Yueyang has an administrative area of and the city proper, . The population was 5,477,911 at the 2010 census whom 991,465 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made up of Yueyanglou District and Yunxi District.
The city's most famous attraction is the Yueyang Tower.
The area now called Yueyang has been inhabited for over 3,000 years. It was originally established as a prefecture called Hanchang in 210 AD during the Three Kingdoms period.
Under the Song Dynasty (AD 960-AD 1279) it was heavily fortified, with walls in circumference, and became the seat of the military prefecture of Yueyang, whence its present name. During the Taiping Rebellion, its capture by the rebels in AD 1852 was an important stage in their advance up the Yangtze River valley to Nanjing. At the time of the foundation of the Republic of China in AD 1911, it became a county, taking the name Yueyang.