Guangzhou, also (especially formerly) known as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port. One of the five National Central Cities, it holds sub-provincial administrative status.
Guangzhou is the third-largest city in China and southern China's largest city. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 6 million, and an urban area population of roughly 11.85 million, making it the third most populous metropolitan area in China. Some estimates place the population of the entire urban agglomeration as high as 24.2 million, making it the 2nd biggest urban area in the world after Tokyo. The Guangzhou government's official estimate of the city's population at the end of 2009 was 10,334,500, an addition of 152,500 people from the previous year. When the migrant (defined as being present in the city 6 months or more) population is included, the city's population is over 14 mln. In 2008 Guangzhou was identified as a Beta World City by the Global city index produced by GaWC.
Guangzhou has many nicknames, for example, The Flower City, Five Goats City, Goat City, Wheats City, Ceiba City, and Immortals City.