As of June 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 205,521, with 72,982 households and a population density of 211.15 persons per km². The total area is 973.32 km².
The city was founded on April 29, 1971.
Two Japan Railways Group passenger railway companies, JR West and JR East, run the Hokuriku Main Line and the Shinetsu Main Line in the city. The Hokuetsu Express connects the city to the Tokyo metropolitan area. The Hokuriku Shinkansen is under construction. Despite its name, the Jōetsu Shinkansen does not serve the city at all, and instead runs through Nagaoka City and Niigata City .
Hokuriku Expressway goes through the city. Joshinetsu Expressway branches off at the Jōetsu Junction.
- Currently home to 19 ALTs, the largest concentration of JETs of any single region in Niigata.