Henan (Chinese: 河南; pinyin: Hénán; Wade–Giles: Ho-nan), is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" (yù), named after Yuzhou (豫州 Yù Zhōu), a Han Dynasty state (zhou) that included parts of Henan. Although the name of the province (河南) means "south of the river", approximately a quarter of the province lies north of the Yellow River, also known as the "Huang He".
Henan is often referred to as Zhongyuan (中原 zhōngyuán) or Zhongzhou (中州 zhōngzhōu) which literally means "central plains" or "midland", although the name is also applied to the entirety of China proper. Henan is the birthplace of Chinese civilization with over 5,000 years of history, and remained China's cultural, economical, and political center until approximately 1,000 years ago. Numerous heritages have been left behind including the ruins of Shang Dynasty capital city Yinxu and the Shaolin Temple. Four of the Eight Great Ancient Capitals of China, Luoyang, Anyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou are located in Henan.
With an area of 167,000 square kilometres (64,000 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 12th most populous country in the world, behind Mexico and ahead of the Philippines.
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, and Henan is considered to be one of the more backward areas in China. The economy continues to depend on its dwindling aluminum and coal reserves, as well as agriculture, heavy industry, tourism, and retail. High-tech industry and service sector is underdeveloped and is concentrated around Zhengzhou and Luoyang.