Yiyang (simplified Chinese: 益阳; traditional Chinese: 益陽; pinyin: Yìyáng) is a prefecture-level city on the Zi River in Hunan province, People's Republic of China, straddling Lake Dongting and bordering Hubei to the north. According to the 2010 Census, Yiyang has a population of 4,313,084 inhabitants residing in an area of 12,144 km2 (4,689 sq mi). The previous census was in 2000 when it was recorded there were 4,309,143 inhabitants.
Huaguxi, the local Hunanese opera is very popular in Yiyang. The cuisine of Yiyang is very famous for its spicy food.
Yiyang has many famous people in the modern time of China. Ho Feng Shan is very famous in the history of Chinese foreign affairs since he had saved many Jewish families in Europe and China when he worked as a diplomat for China during World War II. Libo Zhou is a well-known writer in China, who was born in Yiyang.
The Language in Yiyang is "Yiyong-Wa" (Yiyang Dialect), which belongs to New Xiang dialect of the Chinese language. This dialect is very prevalent in all of Yiyang. But the western area of Anhua County of Yiyang has a slightly different accent, which is close to the Old Xiang accent of the Loudi District. Yiyang Dialect retains many ancient words and pronunciations and is influenced surprisingly little by Mandarin Chinese. Consequently, the Yiyang Dialect is very hard to understand for outsiders, although its speakers can communicate well with the speakers of other New Xiang dialects.
Historically, Buddhism and Taoism both played very important roles in the life of Yiyang people. Of course, both of these religions in modern times experienced a notable decline, as in many other places in China. Nowadays, however, some people claim that Buddhism and Christianity both have relatively many adherents in Yiyang, respectively 340,500 and 238,100 registered members. The source for these figures, however, needs to be cited.
Yiyang was founded in the Qin Dynasty. During the Taiping Rebellion its name was changed to DeSheng county.