Henan (formerly romanised as Honan) is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan or Zhongzhou which literally means "central plain land" or "midland", although the name is also applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 3,000 years of recorded history, and remained China's cultural, economical, and political center until approximately 1,000 years ago.
Henan province is a home to a large number of heritage sites which have been left behind including the ruins of Shang dynasty capital city Yin and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou are located in Henan.
Although the name of the province means "south of the [Yellow] river", approximately a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River, also known as the Huang He. With an area of 167,000 km2 (64,479 sq mi), Henan covers a large part of the fertile and densely populated North China Plain. Its neighbouring provinces are Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Hubei. Henan is China's third most populous province with a population of over 94 million. If it were a country by itself, Henan would be the 14th most populous country in the world, ahead of Egypt and Vietnam.
Henan is the 5th largest provincial economy of China and the largest among inland provinces. However, per capita GDP is low compared to other eastern and central provinces.
Henan is considered to be one of the less developed areas in China. The economy continues to grow based on aluminum and coal prices, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, tourism, and retail, and hightech industries and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang.