During the Qing dynasty, western encyclopedias described Ningbo as a center of craftsmanship and industry. was appointed a missionary to China by the Church of England Missionary Society, and arrived at Ningpo with Mrs. He then commenced a mission station at Hang-chow, between which and Ningpo his time had been chiefly divided.
During late Qing era, Western missionaries set up a Presbyterian Church in Ningbo. It was recognized as a national heritage site in 2006.Since the Tang dynasty Ningbo was an important commercial port.Arab traders lived in Ningbo during the Song dynasty when it was known as Mingzhou, as the ocean-going trade passages took precedence over land trade during this time.There are 531 islands accounting for 524 km (202 sq mi) under the city's administration.
The city proper of Ningbo is sandwiched between the ocean and low-lying mountains to the southwest, with coastal plain and valleys in between.
Its port, spread across several locations, is among the busiest in the world As of the 2010 census, the entire administrated area had a population of 7.6 million, with 3.5 million in the six urban districts of Ningbo proper.