Guangdong ( alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung) is a coastal
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outs ...
in South China on the north shore of the
South China Sea
South China Sea
. The capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 113.46 million (as of 2018) across a total area of about , Guangdong is the most populous province of China and the 15th-largest by area. Its economy is larger than that of any other province in the nation and the 4th largest sub-national economy in the world with GDP of 1.66 trillion USD (10.77 trillion CNY) in 2019. The Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, a Chinese megalopolis, is a core for high technology,
manufacturing Manufacturing is the Production (economics), production of goods through the use of Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy. The term ...
and foreign trade. Located in this zone are two of the four top Chinese cities and the top two Chinese prefecture-level cities by GDP; Guangzhou, the capital of the province, and Shenzhen, the first Special economic zones of China, special economic zone in the country. These two are among the most populous and important cities in China, and have now become two of the world's most populous Megacity, megacities. The province of Guangdong surpassed Henan and Shandong to become the List of Chinese administrative divisions by population, most populous province in China in January 2005, registering 79.1 million permanent residents and 31 million migrants who lived in the province for at least six months of the year;English people.com.cn
the total population was 104,303,132 in the Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China, 2010 census, accounting for 7.79 percent of Mainland China's population.China NBS: 6th National Population Census – DATA
This makes it List of country subdivisions by population, the most populous first-level administrative subdivision of any country outside of South Asia. Its population increase since the census has been modest, the province registering 108,500,000 people in 2015. The vast majority of the historical Guangdong Province is administered by the People's Republic of China (PRC). Pratas Island in the is part of Cijin District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (ROC); the island was previously part of Guangdong Province before the Chinese Civil War. Guangdong has a diversified economy. Since 1989, Guangdong has topped the total GDP rankings among all Administrative divisions of China, provincial-level divisions, with Jiangsu and Shandong second and third in rank. As of 2018, Guangdong's GDP reached 1.47 trillion US dollars (CNY 9.73 trillion), exceeding that of Economy of Spain, Spain with GDP of 1.43 trillion US dollars, the List of countries by GDP (nominal), 13th largest in the world.the historical PPP GDP figures of Mainland China and exchange rates of Chinese yuan to Int'l. dollar are based on the World Economic Outlook Database April 2019 The province contributes approximately 12% of the total economic output of mainland China, and is home to the production facilities and offices of a wide-ranging set of Chinese and foreign corporations. Guangdong has benefited from its proximity to the financial hub of Hong Kong, which it borders to the south. Guangdong also hosts the largest import and export fair in China, the Canton Fair, hosted in the provincial capital of Guangzhou. After the unification of Lingnan region in the Qin dynasty, the immigrants from the Zhongyuan, Central Plains moved in and formed the Lingnan culture, local culture with a unique style. With the outward movement of the Cantonese people, Guangdong people, the Hakka Chinese, Hakka and Cantonese Varieties of Chinese, languages, Music of Guangdong, music, Cantonese cuisine, cuisine, Cantonese opera, opera and Gongfu tea ceremony, tea ceremony have been spread throughout the nation, Southeast Asia and other countries. The two Special administrative regions of China, special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau fall within the scope of Guangdong cultural influence, and Guangdong culture still has profound influences on the Overseas Chinese, Chinese in Chinese Singaporeans, Singapore and Malaysian Chinese, Malaysia.


"''Guǎng''" () means "wide" or "vast", and has been associated with the region since the creation of Guang Prefecture in AD 226. The name "''Guang''" ultimately came from Guangxin (), an outpost established in Han dynasty near modern Wuzhou, whose name is a reference to an order by Emperor Wu of Han to "widely bestow favors and sow trust". Together, Guangdong and Guangxi are called ''Liangguang, Loeng gwong'' (Liangkwang; ) During the Song dynasty, the Two Guangs were formally separated as ''Guǎngnán Dōnglù'' () and ''Guǎngnán Xīlù'' (), which became abbreviated as ''Guǎngdōng Lù'' () and ''Guǎngxī Lù'' (). "Canton", though etymologically derived from ' (the Portuguese transliteration of "Guangdong"), usually by itself refers to the provincial capital Guangzhou. Historically, Canton was also used for the province itself, but often either specified as a province (e.g. Canton Province), or written as Kwangtung in the Wade–Giles system and now most commonly as Guangdong in Pinyin. The local people of the city of Guangzhou (Canton) and their language are called Cantonese language, Cantonese in English. Because of the prestige of Guangzhou, Canton and its accent, Cantonese ''Sensu, sensu lato'' can also be used for the phylogenetically related residents and Chinese dialects outside the provincial capital.



The Neolithic era began in the Pearl River Delta () 7,000 years before present (BP), with the early period from around 7000 to 5000 BP (c. 5050–3050 BC), and the late period from about 5000 to 3500 BP (c. 3050–1550 BC). In coastal Guangdong, the Neolithic was likely introduced from the middle Yangtze River area (Jiao 2013). In inland Guangdong, the neolithic appeared in Guangdong 4,600 years before present (BP). The Neolithic in northern inland Guangdong is represented by the Shixia culture (), which occurred from 4600 to 4200 BP (c. 2650–2250 BC).


Originally inhabited by a mixture of tribal groups known to the Chinese as the Baiyue ("Hundred Yue"), the region first became part of China during the Qin dynasty. Under the Qin Dynasty, Chinese administration began and along with it reliable historical records in the region. After establishing the first Qin's wars of unification, unified Chinese empire, the Qin expanded southwards and set up Nanhai Commandery at Panyu District, Panyu, near what is now part of Guangzhou. The region was an independent kingdom as Nanyue between the fall of Qin and the reign of Emperor Wu of Han. The Han dynasty administered Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam as Jiaozhou (region), Jiaozhi Province; southernmost Jiaozhi Province was used as a gateway for traders from the west—as far away as the Roman Empire. Under the Eastern Wu, Wu Kingdom of the Three Kingdoms period, Guangdong was made its own province, the Guang Province, in 226 CE. Once known as Canton, the town was a prosperous port city along a tropical frontier region beset by disease and wild animals, but rich in oranges, banyan, bananas, and lychee fruits, they traded slaves, silk and chinaware with Persians, Brahmans and Malays (ethnic group), Malays in exchange for their renowned medicines and fragrant tropical woods. Shi'a Muslims who had fled persecution in Greater Khorasan, Khorasan and Buddhists from India lived side by side in the thriving town each erecting their own houses of worship. A foreign quarter sprang up along the Pearl River (China), river where many traders of diverse backgrounds including Arabs, and Sinhalese people, Singhalese took up residence. The port's importance declined after it was raided by Arabs and Persians in 758 and the foreign residents were at times troubled by the corrupt local officials, sometimes responding violently. During one incident in 684, for example, a merchant vessel's captain murdered a corrupt governor who had used his position to steal from the merchant. Together with Guangxi, Guangdong was made part of Lingnan culture, Lingnan Circuit (political division Circuit), or Mountain-South Circuit, in 627 during the Tang dynasty. The Guangdong part of Lingnan Circuit was renamed Guangnan East Circuit () in 971 during the Song dynasty (960–1279). "Guangnan East" () is the source of the name "Guangdong" (). As time passed, the demographics of what is now Guangdong gradually shifted to (Han people, Han) Chinese dominance as the populations intermingled due to commerce along the great canals, and abruptly shifted through massive migration from Northern China, the north during periods of political turmoil and nomadic incursions from the fall of the Han dynasty onwards. For example, internal strife in northern China following An Lushan Rebellion, the rebellion of An Lushan resulted in a 75% increase in the population of Guangzhou prefecture between the 740s–750s and 800s–810s. As more migrants arrived, the local population was gradually Sinicization, assimilated to Han Chinese culture or displaced. As Mongol conquest of the Song dynasty, Mongols from the north engaged in their Mongol conquest of China, conquest of China in the 13th century, the Southern Song court fled southwards from its capital in Hangzhou. The defeat of the Southern Song court by Mongol naval forces in The Battle of Yamen 1279 in Guangdong marked the end of the Southern Song dynasty (960–1279). During the Mongol Yuan dynasty, large parts of current Guangdong belonged to Jiangxi. Its present name, "Guangdong Province" was given in early Ming dynasty. Since the 16th century, Guangdong has had extensive trade links with the rest of the world. European merchants coming northwards via the Straits of Malacca and the , particularly the Portuguese people, Portuguese and British, traded extensively through Guangzhou. Macau, on the southern coast of Guangdong, was the first European settlement in 1557. In the 19th century, the opium traded through Guangzhou triggered the First Opium War, opening an era of Western imperialists' incursion and intervention in China. In addition to Macau, which was then a History of Macau#Portuguese settlement, Portuguese colony, Hong Kong was ceded to the British, and Guangzhouwan, Kwang-Chou-Wan (modern day area of Zhanjiang) to the French. Due to the large number of people that emigrated out of the Guangdong province, and in particular the ease of immigration from Hong Kong to other parts of the British Empire (later British Commonwealth), many overseas Chinese communities have their origins in Guangdong and/or Cantonese culture. In particular, the Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew dialect, Teochew dialects have proportionately more speakers among overseas Chinese people than Mandarin-speaking Chinese. Additionally, many Taishanese-speaking Chinese Chinese emigration, emigrated to Western countries, with the results that many Western versions of Chinese words were derived from the Cantonese dialects rather than through the mainstream Mandarin language, such as "dim sum". Some Mandarin Chinese words originally of foreign origin also came from the original foreign language by way of Cantonese. For example, the Mandarin word ' (), meaning "Lemon", came from Cantonese, in which the characters are pronounced as '. In the United States, there is a large number of Chinese who are descendants of immigrants from the county-level city of Taishan, Guangdong, Taishan (Toisan in Cantonese), who speak a distinctive dialect related to Cantonese called Taishanese (or Toishanese). During the 1850s, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, whose leader Hong Xiuquan was born in Guangdong and received a pamphlet from a Protestant Christian missionary in Guangdong, was allied with a local Guangdong Red Turban Rebellion (1854–1856). Because of direct contact with the West, Guangdong was the center of anti-Manchu and anti-imperialist activity. The generally acknowledged founder of modern China, Sun Yat-sen, was also from Guangdong.

20th century

During the early 1920s of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China, Guangdong was the staging area for the Kuomintang (KMT) to prepare for the Northern Expedition (1926–1927), Northern Expedition, an effort to bring the various warlord era, warlords of China back under a unified central government. Whampoa Military Academy was built near Guangzhou to train military commanders. In recent years, the province has seen extremely rapid economic growth, aided in part by its close trading links with Hong Kong, which borders it. It is now the province with the highest gross domestic product in China. In 1952, a small section of Guangdong's coastline (Qinzhou, Lianzhou (now Hepu County), Fangchenggang and Beihai) was given to Guangxi, giving it access to the sea. This was reversed in 1955, and then restored in 1965. Hainan Island was originally part of Guangdong, but it was separated into its own province in 1988.


Guangdong faces the to the south and has a total of of coastline. The Leizhou Peninsula is on the southwestern end of the province. There are a few inactive volcanoes on Leizhou Peninsula. The Pearl River Delta is the convergent point of three upstream rivers: the Dong Jiang, East River, Bei Jiang, North River, and Xi Jiang, West River. The river delta is filled with hundreds of small islands. The province is geographically separated from the north by a few mountain ranges collectively called the Nan Mountains (Nan Ling). The highest peak in the province is Shikengkong with an elevation of 6,240 feet (1,902 meters) above sea level. Guangdong borders Fujian to the northeast, Jiangxi and Hunan to the north, Guangxi autonomous region to the west, and Hong Kong and Macau special administrative region (People's Republic of China), Special Administrative Regions to the south. Hainan is offshore across from the Leizhou Peninsula. Pratas Island, which were traditionally governed as part of Guangdong, are part of Cijin District, Kaoshiung, Taiwan (ROC). Cities around the Pearl River Delta include Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Shunde, Taishan, Guangdong, Taishan, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Other cities in the province include Chaozhou, Chenghai, Nanhai District, Nanhai, Shantou, Shaoguan, Zhanjiang, Zhaoqing, Yangjiang and Yunfu. Guangdong has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cfa'' inland, ''Cwa'' along the coast). Winters are short, mild, and relatively dry, while summers are long, hot, and very wet. Average daily highs in Guangzhou in January and July are and , although the humidity makes it feel hotter in summer. Frost is rare on the coast but may happen a few days each winter.


In 2019, the gross domestic product (GDP) is about $1.6 trillion, Guangdong has been the largest province by GDP since 1989 in Mainland China. Guangdong is responsible for 11 percent of the China' $14.4 trillion GDP.GDP-2019 is a preliminary data, and GDP-2018 is a revision based on the 2018 CASEN: In 2019, Guangdong's GDP was slightly larger than that of Spain ranking 13th. Comparable to that of country subdivisions in dollar terms, Guangdong's GDP is larger than that of all but 3 country subdivisions: California, Texas and New York. This is a trend o
official estimates
of the gross domestic product of the Province of Guangdong with figures in millions of Chinese Yuan: After the Chinese Revolution (1949), communist revolution and until the start of the Deng Xiaoping reforms in 1978, Guangdong was an economic backwater, although a large underground, service-based economy has always existed. Economic development policies encouraged industrial development in the interior provinces which were weakly joined to Guangdong via transportation links. The government policy of economic autarky made Guangdong's access to the ocean irrelevant. Deng Xiaoping's open door policy radically changed the economy of the province as it was able to take advantage of its access to the ocean, proximity to Hong Kong, and historical links to overseas Chinese. In addition, until the 1990s when the Tax system in China, Chinese taxation system was reformed, the province benefited from the relatively low rate of taxation placed on it by the central government due to its post-Liberation status of being economically backward. Guangdong's economic boom began with the early 1990s and has since spread to neighboring provinces, and also pulled their populations inward. The economic growth of Guangdong province owes much to the low-value-added manufacturing which characterized (and in many ways still defines) the province's economy following Deng Xiaoping's reforms. Guangdong is not only China's largest exporter of goods, it is the country's largest importer as well. The province is now one of the richest in the nation, with the most billionaires in mainland China, the highest GDP among all the provinces, although wage growth has only recently begun to rise due to a large influx of migrant workers from neighboring provinces. In 2011, Guangdong's aggregate nominal GDP reached 5.30 trillion RMB (US$838.60 billion) with a per capita GDP of 47,689 RMB. By 2015, the local government of Guangdong hopes that the service industry will account for more than 50 percent of the provinces GDP and high-tech manufacturing another 20 percent. In 2009, Guangdong's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 201 billion yuan, 1.93 trillion yuan, and 1.78 trillion yuan, respectively. Its per capita GDP reached 40,748 yuan (about US$5,965). Guangdong contributes approximately 12% of the total national economic output. Now, it has three of the six Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China, Special Economic Zones: Shenzhen, Shantou and Zhuhai. The affluence of Guangdong, however, remains very concentrated near the Pearl River Delta. In 2008 its foreign trade also grew 7.8% from the previous year and is also by far the largest of all of China. By numbers, Guangdong's foreign trade accounts for more than a quarter of China's US$2.56 trillion foreign trade or roughly US$683 billion.

Economic and technological development zones

* Shenzhen Export Processing Zone * Shenzhen Futian Free Trade Zone * Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park * Yantian Port Free Trade Zone * Foshan National New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone * Guangzhou Development District * Guangzhou Export Processing Zone * Guangzhou Free Trade Zone * Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technical Development Zone * Guangzhou Nanhu Lake Tourist Holiday Resort (Chinese Version) * Guangzhou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone * Huizhou Dayawan Economic and Technological Development Zone * Huizhou Export Processing Zone * Huizhou Zhongkai Hi-Tech Development Zone * Nansha Subdistrict, Nansha Free Trade Zone * Shantou Free Trade Zone * Shatoujiao Free Trade Zone * Zhanjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone (Chinese Version) * Zhuhai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone * Zhuhai Free Trade Zone * Zhongshan Torch High-tech Industrial Development Zone


Guangdong officially became the List of People's Republic of China administrative divisions by population, most populous province in 2005. Official statistics had traditionally placed Guangdong as the 4th-most populous province of China with about 80 million people, though an influx of migrants, temporary workers, and newly settled individuals numbered around 30 million. The massive influx of migrants from other provinces, dubbed the "floating population", is due to Guangdong's booming economy and high demand for labor. If Guangdong were an independent nation, it would rank among the List of countries and dependencies by population, twenty largest countries of the world by population.


Guangdong's population is 70.7% urban and 29.3% rural.


Guangdong is the ancestral home of large numbers of overseas Chinese. Most of the railroad laborers in Canada, Western United States and Panama in the 19th century came from Guangdong. Many people from the region also travelled to the US / California during the gold rush of 1849, and also to Australia during its gold rush a decade or so later. The majority of the province's population is Han Chinese. Within the Han Chinese, the largest subgroup in Guangdong are the Cantonese people. Two other major groups are the Teochew people in Chaoshan and the Hakka people in Huizhou, Meizhou, Heyuan, Shaoguan and Zhanjiang. There is a small Yao people, Yao population in the north. Other smaller List of Chinese ethnic groups, minority groups include She people, She, Hmong people, Miao, Li Chinese, Li, and Zhuang people, Zhuang.

Gender ratio

Guangdong has a highly unbalanced gender ratio that is among the highest of all provinces in China. According to a 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal, in the 1–4 age group, there are over 130 boys for every 100 girls.


According to a 2012 survey only around 7% of the population of Guangdong belongs to organised religions, the largest groups being Buddhism in China, Buddhists with 6.2%, followed by Protestantism in China, Protestants with 0.8% and Catholicism in China, Catholics with 0.2%. Around 93% of the population is either irreligious or may be involved in Chinese folk religions worshipping nature gods, ancestral deities, Chinese salvationist religions, popular sects, Taoism, Taoist traditions, Buddhist religious traditions & Confucian religious traditions. According to a survey conducted in 2007, 43.71% of the population believes and is involved in Chinese ancestral religion, ancestor veneration, the traditional Chinese religion of the lineages organised into lineage churches and ancestral shrines.


Guangdong is governed by a dual-party system like the rest of China. The Governor is in charge of provincial affairs; however, the Communist Party Secretary, often from outside of Guangdong, keeps the Governor in check.

Relations with Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong and Macau, while historically parts of Guangdong before becoming colonies of the United Kingdom and Portugal, respectively, are Special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, special administrative regions (SARs). Furthermore, the Basic Laws of both SARs explicitly forbid provincial governments from intervening in local politics. As a result, many issues with Hong Kong and Macau, such as border policy and water rights, have been settled by negotiations between the SARs' governments and the Guangdong provincial government.


Guangdong and the greater Guangzhou area are served by several Radio Guangdong stations, Guangdong Television, Southern Television Guangdong, Shenzhen Television, and Guangzhou Television. There is an English programme produced by Radio Guangdong which broadcasts information about this region to the entire world through the WRN Broadcast.


The central region, which is also the political and economic center, is populated predominantly by Yue Chinese speakers, though the influx in the last three decades of millions of Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin-speaking immigrants has slightly diminished Cantonese linguistic dominance. This region is associated with Cantonese cuisine. Cantonese opera is a form of Chinese opera popular in Cantonese speaking areas. Related Yue dialects are spoken in most of the western half of the province. The area comprising the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou and Jieyang in coastal east Guangdong, known as Chaoshan, forms its own cultural sphere. The Teochew people here, along with Hailufeng dialect, Hailufeng Min people in Shanwei, speak Hokkien, which is a Min Chinese, Min dialect closely related to mainstream Hokkien, Southern Min (Hokkien) and their cuisine is Chiuchow cuisine, Teochew cuisine. Teochew opera is also well-known and has a unique form. The Hakka people live in large areas of Guangdong, including Huizhou, Meizhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Shaoguan and other areas. Much of the Eastern part of Guangdong is populated by the Hakka people except for the Chaozhou and Hailufeng area. Hakka culture include Hakka cuisine, Han opera (), Hakka ''Hanyue'' and ''sixian'' (traditional instrumental music) and Hakka folk songs (). The outcast Tanka people traditionally live on boats throughout the coasts and rivers of Guangdong and much of Southern China. Zhanjiang in southern Guangdong is dominated by the Leizhou Min, Leizhou dialect, a variety of Min language, Minnan; Cantonese and Hakka are also spoken there. Mandarin is the language used in education and government and in areas where there are migrants from other provinces, above all in Shenzhen. Cantonese maintains a strong and dominant position in common usage and media, even in eastern areas of the province where the local languages and dialects are non-Yue ones. Guangdong Province is notable for being the birthplace of many famous Xiangqi (Chinese chess) grandmasters such as Lü Qin, Yang Guanli, Cai Furu and Xu Yinchuan.


Guangdong Province Department of Education is the department of the provincial government that oversees education.

Colleges and universities


* Sun Yat-sen University * South China University of Technology * Jinan University * South China Agricultural University * Guangdong University of Foreign Studies * Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine


* Dongguan Institute of Technology * Dongguan University of Technology * Foshan University * Guangdong Education and Research Network * Guangdong General Hospital * Guangdong Institute of Education * Guangdong Institute of Science and Technology * Guangdong Medical College * Guangdong Ocean University * Guangdong Petrochemical Academy * Guangdong Pharmaceutical University * Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University * Guangdong Radio and TV University * Guangdong University of Finance & Economics * Guangdong University of Finance * Guangdong University of Technology * Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts * Guangzhou Education College * Guangzhou Medical College * Guangzhou Normal University * Guangzhou Sports University * Guangzhou University * Hanshan Teachers College * Huizhou University * Panyu Polytechnic * Shaoguan University * Shenzhen Party School * Shantou University * Shenzhen University * Shenzhen Technology University * Shenzhen Polytechnic * Shunde University * South China Normal University * South University of Science and Technology of China * Southern Medical University * Wuyi University * Xijiang University * Xinghai Conservatory of Music * Zhanjiang Normal University * Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering * Zhaoqing University


List of current professional team sport, sports based in Guangdong:


Notable attractions include Danxia Mountain in Shaoguan, Yuexiu Hill, Baiyun Mountain (Guangdong), Baiyun Mountain in Guangzhou, Star Lake (Zhaoqing), Star Lake and the Seven Star Crags, Dinghu Mountain in Zhaoqing, the Huangmanzhai waterfalls in Jieyang, and the Zhongshan Park, Zhongshan Sun Wen Memorial Park for Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan.

Administrative divisions

Guangdong is divided into twenty-one prefecture-level divisions: all Prefecture-level city, prefecture-level cities (including two Sub-provincial divisions in the People's Republic of China, sub-provincial cities): The twenty-one Prefectures of the People's Republic of China, Prefecture of Guangdong are subdivided into 119 county-level divisions (64 District of China, districts, 20 county-level cities, 34 County (People's Republic of China), counties, and 3 Autonomous counties of the People's Republic of China, autonomous counties). For county-level divisions, see the list of administrative divisions of Guangdong.

Urban areas

International relations

Guangdong is twinned with: * Aichi Prefecture, Japan * Hawai'i State, Hawai'i, United States of America * New South Wales, Australia

See also

* Governors of Guangdong * Major national historical and cultural sites (Guangdong), Major national historical and cultural sites in Guangdong




Economic profile for Guangdong
at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council

External links

Guangdong provincial government official website

Complete Map of the Seven Coastal Provinces
from 1821 to 1850
Pictures and comments about life in Guangdong
{{Authority control Guangdong, South China, . Gulf of Tonkin Pearl River Delta Provinces of the People's Republic of China