Fuzhou (Chinese:福州; formerly Foochow) is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian province, China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong (lit. East of Fujian) linguistic and cultural area.
Fuzhou's core counties lie on the north (left) bank of the estuary of Fujian's largest river, the Min River. All along its northern border lies Ningde, and Ningde's Gutian County lies upriver. Fuzhou's counties south of the Min border on Putian, Quanzhou, Sanming and Nanping prefectures. Its population was 7,115,370 inhabitants as of the 2010 census, of whom 4,408,076 inhabitants are urban representing around 61.95%, while rural population is at 2,707,294 representing around 38.05 percent.
Etymology and names
In older publications, the name "Fuzhou" (福州) was variously romanized as Foochow, Fuchow, Fūtsu, Fuh-Chow, Hock Chew or Hokchew.
The Yuanhe Maps and Records of Prefectures and Counties, a Chinese geographical treatise published in the 9th century, says that Fuzhou's name came from Mount Futo, a mountain located northwest of the city. The mountain's name was then combined with -zhou, meaning "settlement" or "prefecture", in a manner similar to many other Chinese cities. During the Warring States period, area of Fuzhou was sometimes referred to as Ye (Chinese:冶) and Fuzhou was incorporated into China proper during Qin dynasty. The city's name was changed numerous times between the 3rd and 9th centuries before finally settling on Fuzhou in 948.