The prefecture is located on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains and southern edge of the Junggar Basin. The seat of the prefecture government is 35 kilometers away based on highway mileage from Urumqi. Under its administration are three cities and one county, with a total population (including the population of division six under Xinjiang production and construction corps) of 1,493,300 (375,900 for ethnic minorities). It has a cultivated land of 305,400 hectares, sown grain area of 145,000 hectares, sown cash crops area of 154,700 hectares. It belongs to continental arid climate in mesothermal zone.
In the territory of Changji, there are large glaciers of 1319, mountainous inland rivers of 57 and forest area of 141,560 hectares and available pastureland area of 578.01 hectares. The rare wild animals are snow leopard, wild horse, wild donkey and snow cock. The medicinal plants are safflower, Saussurea involucrate, Fritillaria thun-bergli and wolfberry. The mineral resources are coal, petroleum, shale, iron, chromium, copper, zinc and gold, numbering 37 kinds. The coal reserve is 163 hundred million tons, limestone 200 hundred million tons and copper of 1.74 hundred million tons.