Official PRC Place Names

The two datasets below list the official names of all the places (political units) in China. This information is openly available on the Chinese government’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) website, but not in an easily downloadable or searchable format. We compiled these lists in CSV format and we’ve published them here in the hopes they may be of use to other researchers.

The files below include the names and bureaucratic levels of the official geographical administrative divisions in China as they are classified on the NBS website. The administrative divisions are grouped into five levels (largest to smallest): “province,” “city,” “county,” “town,” and “village.” We derived these labels from the website’s source code, which uses these terms in English to describe each level.

These labels represent entire classes of locations, and specific location names may not align with the level indicated in their label. For example, the NBS website classifies Anning city in Yunnan province as a county-level entity. Similarly, location-naming conventions for various autonomous regions in China do not always align with the province/city/county/town/village taxonomy, but they are sorted into these levels based on how the information is organized on the NBS website.

You can download this data as a CSV to use for your own reference or research. In the “village” field of some entries, there is a known issue of certain Chinese characters’ not copying or displaying properly. We have not repaired these entries; they account for less than .5 percent of the data.

Download the 2020 Administrative Divisions

Download the 2019 Administrative Divisions

Download the 2018 Administrative Divisions

These datasets are available as CSV files. Some operating systems and/or versions of Excel do not display Chinese characters in UTF-8 format by default. In Excel, you can correct this by opening up these files as text files and selecting “UTF-8” as the format when prompted.