Like most towns and cities in South Korea, Anyang has experienced tremendous urban growth during the past few decades. Ten years after the Korean War ended, the area's population was still largely rural and its landscape agricultural. Today, the conglomerated city of Anyang (amalgamated in 1973) is among the most populous in the country. It is also becoming a suburb of choice for some Seoulites because of its very close proximity to Seoul, and for the beautiful mountains and scenery that surround Anyang, shielding it from the larger urban centers nearby. The city also boasts perhaps the most beautiful, ultra-modern city hall in the entire country. The motto of Anyang is "Livable city, Proud citizens".
Anyang has many institutions of higher learning which include Anyang Technical College, Anyang University, Daehan Graduate School of Theology, Daelim College, and Sungkyul University. Anyang is also home to the Buddhist temple of Anyangsa, located on Mt. Samseong. The historical plaque at the site tells that it was built by Silla's King Hyogong. The location was chosen by him for its mystical properties, which inspired the building of the temple upon travelling south to quell the rebellion in southern Shilla. The plaque further elaborates that the name for the city of Anyang is believed to have originated from the temple. Anyang itself is a Buddhist term signifying a heavenly land where unimaginable joy and freedom overflow.