Xiangtan is a prefecture-level city in east-central Hunan province, south-central China. The hometowns of several founding leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, including Chairman Mao Zedong, President Liu Shaoqi, and Marshal Peng Dehuai, are in Xiangtan's administration, as well as the hometowns of Qing dynasty painter Qi Baishi, scholar-general Zeng Guofan, and tennis player Peng Shuai.
In 2006, Xiangtan's nominal GDP was ¥42.2 billion (US$6.2 billion). Its per capita GDP was ¥15,455 (US$2,265).
Xiangtan is famous for its production of lotus seed and soy sauce. People in Xiangtan like to chew areca nut (槟榔; bīngláng), though the area itself doesn't grow them. Most raw areca nut fruits are from Hainan and processed locally. The history of consuming areca nut dates back to 400 years ago, when people chewed it for pandemic prevention. Nowadays, it is quite common to see people chewing areca nut in Hunan. In 2003, the sales revenue of areca nut industry in Xiangtan had reached ¥800 million.
Xiangtan was ranked #1246 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Xiangtan has a population of over 817,600 people. Xiangtan also forms part of the wider Xiangtan metropolitan area which has a population of over 2,748,552 people.