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Ningxia has a long history. Early in the late period of Old Stone Age dating back 30,000 years ago, human being had lived and toiled there. Qin Dynasty had built Great Wall in the area to protect from the invasion of nomadic tribes in north China, and sent troops to station there to guard the area and open up wasteland. They dug channels to divert water from the Yellow River to irrigate farmland, starting the use of the Yellow River's water to irrigate farmland in history.

Since then, Ningxia has been honored as "lush southern-type fields in north of the Great Wall." During the Song Dynasty, the Dangxiang tribe rose, and developed their forces, resulting in the confrontation with the imperial court of Song. In 1038, their leader Li Yuanhao declared emperor himself and established his capital at Xingqing (now Yinchuan City). He instituted a system of officialdom and invented written language and named his state Xia (because it is located in western part of China, historians call it Western Xia).


It occupied a vast land in the western part, forming a balance political situation of powers with Song, Liao and Jin. In 1227, Xia was extinguished by Genghis Khan. During the Yuan period, a circuit (administrative office) of Ningxia was set up there, hence the name of the region. During the Ming period, a guard was established there and during the Cling period, a superior prefecture was established. During the early period of Republic of China, a circuit of the north China was set up.

And in 1928, Ningxia province was instituted. In 1954, the establishment of Ningxia province was abolished to be merged with Gansu province. On the 25th of October in 1958, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region was founded. Under its jurisdiction, today there are one prefecture, three cities at the prefecture level, two cities at the county level and 15 counties.

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