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Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. With a population of 9.2 million (including Laiwu), it is the second-largest city in Shandong after Qingdao. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilization and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub. The city has held sub-provincial administrative status since 1994.Jinan is often called the "Spring City" for its famous 72 artesian springs.

Its population (including Laiwu City merged recently) was 9,202,432 as of the 2020 census. Its built-up (or metro) area made of 6 out of 10 urban districts (but Jiyang, Zhangqiu, Laiwu and Gangcheng not yet conurbated) was home to 4,335,889 inhabitants as of the 2010 census. Jinan is also one of the top 100 cities in the world for scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index according to the Nature Index 2020 Science Cities. The city is home to several major universities, including Shandong Normal University, University of Jinan, and Qilu University of Technology. The city is rated Beta- (Global second-tier city) by the biannual GAWC ratings in 2020.