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Geographic Location and Natual Condition
10/8/2004 15:14

Administrative Divisions

In early years after the liberation, Shanghai was divided into 20 urban districts and 10 suburban districts. By the end of 2003, Shanghai had 18 districts and 1 county. There were 118 towns, 3 townships, 100 subdistrict committees, 3,293 neighborhood committees and 1,991 villagers' committees in the city.


Area Map of Districts and Counties of Shanghai (2002)


District/County    Area (


Huangpu District     12.41

Luwan District       8.05

Xuhui District                     54.76

Changning District      38.30

Jing'an District     7.62

Putuo District       54.83

Zhabei District      29.26

Hongkou District     23.48

Yangpu District      60.73

Pudong District      522.75

Minhang District     371.68

Jiading District     458.80

Baoshan District     415.27

Jinshan District     586.05

Songjiang District      604.71

Qingpu District                    675.54

Nanhui District      687.66

Fengxian District    687.39

Chongming County     1041.21


Topographic Features

Except for a few hills lying in the southwest corner, most parts of the Shanghai area are flat and belong to the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River Delta. The average sea level elevation is about four meters. The highest point within Shanghai is Dajin Hill which has a sea level elevation of 103.4 meters.


Water Resources


Dotted with many rivers and lakes, the Shanghai area is known for its rich water resources, with the water area totaling 697 square kilometers and accounting for 11% of the city's total territory. Most of the rivers, including the Suzhou Creek, Chuanyang River and Diangpu River, are tributaries of the Huangpu River. Originated from the Taihu Lake, the 113-kilometer-long Huangpu River winds through the downtown area of the city. The river is about 300 to 770 meters wide with an average width standing at 360 meters. The ice-free Huangpu River is the main waterway in the Shanghai area. The Shanghai section of the Suzhou Creek runs 54 kilometers, with an average width of 45 meters. The city's lakes assemble mainly in the western area bordering Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, with the 62-square-kilometer Dianshan lake being the largest.


                        Land Area

The city covered an area of only 636.18 square kilometers in 1949. By the year 1958, after Shanghai took over 10 counties from Jiangsu Province -- including Jiading, Baoshan, Shanghai, Songjiang, Jinshan, Chuansha, Nanhui, Fengxian, Qingpu and Chongming, the area under the city's jurisdiction expanded to 5,910 square kilometers. The city had a total area of 6,340.5 square kilometers at the end of 2002, 0.06% of China's total territory. Shanghai extends about 120 kilometers in north and south and nearly 100 kilometers in east and west. The city's 19 districts cover a total area of 5,299.29 square kilometers and its only county has an area of 1,041.21 square kilometers. The city has three islands -- Chongming, Changxing and Hengsha -- under its jurisdiction and Chongming Island is the third largest island in China, covering an area of 1,041.21 square kilometers.


With a pleasant northern subtropical maritime monsoon climate, Shanghai enjoys four distinct seasons, generous sunshine and abundant rainfall every year. Its spring and autumn are relatively short comparing with the summer and winter. In 2002, the average annual temperature was 17.8 degrees Celsius. The city had a total sunshine time of 1,686.5 hours in 2002 and received an annual rainfall of 1,427.9 millimeters. However, about 60% of the precipitation came during the May-September flood season, which is divided into three rainy periods, namely, the Spring Rain, the Plum Rain and the Autumn Rain.


Geographic Location

Shanghai is situated at 31'14' north latitude and 121'29' east longitude. Bordering on Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces on the west, Shanghai is washed by the East China Sea on the east and Hangzhou Bay on the south. North of the city, the Yangtze River pours into the East China Sea. It also assumes the central location along China's coastal line. Thanks to its advantageous geographic location, Shanghai has today become an excellent sea and river port, boasting easy accesses to a vast hinterland.


Shanghai's Location in the World Map and Its Main Transportation Network

ap of Shanghai

China   Shanghai   Huangpu District   Luwan District

Xuhui District   Changning District   Jing'an District   Putuo District

Zhabei District   Hongkou District   Yangpu District   Minhang District

Baoshan District   Jiading District   Jinshan District    Songjiang District   Pudong District   Qingpu District    Nanhui District

Fengxian District   Chongming County