As of February 2016, the city had an estimated population of 54,576, and a population density of 128 persons per km². The total area is 526.95 square kilometres.
Noshiro is located in the flat coastal plains northwestern Akita Prefecture, bordered by the Sea of Japan to the west. The Yoneshiro River flows through the city and empties into the Sea of Japan near Noshiro Port. The highest point is Mount Yakeyama at 963.1 metres (3,160 ft).
Per the Nihon Shoki and other ancient chronicles, Noshiro is the location where an expedition sent by the Yamato Court led by Abe no Hirafu landed in 658 AD with orders to force the local Emishi tribes into submission. Trade vessels from Balhae were calling at Noshiro Port as late as 771 AD.
The area of present-day Noshiro was part of ancient Dewa Province, dominated by the Satake clan during the Edo period, who ruled Kubota Domain under the Tokugawa shogunate.
The modern city of Noshiro was created on October 1, 1940, by the merger of the town of Noshirominato, and the villages of Shinonome and Sakaki (all formerly from Yamamoto District).
On March 21, 2006, the town of Futatsui (from Yamamoto District) was merged into Noshiro.
The economy of Noshiro is based on agriculture and commercial fishing.
Noshiro has 12 elementary schools, seven middle schools and four high schools, and well as one special education school.