Zhucheng was originally known as Langya (琅琊). It was from here that Emperor Qin Shi Huang sent Xu Fu sailing towards Japan in 210 BC, in pursuit of the elixir of youth.
The Song Dynasty painter Zhang Zeduan was born in Zhucheng (which was then named Dongwu). It was also the birthplace of Mao Zedong's last wife and leader of the Gang of Four, Jiang Qing. Zhao Shucong (赵树丛), vice-governor of Anhui province, is a native of Zhucheng. Besides them, many well-known celebrities were also from this place, including Zhao Tingzhi (趙挺之), Zhao Mingcheng (趙明誠) in Song Dynasty, Wan Zhener (萬貞兒, also known as 萬貴妃, a famous concubine to Hongzhi Emperor) in Ming Dynasty, Liu Tongxun (劉統勳), Liu Yong (劉墉), Dou Guangnai (窦光鼐) in Qing Dynasty, etc.
In 2005, Zhucheng had a total output value of RMB 20.8 billion and an average annual growth rate of 16%. Zhucheng is projected to continue its 16% annual growth rate and attain a total output value of RMB 43.6 billion by 2010.
The Zhucheng Industrial Park was approved by the Shandong Provincial Government in 1992. Its total area spans 25 square kilometres (9.7 sq mi). The National Highway 206 which runs through it from south to north, and the city is linked by the Jiaoxin Railway Station, which connects it to Qingdao, 60 kilometres (37 mi) east, Rizhao, 60 kilometres (37 mi) south, and Weifang city, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north. As of 2001, industries based at the zone included food processing, chemicals, building materials, textiles and electromechanical products, and 2001 annual total industrial output was 2 billion yuan, with the added industrial value of 350 million yuan. For 2001, exports were US$68.92 million, and revenue was 83.17 million yuan.
Zhucheng is about an hour's drive from Qingdao city.
Zhucheng was upgraded to a county-level city in 1987 and is administered as a provincial-level economic development district, with jurisdiction over 20 towns (镇, zhen):Lübiao (吕标)
Zhucheng has been an important site for dinosaur excavation since 1960. The local community is known to use calcium rich fossils for traditional village remedies used to treat muscle cramps and other minor ailments. The world's largest hadrosaurid fossil was found in Zhucheng in the 1980s and is on display in the local museum. Scientists have collected more than 50 metric tons (55 short tons) of fossils since 1960. The city has also been a place for smuggling of dinosaur bones; in January 2008, Australia returned hundreds of kilograms of Chinese dinosaur fossils, including dinosaur fossil eggs. These fossils were recovered during a sting operation carried out on warehouses and cargo containers.
On 31 December 2008, palaeontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of Chinese Academy of Sciences announced they have unearthed 7,600 dinosaur fossils since March 2008 around Zhucheng. The latest sites to be discovered are near the towns of Longdu, Shunwang, Jiayue and Zhigou. The palaeontologists believe they have found one of the biggest sites of dinosaur remains from a massive excavation pit. The fossilized bones date to the late Cretaceous period just prior to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. The findings also include the remains of a 20-meter (66 ft) hadrosaurid, a record size for the duck-billed dinosaur. A fossilized skull of a large ceratopsian was also found along with bones which belong to club-tailed ankylosaurs.
Such a high concentration of fossil bones in such a small area is significant for the theories of extinction of dinosaurs. A detailed scientific journal on the fossils is expected to be published later in 2009. Excavations are currently suspended for the winter but will resume when the weather gets warmer. Scientists believe a volcanic eruption may have killed the dinosaurs, and a subsequent flood carried the fossils to Zhucheng, which may have been a wetland covered in grass.
The local authorities in Shandong are making plans to set up a fossil park in the area.
Zhucheng is heavily industrialized and is one of the few dozen cities of China exceeding a million inhabitants. The major ethnic groups comprising the city include Han Chinese (99.7%), Manchu (0.1%), Korean (0.1%) and Hui (0.1%). The city has a Christian population of approximately of 19,000 (1.8%). Based on a census from the year 1990, the city had 523,425 males and 507,233 females with 260,678 households. Zhucheng's sister city is Belleville, Ontario, Canada.