Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese山东省 (Shāndōng Shěng)
 • AbbreviationSD / (pinyin: )
From top to bottom, left to right: views of the South Gate to Heaven at Mount Tai, Thousand Buddha Mountain in Jinan, aerial view of Qingdao, Temple of Confucius in Qufu
Map showing the location of Shandong Province
Map showing the location of Shandong Province
Coordinates: 36°24′N 118°24′E / 36.4°N 118.4°E / 36.4; 118.4
Named for Shān—"(Taihang) Mountains"
"East of the (Taihang) Mountains"
Largest cityQingdao
Divisions16 prefectures, 140 counties, 1941 townships
 • TypeProvince
 • BodyShandong Provincial People's Congress
 • CCP SecretaryLin Wu[1]
 • Congress chairmanLin Wu
 • GovernorZhou Naixiang
 • CPPCC chairmanGe Huijun
 • National People's Congress Representation174 deputies
 • Total157,100 km2 (60,700 sq mi)
 • Rank20th
Highest elevation1,545 m (5,069 ft)
 • Total101,527,453
 • Rank2nd
 • Density650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
  • Rank5th
 • Ethnic compositionHan - 99.3%
Hui - 0.6%
 • Languages and dialectsJiaoliao Mandarin, Jilu Mandarin, Zhongyuan Mandarin
ISO 3166 codeCN-SD
GDP (2021)CNY 8.31 trillion
US$1.3 trillion [4]
 - per capitaCNY 81,846
US$12,689 (11th)
 • growthIncrease 8.3%
HDI (2019)Increase 0.759[5]
high · 14th
"Shandong" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese山东
Traditional Chinese山東
Literal meaning"East of the Mountains (Taihang)"

Shandong (UK: /ʃænˈdʊŋ/ shan-DUUNG,[6] US: /ʃɑːnˈdɔːŋ/ shahn-DAWNG;[7] simplified Chinese: 山东; traditional Chinese: 山東; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province of the People's Republic of China and is part of the East China region.[8]

Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history since the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It has served as a pivotal cultural and religious center for Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism. Shandong's Mount Tai is the most revered mountain of Taoism and a site with one of the longest histories of continuous religious worship in the world.[9] The Buddhist temples in the mountains to the south of the provincial capital of Jinan were once among the foremost Buddhist sites in China.[10] The city of Qufu is the birthplace of Confucius and was later established as the center of Confucianism. Confucianism developed from what was later called the Hundred Schools of Thought from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.[11]

Shandong's location at the intersection of ancient and modern north–south and east–west trading routes has helped establish it as an economic center. After a period of political instability and economic hardship that began in the late 19th century, Shandong has experienced rapid growth in recent decades. Home to over 100 million inhabitants, Shandong is the world's sixth-most populous subnational entity, and China's second most populous province.[12] The economy of Shandong is China's third largest provincial economy with a GDP of CNY¥8.3 trillion in 2021 or USD$1.3 trillion, which is equivalent to the GDP of Mexico.[13][14] Compared to a country, it would be the 15th-largest economy and the 15th most populous as of 2021.[15] Its GDP per capita is around the national average.

Shandong is considered one of China's leading provinces in education and research. It hosts 153 higher education institutions, ranking second in East China after Jiangsu and fourth among all Chinese provinces/municipalities after Jiangsu, Guangdong and Henan.[16] As of 2022, two major cities ranked in the top 70 cities in the world (Jinan 36th and Qingdao 68th) by scientific research output, as tracked by the Nature Index.[17]


Individually, the two Chinese characters in the name "Shandong" means "mountain" () and "east" (). Shandong could hence be translated literally as "east of the mountains" and refers to the province's location to the east of the Taihang Mountains.[18][19] A common nickname for Shandong is Qílǔ (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), after the States of Qi and Lu that existed in the area during the Spring and Autumn period. Whereas the State of Qi was a major power of its era, the State of Lu played only a minor role in the politics of its time. However, Lu became renowned for being the home of Confucius, and hence its cultural influence came to eclipse that of the State of Qi. The cultural dominance of the State of Lu heritage is reflected in the official abbreviation for Shandong which is "" (Chinese: ; pinyin: ). English speakers in the 19th century called the province Shan-tung.[20]


The province is on the eastern edge of the North China Plain and in the lower reaches of the Yellow River (Huang He), and extends out to sea as the Shandong Peninsula. Shandong borders the Bohai Sea to the north, Hebei to the northwest, Henan to the west, Jiangsu to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the northeast, east and southeast; it also shares a very short border with Anhui, between Henan and Jiangsu.


Ancient history

A Song-era monument to a legendary native of Shandong, the Yellow Emperor, at his supposed birthplace
Remains of Ancient Linzi city sewer passing underneath the former city wall

With its location on the eastern edge of the North China Plain, Shandong was home to a succession of Neolithic cultures for millennia, including the Houli culture (6500–5500 BC), the Beixin culture (5300–4100 BC), the Dawenkou culture (4100–2600 BC), the Longshan culture (3000–2000 BC), and the Yueshi culture (1900–1500 BC).

The earliest dynasties (the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty) exerted varying degrees of control over western Shandong, while eastern Shandong was inhabited by the Dongyi peoples who were considered "barbarians". Since 512 B.C. after the annexation of Lai, the Dongyi tribes were becoming sinicized gradually.

During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, regional states became increasingly powerful. At this time, Shandong was home to two major states: the state of Qi at Linzi and the state of Lu at Qufu. Lu is noted for being the home of Confucius. However, the state was comparatively small and eventually succumbed to the larger state of Chu from the south. The state of Qi, on the other hand, was a significant power throughout the period. Cities it ruled included Linzi, Jimo (north of modern Qingdao) and Ju.

The easternmost part of the peninsula was ruled by the Dongyi state of Lai until Qi conquered it in 567 BC.

Early Imperial history

The Qin dynasty conquered Qi and founded the first centralized Chinese state in 221 BC. The Han dynasty that followed created several commanderies supervised by two regions (刺史部) in what is now modern Shandong: Qingzhou (青州) in the north and Yanzhou (兗州) in the south. During the division of the Three Kingdoms, Shandong belonged to the Cao Wei, which ruled over northern China.

After the Three Kingdoms period, a brief period of unity under the Western Jin dynasty gave way to invasions by nomadic peoples from the north. Northern China, including Shandong, was overrun. Over the next century or so, Shandong changed hands several times, falling to the Later Zhao, then Former Yan, then Former Qin, then Later Yan, then Southern Yan, then the Liu Song dynasty, and finally the Northern Wei dynasty, the first of the Northern dynasties during the Northern and Southern dynasties period. Shandong stayed with the Northern dynasties for the rest of this period.

In 412 AD, the Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian landed at Laoshan, on the southern edge of the Shandong peninsula, and proceeded to Qingzhou to edit and translate the scriptures he had brought back from India.

The Sui dynasty reestablished unity in 589, and the Tang dynasty (618-907) presided over the next golden age of China. For the earlier part of this period, Shandong was ruled as part of Henan Circuit, one of the circuits (a political division). Later on, China splintered into warlord factions, resulting in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Shandong was part of the Five Dynasties, all based in the north.

The Song dynasty reunified China in the late tenth century. The classic novel Water Margin was based on folk tales of outlaw bands active in Shandong during the Song dynasty. In 1996, the discovery of over two hundred buried Buddhist statues at Qingzhou was hailed as a major archaeological find. The statues included early examples of painted figures and are thought to have been buried due to Emperor Huizong's repression of Buddhism (he favored Taoism).

The Song dynasty was forced to cede northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1142. Shandong was administered by Jin as Shandong East Circuit and Shandong West Circuit – the first use of its current name.

Early modern history

City of Linqing, Shandong, with a view of the Grand Canal. Drawing by William Alexander, draughtsman of the Macartney Embassy to China in 1793.

The modern province of Shandong was created by the Ming dynasty, where it had a more expansive territory, including the agricultural part of Liaoning. After the Ming–Qing Transition in 1644, Shandong acquired (more or less) its current borders.

During the nineteenth century, China became increasingly exposed to Western influence, and Shandong, a coastal province under the dukedom of Xiong, was significantly affected. Qingdao was leased to Germany in 1897 and Weihai to Britain in 1898. As a result of foreign pressure from the Russian Empire, which had annexed Russian Manchuria by 1860, the Qing dynasty encouraged settlement of Shandong people to what remained of Manchuria.

Shandong was one of the first places in which the Boxer Rebellion started and became one of the uprising centers. In 1899, the Qing general Yuan Shikai was appointed governor of the province to suppress the uprising. He held the post for three years.

Street market in the Qingdao, photographed by members of the Fragata Sarmiento's crew in the late 19th century

Germany took control of China's Shandong Peninsula. In 1898, Germany had leased Jiaozhou Bay and its port of Qingdao under threat of force. Development was a high government priority. Over 200 million marks were invested in world-class harbor facilities such as berths, heavy machinery, rail yards, and a floating dry dock. Private enterprises worked across the Shandong Province, opening mines, banks, factories, and rail lines.[21]

British Weihaiwei Flag (1898~1940)

As a consequence of the First World War, Japan seized Germany holdings in Qingdao and Shandong. The Treaty of Versailles transferred ownership to Japan instead of restoring Chinese sovereignty over the area. Popular dissatisfaction with this outcome, referred to as the Shandong Problem, led to the vehement student protests in the May Fourth Movement. Among the reservations to the Treaty that the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved was "to give Shantung to China," the treaty with reservations was not approved. Finally, Shandong reverted to Chinese control in 1922 after the United States' mediation during the Washington Naval Conference. Weihai followed in 1930.[22]

The Kiautschou Bay concession was located in the natural harbor at Tsingtao on the southern coast of the Shandong Peninsula
German 1912 map of the Shandong Peninsula showing the Kiautschou Bay concession

Shandong's return of control fell into the Warlord Era of the Republic of China. Shandong was handed over to the Zhili clique of warlords, but after the Second Zhili–Fengtian War of 1924, the northeast China-based Fengtian clique took over. In April 1925, the Fengtian clique installed the warlord Zhang Zongchang, nicknamed the "Dogmeat General," as military governor of Shandong Province. Time dubbed him China's "basest warlord".[clarification needed][23] He ruled over the province until 1928 when he was ousted in the wake of the Northern Expedition. He was succeeded by Han Fuju, who was loyal to the warlord Feng Yuxiang but later switched his allegiance to the Nanjing government headed by Chiang Kai-shek. Han Fuju also ousted the warlord Liu Zhennian, nicknamed the "King of Shandong East," who ruled eastern Shandong Province, hence unifying the province under his rule.

In 1937 Japan began its invasion of China proper in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which would eventually become part of the Pacific theatre of the Second World War. Han Fuju was made Deputy Commander in Chief of the 5th War Area and put in charge of defending the lower Yellow River valley. However, he abandoned his base in Jinan when Japanese troops crossed the Yellow River. He was executed for not following orders shortly thereafter.

During the Japanese occupation, with resistance continuing in the countryside, Shandong was one of the provinces where a scorched earth policy ("Three Alls Policy": "kill all", "burn all", "loot all") was implemented by Japanese general Yasuji Okamura. This lasted until Japan's surrender in 1945, killing millions of people in Shandong and Northern China.

By 1945, communist forces already held some parts of Shandong. Over the next four years of the Chinese Civil War, they expanded their holdings, eventually driving the Kuomintang (government of the Republic of China) out of Shandong by June 1949, including the noble family of Xiong (熊) who held the governorship (previously a dukedom under the Imperial era, and an ancient viscountcy originating in Chu), to the island of Taiwan. The People's Republic of China was founded in October of the same year, thereby overthrowing the democratic Republic of China from the mainland. The Xiong (alternatively spelt 'Hsiung') family is currently in residence in the city of Taichung as of the late 1990s.

Under the new government, parts of western Shandong were initially given to the short-lived Pingyuan Province, but this did not last. Shandong also acquired the Xuzhou and Lianyungang areas from Jiangsu province, but this did not last either. For the most part, Shandong has kept the same borders that it has today.

About six million people starved to death in Shandong during Great Chinese Famine.[24]

In recent years, Shandong, especially eastern Shandong, has enjoyed significant economic development, becoming one of the People's Republic of China's richest provinces.


The sacred Mount Tai

The northwestern, western, and southwestern parts of the province are all part of the vast North China Plain. The province's center is more mountainous, with Mount Tai being the most prominent. The east of the province is the hilly Shandong Peninsula extending into the sea; Miaodao Archipaelago to the north of Shandong Peninsula is the border of Bohai Sea (west) and Yellow Sea (east). The highest peak of Shandong is Jade Emperor Peak, with a height of 1,545 metres (5,069 ft), which is also the highest peak in the Mount Tai Ranges.[citation needed]

The Yellow River passes through Shandong's western areas, since 1855, it has always been entering the sea to Shandong's northern coast; in Shandong, it flows on a levee, higher than the surrounding land, and dividing western Shandong into the Hai He watershed in the north and the Huai River watershed in the south. The Grand Canal of China enters Shandong from the northwest and leaves on the southwest. Weishan Lake is the largest lake in the province. Shandong's coastline is 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) long. Shandong Peninsula has a rocky coastline with cliffs, bays, and islands; the large Laizhou Bay, the southernmost of the 3 bays of the Bohai Sea, is bordering the northern coast between Dongying and Penglai; Jiaozhou Bay, which is much smaller, is surrounded by Qingdao. The Miaodao Islands extends northwards from the northern coast of the peninsula, separating the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea.

With Jinan serving as the province's economic and cultural center, the province's economic prowess has led to the development of modern coastal cities located at Qingdao, Weihai, and Yantai.[citation needed]


Shandong has a temperate climate: humid continental (Köppen Dwa); it is bordering humid subtropical (Cwa under the Köppen climate classification) in the south. Generally, summers are hot (typical max 35°C) and rainy (except for eastern parts of Jiaodong Peninsula (typical max 28°C) and Mount Tai (typical max 20°C)), while winters are cold and dry. Average temperatures are −9 to 1 °C (16 to 34 °F) in January and 18 to 28 °C (64 to 82 °F) in July. Annual precipitation is 550 to 950 mm (22 to 37 in), the vast majority of which occurs during summer, due to monsoonal influences.


Shandong is part of the Eastern Block of the North China craton. Beginning in the Mesozoic, Shandong has undergone a crustal thinning that is unusual for a craton and that has reduced the thickness of the crust from 200 km (120 mi) to as little as 80 km (50 mi). Shandong has hence experienced extensive volcanism in the Tertiary.

Some geological formations in Shandong are rich in fossils. For example, Zhucheng in southeastern Shandong has been the site of discovering many dinosaur fossils. In 2008, about 7,600 dinosaur bones from Tyrannosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and other genera were found, likely the largest collection ever discovered at one location.[25]


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Tomb of the 59th generation senior descendant of Confucius, Kong Yanjin. Many generations of the senior-branch direct descendants of Confucius ruled the Qufu area as its feudal rulers.

Main articles: Politics of Shandong and List of provincial leaders of the People's Republic of China

The Shandong Provincial People's Congress is the highest organ of state power in Shandong province and Shandong's provincial legislature. Its standing committee exercises the majority of the power of The Shandong Provincial People's Congress. The current chairman of the standing committee is Li Ganjie.

The Shandong Provincial People's Government is the State Administration in Shandong province. Its main officials are elected and appointed by The Shandong Provincial People's Congress. The provincial government reports to Shandong Provincial People's Congress and State Council of the People's Republic of China.

The current Governor of Shandong is Zhou Naixiang.


As of 1832, Shandong was exporting fruits, vegetables, wine, drugs, and deerskin, often heading to Guangzhou to exchange clothing and fabrics.[20] The economy of Shandong is China's third largest provincial economy with a GDP of CNY¥8.3 trillion in 2021 or USD$1.3 trillion in (nominal), which is equivalent to the GDP of Mexico.[13][14] Its GDP per capita is around the national average. Compared to a country, it would be the 15th-largest economy and the 15th most populous as of 2021.[15]

Shandong ranks first among the provinces in the production of a variety of products, including cotton, wheat, and garlic[26] as well as precious metals such as gold and diamonds. It also has one of the biggest sapphire deposits in the world.[27] Other important crops include sorghum and maize. Shandong has extensive petroleum deposits as well, especially in the Dongying area in the Yellow River delta, where the Shengli Oil Field (lit. Victory Oilfield) is one of the major oilfields of China. Shandong also produces bromine from underground wells and salt from seawater. It is the largest agricultural exporter in China.

Shandong is one of China's richest provinces, and its economic development focuses on large enterprises with well-known brand names. Shandong is the biggest industrial producer and one of the top manufacturing provinces in China. Shandong has also benefited from South Korean and Japanese investment and tourism, due to its geographical proximity to those countries.[28] The richest part of the province is the Shandong Peninsula, where the city of Qingdao is home to three of the most well-known brand names of China: Tsingtao Beer, Haier and Hisense. Besides, Dongying's oil fields and petroleum industries form an important component of Shandong's economy. Despite the primacy of Shandong's energy sector, the province has also been plagued with problems of inefficiency and ranks as the largest consumer of fossil fuels in all of China.[28]

Historical GDP of Shandong Province, 1952–present (SNA2008)[29]
(purchasing power parity of Chinese Yuan, as Int'l.dollar based on IMF WEO October 2017[note 1]
year GDP GDP per capita (GDPpc)
based on mid-year population
Reference index
GDP in millions real
GDPpc exchange rate
1 foreign currency
to CNY
USD 1 Int'l$. 1
2016 6,802,449 1,024,110 1,943,057 7.6 68,733 10,348 19,633 6.6423 3.5009
2015 6,393,074 1,026,439 1,801,120 8.0 65,114 10,454 18,345 6.2284 3.5495
2014 6,030,036 981,643 1,698,410 8.7 61,774 10,056 17,399 6.1428 3.5504
2013 5,602,372 904,601 1,566,265 9.6 57,702 9,317 16,132 6.1932 3.5769
2012 5,071,045 803,334 1,428,142 9.9 52,490 8,315 14,783 6.3125 3.5508
2011 4,543,951 703,529 1,296,235 10.9 47,416 7,341 13,526 6.4588 3.5055
2010 3,962,074 585,283 1,196,784 12.3 41,579 6,142 12,559 6.7695 3.3106
2009 3,425,154 501,413 1,084,768 12.2 36,270 5,310 11,487 6.8310 3.1575
2008 3,123,138 449,689 983,108 12.1 33,253 4,788 10,467 6.9451 3.1768
2007 2,599,074 341,804 862,076 14.3 27,833 3,660 9,232 7.6040 3.0149
2006 2,205,967 276,721 766,573 14.7 23,775 2,982 8,262 7.9718 2.8777
2005 1,849,700 225,802 646,974 15.1 20,075 2,451 7,022 8.1917 2.8590
2000 833,747 100,714 306,604 10.3 9,326 1,127 3,430 8.2784 2.7193
1990 151,119 31,594 88,758 5.3 1,815 379 1,066 4.7832 1.7026
1980 29,213 19,496 19,534 12.2 402 268 269 1.4984 1.4955
1978 22,545 14,498 10.1 316 203 1.5550
1970 12,631 5,131 15.7 199 81 2.4618
1965 8,625 3,504 22.0 152 62 2.4618
1957 6,139 2,358 -3.5 116 45 2.6040
1952 4,381 1,971 91 41 2.2227

Wine industry

See also: Wine in China

Shandong coastal vineyards

The production of wine is the second largest[citation needed] industry in the Shandong Province, second only to agriculture.

Geographically, the coastal areas remain relatively flat. Most of the soil is loose, well-ventilated, and rich in minerals and organic matter that enable full development of the root systems.

Presently, there are more than 140 wineries in the region, mainly distributed in the Nanwang Grape Valley and the Yan-Peng Sightseeing Highway(both are in Yantai). The region produced more than 40% of China's grape wine production.[32] Main varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay are all at 20 years of age, considered to be the golden stage for these grapes. Most of them maintain an average saccharinity of above 20%.

Major producers

Economic and technological development zones

Founded in 1991, the Jinan High-tech Industrial Development zone was one of the first of its kind approved by the State Council. The zone is located to the east of the city and covers a total planning area of 83 km2 (32 sq mi) that is divided into a central area covering 33 km2 (13 sq mi), an export processing district of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi), and an eastern extension area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi). Since its foundation, the Jinan High-tech Industrial Development Zone has attracted enterprises as LG, Panasonic, Volvo, and Sanyo. In 2000, it joined the world science and technology association and set up a China-Ukraine High-tech Cooperation Park. The Qilu Software Park became the sister park of Bangalore park of India.[citation needed]

The export processing zone is located in the eastern suburbs of Jinan, east of the Jinan High-tech Industrial Development Zone, and to the north of the Jiwang highway. The distances to the Jiqing Highway and the Jinan Airport are 9 and 18 km (5.6 and 11.2 mi) respectively.[33]

Approved by the State Council in October 1984, Qingdao Economic and Technical Development Zone has a plan of 12.5 km2 (4.8 sq mi). In 2004 the local GDP was ¥27.51 billion, which increased by 28.9%; the total industrial output value is ¥60.6 billion, which increased by 31%. There have been 48 projects invested by companies listed among the Global Fortune 500 in the zone. With the fast development of reform and opening-up, Haier, Hisense, Aucma, Sinopec, CSIC, CNOOC, CIMC etc. are all located in the zone.[34]

The State Council established Qingdao Free Trade Zone in 1992. The zone is 60 km (37 mi) away from Qingdao Liuting Airport. It is also close to Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal. At present, more than 40 foreign-invested enterprises have moved in, and 2000 projects have been approved. It is one of the special economic areas which enjoys the most favorable investment policies on customs, foreign exchange, foreign trade, and taxation in China.[citation needed]

The State Council approved Qingdao High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in 1992. The zone is located close to Qingdao Liuting Airport and Qingdao Harbor. Encouraged industries include electronic information, biotechnology, medicine, new materials, new energy, advanced equipment manufacturing, marine science & technology, national defense technology.[35]

Established in August 1995, Weifang Binhai Economic & Technological Development Area (BEDA) is a national economic and technological development area approved by the State Council. Covering an area of 677 km2 (261 sq mi), BEDA has a population of 100,000. BEDA possesses a large state-owned industrial land for use with an area of 400 km2 (150 sq mi). The land can be transacted conveniently, guaranteeing the demand of any project construction and providing broad development space for the enterprises in the area. Continuously, BEDA has been accredited as National Demonstration Zone invigorating the Sea by Science and Technology, National Innovation Base for Rejuvenating Trade through Science and Technology and National Demonstration Eco-Industry Park.

Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone is a state-level development zone approved by the State Council on Oct 21, 1992. The administrative area has an area of 194 km2 (75 sq mi), including the programmed area of 36 km2 (14 sq mi) and an initial area of 11.88 km2 (4.59 sq mi). Its nearest port is Weihai Port, and the airport closest to the zone is Wuhai Airport.[citation needed]

Weihai Export & Processing Zone (EPZ) was set up by the approval of the State Council on April 27, 2000. Weihai EPZ is located in Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone with programmed area of 2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi). Weihai EPZ belongs to comprehensive export & processing zone. The EPZ is located 30 km (19 mi) to Weihai Airport, 3 km (1.9 mi) to Weihai railway station and 4 km (2.5 mi) to Weihai Harbor.[citation needed]

Weihai Torch Hi-Tech Science Park is a state-level development zone approved by the State Council in March 1991. Located in Weihai's northwest zone of culture, education and science, the Park has the total area of 111.9 square kilometers (43.2 sq mi), the coastal line of 30.5 kilometers (19.0 mi) and 150,000 residents. It is 3 km (1.9 mi) away from the city center, 4 km (2.5 mi) away from Weihai Port, 10 km (6.2 mi) away from Weihai railway station, 30 km (19 mi) away from Weihai Airport and 80 km (50 mi) away from Yantai Airport.[36]

Yantai Economic and Technological Development Area is one of the earliest approved state level economic development zones in China. It now has planned area of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi) and a population of 115,000. It lies on the tip of the Shandong Peninsula facing the Huanghai Sea. It adjoins to downtown Yantai, merely 6 km (3.7 mi) away from Yantai Port, 6 km (3.7 mi) away from Yantai railway station, and a 30-minute drive to Yantai International Airport.[37]

Yantai Export Processing Zone (YTEPZ) is one of the first 15 export processing zones approved by the State Council. The total construction area of YTEPZ is 4.17 m2 (44.9 sq ft), in which the initial zone covers 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi). After developing for several years, YTEPZ is completely constructed. At present, the infrastructure has been completed, standard workshops of 120,000 m2 (140,000 sq yd) and bonded warehouses of 40,000 m2 (430,000 sq ft) have been built up. Up to now, owning perfect investment environment and conditions, YTEPZ has attracted investors both from foreign countries and regions such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden, the United States, Canada, etc., and from the domestic to invest and operate in the zone.[38]


Historical population
1912[39] 30,989,000—    
1928[40] 28,672,000−7.5%
1982[45] 74,419,054+34.0%
1990[46] 84,392,827+13.4%
2000[47] 89,971,789+6.6%
Qingdao was part of Shandong Province until 1929; dissolved in 1949 and incorporated into Shandong Province.
Weihai, also known as Weihaiwei. Established in 1930, dissolved in 1945, and incorporated into Shandong Province.

Shandong is the second most populous province of China, after Guangdong, just slightly ahead of Henan, with a population of more than 101,527,453 at the 2020 Chinese census. Over 99% of Shandong's population is Han Chinese. Minority groups include the Hui and the Manchus. Shandong citizens are also known to have the tallest average height of any Chinese province. As of 2010, 16-18-year-old male students in Yantai measured 176.4 centimetres (5 ft 9.4 in) while female students measured 164 cm (5 ft 5 in).[49]


Religion in Shandong[50][note 2]

  Christianity (1.21%)
  Islam (0.55%)
  Other religions or not religious people[note 3] (80.05%)

The predominant religions in Shandong are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 25,28% of the population believes in ancestor veneration, while 1.21% of the population identifies as Christian, decreasing from 1.30% in 2004.[50] The Christians were 1.89% of the province's population in 1949, the largest proportion in China at that time.[50] According to a survey of the year 2010, Muslims constitute 0.55% of Shandong's population up from 0.14% in 1949.[51][52]

The reports did not give figures for other types of religion; 80.05% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and folk religious sects. Shandong is the province where Confucius was born in the year 551 B.C.

Confucianism: The most well-known religion and/or philosophy of Shandong is Confucianism. Each year thousands of people come to Shandong to visit and learn about Confucius' culture. According to Chinese tradition, Confucius was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru School of Chinese thought. His teachings, preserved in the Lunyu or Analects, form the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on the ideal man's education and comportment, how such an individual should live his life and interact with others, and the forms of society and government in which he should participate. Additionally, there are many famous books about Confucius; the most famous one is the Analects written by his students. Confucius also helped edit The Five Classics (五经). The Five Classics include The Book of Songs, History, Changes and Rites.[53][54]

Famous view and arts

Administrative divisions

Main articles: List of administrative divisions of Shandong and List of township-level divisions of Shandong

Shandong is divided into sixteen prefecture-level divisions: all prefecture-level cities (including two sub-provincial cities). On January 1, 2019, Laiwu was wholly annexed to Jinan:

Administrative divisions of Shandong
Division code[57] Division Area in km2[58] Population 2010[59] Seat Divisions[60]
Districts Counties CL cities
370000 Shandong Province 157100.00 95,792,719 Jinan city 58 52 26
370100 Jinan city 10247.01 8,112,513 Lixia District 10 2
370200 Qingdao city 11175.30 8,715,087 Shinan District 7 3
370300 Zibo city 5965.17 4,530,597 Zhangdian District 5 3
370400 Zaozhuang city 4563.22 3,729,140 Xuecheng District 5 1
370500 Dongying city 7923.26 2,035,338 Dongying District 3 2
370600 Yantai city 13746.47 6,968,202 Laishan District 5 6
370700 Weifang city 16143.14 9,086,241 Kuiwen District 4 2 6
370800 Jining city 11186.98 8,081,905 Rencheng District 2 7 2
370900 Tai'an city 7761.83 5,494,207 Taishan District 2 2 2
371000 Weihai city 5796.98 2,804,771 Huancui District 2 2
371100 Rizhao city 5347.99 2,801,013 Donggang District 2 2
371300 Linyi city 17191.21 10,039,440 Lanshan District 3 9
371400 Dezhou city 10356.32 5,568,235 Decheng District 2 7 2
371500 Liaocheng city 8714.57 5,789,863 Dongchangfu District 2 5 1
371600 Binzhou city 9444.65 3,748,474 Bincheng District 2 4 1
371700 Heze city 12193.85 8,287,693 Mudan District 2 7

The 16 prefecture-level cities of Shandong are subdivided into 137 county-level divisions (55 districts, 26 county-level cities, and 56 counties). Those are in turn divided into 1941 township-level divisions (1223 towns, 293 townships, two ethnic townships, and 423 subdistricts).

Urban areas

Population by urban areas of prefecture & county cities
# City Urban area[61] District area[61] City proper[61] Census date
1 Jinan[a] 3,527,566 4,335,989 8,396,142 2010-11-01
(1) Jinan (new districts)[a] 1,261,040 2,880,687 see Jinan 2010-11-01
2 Qingdao[b] 3,519,919 3,718,835 8,715,087 2010-11-01
(2) Qingdao (new district)[b] 1,036,158 2,045,549 see Qingdao 2010-11-01
3 Zibo 2,261,717 3,129,228 4,530,597 2010-11-01
4 Yantai 1,797,861 2,227,733 6,968,202 2010-11-01
5 Linyi 1,522,488 2,303,648 10,039,440 2010-11-01
6 Weifang 1,261,582 2,044,028 9,086,241 2010-11-01
7 Tai'an 1,123,541 1,735,425 5,494,207 2010-11-01
8 Zaozhuang 980,893 2,125,481 3,729,140 2010-11-01
9 Jining[c] 939,034 1,241,012 8,081,905 2010-11-01
(9) Jining (new district)[c] 388,449 618,394 see Jining 2010-11-01
10 Rizhao 902,272 1,320,578 2,801,013 2010-11-01
11 Dongying[d] 848,958 1,004,271 2,035,338 2010-11-01
(11) Dongying (new district)[d] 114,073 242,292 see Dongying 2010-11-01
12 Tengzhou 783,473 1,603,659 see Zaozhuang 2010-11-01
13 Weihai[e] 698,863 844,310 2,804,771 2010-11-01
(13) Weihai (new district)[e] 310,628 673,625 see Weihai 2010-11-01
14 Xintai 672,207 1,315,942 see Tai'an 2010-11-01
15 Liaocheng 606,366 1,229,768 5,789,863 2010-11-01
16 Zhucheng 586,652 1,086,222 see Weifang 2010-11-01
17 Heze[f] 559,636 1,346,717 8,287,693 2010-11-01
(17) Heze (new district)[f] 166,037 565,793 see Heze 2010-11-01
18 Dezhou[g] 526,232 679,535 5,568,235 2010-11-01
(18) Dezhou (new district)[g] 170,317 569,007 see Dezhou 2010-11-01
19 Zoucheng 513,418 1,116,692 see Jining 2010-11-01
20 Shouguang 476,274 1,139,454 see Weifang 2010-11-01
21 Feicheng 472,775 946,627 see Tai'an 2010-11-01
22 Gaomi 466,786 895,582 see Weifang 2010-11-01
23 Pingdu 427,694 868,348 see Qingdao 2010-11-01
24 Binzhou[h] 407,820 682,717 3,748,474 2010-11-01
(24) Binzhou (new district)[h] 146,577 351,672 see Binzhou 2010-11-01
25 Jiaozhou 404,216 1357,424 see Qingdao 2010-11-01
(26) Zouping[i] 389,003 778,777 see Binzhou 2010-11-01
27 Longkou 388,770 688,255 see Yantai 2010-11-01
28 Qingzhou 384,358 940,355 see Weifang 2010-11-01
29 Laizhou 379,789 883,896 see Yantai 2010-11-01
30 Linqing 376,337 719,611 see Liaocheng 2010-11-01
31 Rongcheng 363,420 714,355 see Weihai 2010-11-01
32 Laiyang 358,092 878,591 see Yantai 2010-11-01
33 Laixi 347,452 750,225 see Qingdao 2010-11-01
34 Qufu 302,805 640,498 see Jining 2010-11-01
35 Anqiu 300,160 926,894 see Weifang 2010-11-01
36 Changyi 287,720 603,482 see Weifang 2010-11-01
37 Zhaoyuan 281,780 566,244 see Yantai 2010-11-01
38 Rushan 259,876 572,481 see Weihai 2010-11-01
39 Haiyang 244,600 638,729 see Yantai 2010-11-01
40 Leling 214,238 652,415 see Dezhou 2010-11-01
41 Qixia 204,633 589,620 see Yantai 2010-11-01
42 Yucheng 203,724 490,031 see Dezhou 2010-11-01
43 Penglai 185,894 451,109 see Yantai 2010-11-01
  1. ^ a b Laiwu PLC is currently no longer exist after census it merged with Jinan in 2019. Laiwu PLC's districts merged after census: Laiwu (Laicheng), Gangcheng; and new districts established after census: Zhangqiu (Zhangqiu CLC), Jiyang (Jiyang County). Laiwu PLC's districts and the new districts not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  2. ^ a b New district established after census: Jimo (Jimo CLC); Jiaonan CLC merged into Xihai'an (Huangdao) after census. The new district and annexed area not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  3. ^ a b New district established after census: Yanzhou (Yanzhou CLC). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  4. ^ a b New district established after census: Kenli (Kenli County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  5. ^ a b New district established after census: Wendeng (Wendeng CLC). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  6. ^ a b New district established after census: Dingtao (Dingtao County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  7. ^ a b New district established after census: Lingcheng (Lingxian County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  8. ^ a b New district established after census: Zhanhua (Zhanhua County). The new district not included in the urban area & district area count of the pre-expanded city.
  9. ^ Zouping County is currently known as Zouping CLC after census.
Most populous cities in Shandong
Source: China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2018 Urban Population and Urban Temporary Population[62]
Rank Pop. Rank Pop.
1 Qingdao 5,127,000 11 Weihai 968,500 Linyi
2 Jinan 4,154,900 12 Heze 917,900
3 Linyi 2,188,300 13 Dongying 911,900
4 Yantai 2,186,100 14 Liaocheng 910,600
5 Zibo 1,824,600 15 Rizhao 900,000
6 Jining 1,577,400 16 Binzhou 887,600
7 Weifang 1,497,600 17 Laiwu 720,000
8 Dezhou 1,074,200 18 Shouguang 574,900
9 Tai'an 1,027,100 19 Xintai 555,000
10 Zaozhuang 1,025,800 20 Zhucheng 496,900


Map of Shandong Dialects

Mandarin dialects are spoken in Shandong. Linguists classify these dialects into three broad categories: Ji Lu Mandarin spoken in the northwest (as well as in neighboring Hebei), such as the Jinan dialect; Zhongyuan Mandarin spoken in the southwest (as well as in neighboring Henan); and Jiao Liao Mandarin spoken in the Shandong Peninsula (as well as the Liaodong Peninsula(e.g., Dalian, Dandong) and the southeastern Jilin(e.g., Baishan, Tonghua)), such as the Weihai Dialect. When people speak of the "Shandong dialect" (山東話), it is generally the first or the second that is meant; the Jiao Liao dialects of Shandong are commonly called the "Jiaodong dialect" (膠東話).

Shandong cuisine (鲁菜) is one of the eight great traditions of Chinese cuisine. It is known for its bread(corn-based) and fish dishes.[63] It can be more finely divided into inland Shandong cuisine (e.g. Jinan cuisine); the seafood-centered Jiaodong cuisine in the peninsula; and Confucius's Mansion cuisine, an elaborate tradition originally intended for imperial and other important feasts.

Shandong Bangzi and Lüju are popular types of Chinese opera in Shandong; both originated from southwestern Shandong.


The Jingjiu railway (Beijing-Kowloon) and Jinghu railway (Beijing-Shanghai) are both major arterial railways that pass through the western part of Shandong. The Jingjiu passes through Liaocheng and Heze; the Jinghu passes through Dezhou, Jinan, Tai'an, Yanzhou (the Jinghu high-speed railway will through Qufu) and Zaozhuang. The Jiaoji railway is an important railway of Shandong, linking its two largest cities of Qingdao and Jinan, with the longest history of all.

Shandong has one of the densest and highest quality expressway networks among all Chinese provinces. These National Trunk Highway System (NTHS) expressways pass through or begin in Shandong. Expressways that begin in Shandong are in bold:

There are also many shorter regional expressways within Shandong.

The Shandong Peninsula, with its bays and harbours, has many important ports, including Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, Rizhao, Dongying and Longkou. Many of these ports have historical significance and the sites of former foreign naval bases or historical battles. Ferries link the cities on the north coast of the peninsula with the Liaodong Peninsula, further north across the sea.

Important airports include Jinan Yaoqiang Airport and Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport. Other airports are Dongying Shengli Airport, Jining Qufu Airport, Linyi Shubuling Airport, Weifang Airport, Weihai Dashuibo Airport and Yantai Laishan International Airport.

As of the end of 2018, Qingdao is the only city in Shandong with a metro system, with four lines in operation. Jinan will be operating its metro system in early 2019.


Tourist attractions in Shandong include:

Five-Year Clean Heating Plan

In 2017 air pollution contributed to about 21% of deaths in China.[64] In 2017, the Chinese government began a five-year plan to convert half of northern China to clean energy for winter heating.[65] Haiyang city is expected to convert completely to nuclear power by 2021,[66] reducing fossil fuel emissions by more than 60,000 tons annually.[67]


Colleges and universities

See also: List of universities and colleges in Shandong

Shandong is considered one of China's leading provinces in education and research. Shandong hosts 153 higher education institutions, ranking second in the East China region after Jiangsu and fourth among all Chinese provinces/municipalities after Jiangsu, Guangdong and Henan.[16] As of 2022, two major cities ranked in the top 70 cities in the world (Jinan 36th and Qingdao 68th) by scientific research output, as tracked by the Nature Index.[17]


Jinan Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

Events held in Shandong

Professional sports teams based in Shandong

Former professional sports teams based in Shandong

See also


  1. ^ Purchasing power parity of Chinese Yuan, as Int'l.dollar based on IMF WEO October 2017. Purchasing power parity (PPP) for Chinese yuan is estimate according to IMF WEO[30] data; Exchange rate of CN¥ to US$ is according to State Administration of Foreign Exchange, published in the China Statistical Yearbook.[31]
  2. ^ The data was collected by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of 2009 and by the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey (CSLS) of 2007, reported and assembled by Xiuhua Wang (2015)[50] in order to confront the proportion of people identifying with two similar social structures: ① Christian churches, and ② the traditional Chinese religion of the lineage (i. e. people believing and worshipping ancestral deities often organised into lineage "churches" and ancestral shrines). Data for other religions with a significant presence in China (deity cults, Buddhism, Taoism, folk religious sects, Islam, et al.) was not reported by Wang. The number of Muslims is taken from a survey reported in the year 2010.[51]
  3. ^ This may include:


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