Located in the central subtropical zone, Hunan has a continental wet monsoon climate. It has an average, annual temperature of 16 centigrade-18 centigrade, sunshine time of 1,300-1,800 hours, a frost-free period of 278-300 days, and precipitation of1,200-1,700mm per year.
Population and nationalities
The province has a multi-ethnic population of 66,977,000, including an urban population of 23,776,800, and a rural population of 43,200,200. Other than the Han nationality, there are 50 ethnic groups, with a population of 5.2 million, accounting for 8% of the province's total population. The population of the Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Bai, and Hui minorities accounts for 99% of the total minority population.
Rich in natural resources, Hunan has long been known as a "Land of Rice and Fish", the "Home of Nonferrous Metals", "Home of Non-metallic Minerals" and a "Tourist Paradise". Located in the central, subtropical zone, Hunan has a continental wet monsoon climate. With much sunshine, plentiful rain, and distinct seasons, Hunan is very favorable for agricultural and animal production. As an old saying goes, "When Hunan and Guangdong have reaped rice, food for all the Chinese will be sufficient." Hunan's output capacity of rice and ramie ranks first in China; tea and orange occupy second and third place, respectively, and production of pork, cotton, tobacco, sugarcane, oil, and fresh-water fish also hold leading places in China.
Hunan has a unique and complicated geological formation, and is rich with minerals. It contains mineral resources of both high quality and quantity. Of the 160 minerals discovered in the world, Hunan has 141, including 91 kinds of minerals reserves that have been proven. Mineral resources such as antimony, tungsten, bismuth, arsenic sulphide, sepiolite, barite, and monazite are all ranked among the highest in China, of which which antimony and tungsten rank top in the world. The reserves of manganese, vanadium, rhenium, Glauber's salt, and kaolin rank in the top two of China, while zinc, lead, tantalum, graphite, diamond, and the raw materials for cement rank at 3rd place in China. The forest cover is 314 million m3, and the forest cover rate is 53.1%. There are over 40 species of rare birds and animals, and over 160 kinds of natural fish. The surface-water total is more than 200 million cubic meters, and total underground water comes to 45.5 billion cubic meters. Waterpower resources add up to 15.32 million KW (15,320MW), and exploitable waterpower reaches 10.83 million KW (10,830MW).
Hunan has many excellent mountains, beautiful waters, and many places of historical interests or scenic beauty. It has one World Natural Heritage site, 8 national scenic spots, 6 excellent tourism cities, 16 national Grade 4A Tourism Zones, 7 national natural reservation zones, 21 national forest parks, 3 national historical and cultural cities, and 33 key cultural relic protection units. Mount Hengshan, or Nanyue Mountain, known as the "only one with class among China's five sacred mountains", is a Buddhist Mountain. The Yueyang Pavilion is one of the three famous, ancient pavilions along the south of the Yangtze River. In one pavilion, Fan Zhongyan, a famous poet of ancient China, once wrote, "Be the first to bear hardships, and the last to enjoy comforts". Since then, that particular pavilion has enjoyed worldwide fame. In particular, the Zhangjiajie National Forest, a place of timeless beauty, has been acclaimed as one of the"Great wonders of nature", and "The earth's keepsake" by experts at home and abroad.