Chongqing Southwest China and one of the five national central cities in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Administratively, it is one of the PRC's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in inland China. The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan province. As of April 29, 2011, the municipality had a population of 28,846,170. Chongqing is the largest direct-controlled municipality, and comprises 19 districts, 15 counties, and 4 autonomous counties.