Gyeonggi-do (경기도) is the most populous province in South Korea. The provincial capital is located at Suwon. Seoul—South Korea's largest city and national capital—is located in the heart of the province, but is separately administered as a provincial-level Special City.
Gyeonggi-do was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was first established in 1413. Its name denotes an area within a 500-li (200-km) radius (gi; 기; 畿) of the royal capital (gyeong; 경; 京) Hanseong (modern-day Seoul). (Hanseong was both the national capital of Korea, and the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do.)
In 1895, the province was replaced by the Districts of Hanseong (Hanseong-bu; 한성부; 漢城府) around Seoul, Kaesŏng (Kaesŏng-bu; 개성부; 開城府) around Kaesŏng, and Incheon (Incheon-bu; 인천부; 仁川府) around Incheon and Suwon, with outlying areas in the east and south becoming part of the Districts of Chuncheon (Chuncheon-bu; 춘천부; 春川府), Chungju (Chungju-bu; 충주부; 忠州府), or Gongju (Gongju-bu; 공주부; 公州府).
In 1896, a new system of thirteen provinces was established, and Gyeonggi-do was reconstituted with its pre-1895 boundaries. The provincial capital moved to Suwon, where it remains today.
At the end of the Japanese Colonial Period in 1945, Gyeonggi-do was divided into American and Soviet zones of occupation. The boundary between the American zone in the south and the Soviet zone in the north was the 38th parallel. The southern zone of Hwanghae Province—also divided by the 38th parallel—joined the southern zone of Gyeonggi-do.
In 1946, Seoul became a separately administered, provincial-level "Special City." That same year, the Soviet-controlled northern zone of Gyeonggi-do joined the northern half of Kangwŏn Province. In 1948, Gyeonggi-do became part of the newly independent country of South Korea.
In 1951, the area around Gaeseong came under North Korean control during the Korean War, and officially became part of that country at the end of hostilities in 1953. Also in 1953, the mainland section of Gyeonggi-do that had previously been part of Hwanghae Province rejoined Hwanghae. In 1981, Incheon was split off as a separately administered Directly Governed City (now called a "Metropolitan City").
Gyeonggi-do is located in the northwest of South Korea. The province is bounded on the east by Gangwon-do province, on the south by Chungcheongbuk-do and Chungcheongnam-do provinces, and on the west by Incheon and the Yellow Sea. The province almost completely surrounds Seoul. To the north lies Kaesŏng Industrial Region and North Hwanghae Province in North Korea.
The regional name for Gyeonggi-do is Sudogwon, which properly denotes the Seoul-Incheon conurbation, and that built-up part of the Gyeonggi-do Province that forms part of the same continuous urban area. During the Joseon Dynasty, one of the regional names used for the province was Gijeon.
As the industrial hinterland of Seoul, agriculture in the province has largely given way to industry. This was forced by the construction of highways in the 1960s. Many cities have become satellite cities of Seoul, including Anyang, Bucheon, Goyang, Seongnam, and Uijeongbu. Dominant industries include shipbuilding, steel manufacturing and plate-glass production. Among more traditional industries, fishing is still important.
Incheon serves as Seoul's seaport and has Seoul's main international airport, Incheon International Airport.
Before the opening of Incheon Airport in 2001, Gimpo Airport handled all of Seoul's international traffic. Gimpo Airport now is mainly a domestic airport.
Gyeonggi-do is divided into 27 cities ("Si") and 4 counties ("Gun"). Listed below is each entity's name in English, Hangul and Hanja.
- Suwon (수원시, 水原市) — the provincial capital
- Ansan (안산시, 安山市)
- Anseong (안성시, 安城市)
- Anyang (안양시, 安養市)
- Bucheon (부천시, 富川市)
- Dongducheon (동두천시, 東豆川市)
- Gimpo (김포시, 金浦市)
- Goyang (고양시, 高陽市)
- Gunpo (군포시, 軍浦市)
- Guri (구리시, 九里市)
- Gwacheon (과천시, 果川市)
- Gwangju (광주시, 廣州市) — not to be confused with Gwangju Metropolitan City
- Gwangmyeong (광명시, 光明市)
- Hanam (하남시, 河南市)
- Hwaseong (화성시, 華城市)
- Icheon (이천시, 利川市) — not to be confused with Incheon
- Namyangju (남양주시, 南楊州市)
- Osan (오산시, 烏山市)
- Paju (파주시, 坡州市)
- Pocheon (포천시, 抱川市)
- Pyeongtaek (평택시, 平澤市)
- Seongnam (성남시, 城南市)
- Siheung (시흥시, 始興市)
- Uijeongbu (의정부시, 議政府市)
- Uiwang (의왕시, 儀旺市)
- Yangju (양주시, 楊州市)
- Yongin (용인시, 龍仁市)