Administrative area of northwest China, bounded to the north by Inner Mongolia, to the east by Shaanxi, and to the south by Gansu; area 66,400 sq km/25,600 sq mi; population (2013 est) 6,541,900; one-third are Hui (Chinese Muslims) and there is a large Mongolian population in the north. The capital is Yinchuan. It is a desert plateau, and the Huang He River is in the area. Industries include coal and chemicals, and agricultural products include cereals and rice under irrigation, and animal herding.
History The region was separated from Gansu province in 1958, and lost a large part of its northern territory to Inner Mongolia in 1979.
Topography The Huang He River crosses the central part of the province in a southwest to northeast direction, running across a broad alluvial plain. The southern part of the province is a western extension of the loess (loam soil) lands of Shaanxi province, but northern Ningxia is very arid, comprising desert and semi-desert regions.
Climate Ningxia's climate is marked by the difference between the milder and drier north and the colder and wetter south, and also by the range in temperatures within a day. Summers are short, with July average temperatures varying from 17°C/63°F to 24°C/75°F. Winters are long and cold, with January average temperatures ranging from −7°C/19°F to −10°C/14°F. The average annual rainfall varies from 180 mm/7 in in the north to an isolated high of 600 mm/24 in in the far south of the region.
Economy Irrigation is essential for agriculture on the plain because the climate is generally very dry. Rice, spring wheat, millet, and sorghum are the main crops. Soybeans, tobacco, and cotton are also produced. There is some agriculture in the southern part of the province. The population in the north is extremely sparse and herding is the main occupation.
Coalmining takes place at Shizuishan but there are few other mineral deposits. Power from the Qingtongxia hydroelectric dam is used to smelt aluminium brought from outside the province. Huinang county contains China's largest calcium carbide factory.
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