives new path to cliff village in China's Sichuan". Xinhua. Beijing News. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Steel replaces vine ladders in China's "Cliff Village"". Sina News. 21 November 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  6. ^ Wang, Serenetie; Hunt, Katie (26 October 2016). "China: Cliff-top village builds steel ladder for children to go to school". CNN News. Retrieved 22 November 2016.