With a built-up (or metro) population of 2,988,715 as of 2010 census (6 urban and suburban districts but Dabancheng not yet urbanized) and 3.03 million in 7 urban and suburban districts, Ürümqi is the largest city in China’s western interior. Since the 1990s Ürümqi has developed economically and serves as a regional transport node, cultural, and commercial center.
The largest city in western China, Ürümqi has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world. It is about 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) from the nearest coastline as Ürümqi is the closest major city to the Eurasian pole of inaccessibility, although Karamay and Altay, both in Xinjiang, are closer. The city has an administrative area of 10,989 square kilometres (4,243 sq mi) and has an average elevation of 800 metres (2,600 ft).