Guangzhou, traditionally romanised as Canton, is the capital and most populous city of the province of Guangdong in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong and 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, Guangzhou has a history of over 2200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and continues to serve as a major port and transportation hub today.
Guangzhou is currently the third most-populous city in mainland China, behind Beijing (second) and Shanghai (first); holds sub-provincial administrative status; and is one of China's five National Central Cities. In 2015 the city's administrative area was estimated to have a population of 13,501,100 and forms part of one of the most populous metropolitan agglomerations on Earth. Some estimates place the population of the built-up area of the Pearl River Delta Mega City as high as 44 million without the S.A.R.s of Hong Kong and Macau, and 54 million including both of it. In recent years, there has been a rapidly increasing number of foreign residents and illegal immigrants from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as from Africa. This has led to it being dubbed the "Capital of the Third World". The migrant population from other provinces of China in Guangzhou was 40 percent of the city's total population in 2008.