Xiangtan is a prefecture-level city in Hunan province, China. The hometowns of several founding leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, including Chairman Mao Zedong, President Liu Shaoqi, and Marshal Peng Dehuai, are in the Xiangtan prefecture, as well as the hometowns of Qing dynasty painter Qi Baishi, scholar-general Zeng Guofan, and tennis player Peng Shuai.
As of 2010, it had 2,748,552 inhabitants, of whom 1,877,919 lived in the built-up area (2 urban districts plus Xiangtan county). Together with the four adjoining urban districts of Zhuzhou, its built-up area is home to 2,933,069 inhabitants. In 2007, the city was named China's top ten livable cities by Chinese Cities Brand Value Report, which was released at the 2007 Beijing Summit of China Cities Forum.
Xiangtan is well connected by roads, river and rail. There is a shuttle bus service connecting to Changsha Huanghua International Airport.
Xiangtan has a humid subtropical climate with long, hot summers, and cool to cold, cloudy, damp winters with occasional snow flurries. Within its administrative area, the annual mean temperature is 17.4 °C (63.3 °F), with the coolest month being January, which averages 5.1 °C (41.2 °F), and the hottest July, at 29.1 °C (84.4 °F).
Xiangtan is located on the lower reaches of the Xiang River.
In 2006, Xiangtan's nominal GDP was ¥42.2 billion (US$6.2 billion), a year-on-year growth of 13.2% from the previous year. Its per capita GDP was ¥15,455 (US$2,265).
Xiangtan is famous for its production of Lotus seed and Soy sauce. People in Xiangtan like to chew areca nut, though the area itself doesn't grow them. Most raw areca nut fruits are from Hainan and processed locally. The history of consuming areca nut dates back to 400 years ago, when people chewed it for pandemic prevention. Nowadays, it is quite common to see people chewing areca nut in Hunan. In 2003, the sales revenue of areca nut industry in Xiangtan had reached ¥800 million.
Since 1937.07.01 thi city is the episcopal see of the Apostolic Prefecture of Xiangtan (Latin), a pre-diocesan Latin rite Catholic jurisdiction, on territory split off from the then Apostolic Vicariate of Changsha (now its Metropolitan). It is exempt, i.e. directly dependent on the Holy See (not part of any ecclesiastical province) and its missionary Roman Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; no statistics available.
It is vacant, under an apostolic administrator, since decades, having had only the following Apostolic Prefects of Xiangtan:
The city of Xiangtan has direct jurisdiction over 2 districts, 2 county-level cities), and 1 county