Shíjiāzhuāng is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 280 kilometres (170 mi) south of Beijing. Shijiazhuang Prefecture contains the 5 districts of Shijiazhuang urban area, the Jingxing Mining District, five county-level cities, and twelve counties.
At the 2010 census, it has a total population of 10,163,788, with 2,604,930 in the urban area in 2010 and 3,833,606 in its built up area (metro) made of 5 urban districts plus Luquan city, Zhengding and Luancheng counties. Gaocheng county is about to be part of Shijiazhuang built up area while its urbanisation is still growing.
Shijiazhuang is a newly industrialised city. It experienced dramatic growth after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The population of the metropolitan area has more than quadrupled in only 30 years. It is a central hub of transportation routes. The city is home to a large garrison of military troops ready to protect Beijing if required. It has a number of PLA colleges and universities