Shijiazhuang, formerly romanized Shihkiachwang, is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei Province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 263 kilometres (163 mi) southwest of Beijing, and it administers eight districts, two county-level cities, and 12 counties.
As of 2015 it had a total population of 10,701,600 with 4,303,700 in the central (or metro) area comprising the seven districts and the county of Zhengding largely conurbated with the Shijiazhuang metropolitan area as urbanization continues to proliferate. Shijiazhuang's total population ranked twelfth in mainland China.
Shijiazhuang experienced dramatic growth after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The population of the metropolitan area has more than quadrupled in 30 years as a result of industrialization and infrastructural developments. From 2008 to 2011, Shijiazhuang implemented a three-year plan which concluded with the reorganization of the city resulting in an increase of green areas and new buildings and roads. A train station, airport and a subway system have been opened.
Shijiazhuang is situated east of the Taihang Mountains (Chinese: 太行山; pinyin: Tàiháng Shān), a mountain range extending over 400 kilometres from north to south with an average elevation of 1,500 to 2,000 metres (4,900 to 6,600 ft); making Shijiazhuang a place for hiking, outdoor trips and cycling.