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Virginia

Basic Information

2010 Census Population: 8,001,024 (12th)
Land Area: 39,490.1 square miles (36th)
Density: 202.6 persons per square mile (14th)
Capital: Richmond
Became a State: June 25, 1788 (10th)
Bordering States: District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia
Abbreviation: VA
ANSI Code: 51

History

The area of Virginia was part of the original territory of the United States. Virginia was the first chartered colony, with the original 1606 charter including the entire Eastern Seaboard. Individual charters provided to other colonies reduced the size of Virginia. In 1784, Virginia ceded area to the United States that became the Northwest Territory in 1787. Virginia ratified the U.S. Constitution on June 26, 1788; it was the tenth of the original 13 states to join the Union. At the time of statehood, Virginia included all of present-day Kentucky and West Virginia. The area of the state was reduced in 1791 by the formation of the District of Columbia and in 1792 when Virginia ceded the area that became the state of Kentucky. Virginia added territory in 1846 when the portion of the District of Columbia taken from Virginia was retroceded to the state. The state of West Virginia, consisting of 48 counties, was established from Virginia on June 20, 1863; in 1866, Congress officially added two more counties (Berkeley and Jefferson) to West Virginia, leaving Virginia with generally the same boundary as the present state. Virginia is one of four states that are legally described as a commonwealth.

Census data for Virginia are available beginning with the 1790 census. The populations shown from 1790 to 1860 are for the present boundary of Virginia. These data include, from 1800 to 1840, the portion of the District of Columbia not formally part of Virginia until 1846, and do not include the area of Kentucky in 1790 or the counties taken to form West Virginia from 1790 to 1860. The population of Virginia as legally existing from 1860 to 1790 was: 1,596,318 in 1860; 1,421,661 in 1850; 1,239,797 in 1840; 1,211,405 in 1830; 1,065,366 in 1820; 974,600 in 1810; 880,200 in 1800; and 821,287 in 1790.

About the Geographic Areas

AMERICAN INDIAN AREAS

Virginia has two state recognized American Indian reservations and two state designated tribal statistical areas (SDTSAs).

METROPOLITAN AND MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND RELATED STATISTICAL AREAS

Virginia has 11 metropolitan statistical areas, 4 micropolitan statistical areas, 1 metropolitan division, and 2 combined statistical areas.

COUNTIES

There are 134 counties and equivalents in Virginia.  There are 95 functioning governmental counties, each governed by a board of supervisors or county board (Arlington County only).  The remaining 39 entities are independent cities that are independent of any county and are functioning governmental units at the place level. 

COUNTY SUBDIVISIONS

There are 550 county subdivisions in Virginia known as minor civil divisions (MCDs).  There are 510 districts that are used for the election of county supervisors and are known as either magisterial districts or election districts.  Arlington County is not divided into districts so the entire entity is a county subdivision named Arlington. The 39 independent cities are independent of MCDs and serve as county subdivisions.

PLACES

Virginia has 591 places; 229 incorporated places and 362 census designated places (CDPs).  The incorporated places consist of 39 cities and 190 towns.  The 190 towns in Virginia are dependent with county subdivision.  Culpeper town is coextensive with two magisterial districts.  The 39 cities in Virginia are independent of any county and county subdivision. 

The 39 independent cities in Virginia are:

  • Alexandria
  • Bedford
  • Bristol
  • Buena Vista
  • Charlottesville
  • Chesapeake
  • Colonial Heights
  • Covington
  • Danville
  • Emporia
  • Fairfax
  • Falls Church
  • Franklin
  • Fredericksburg
  • Galax
  • Hampton
  • Harrisonburg
  • Hopewell
  • Lexington
  • Lynchburg
  • Manassas
  • Manassas Park
  • Martinsville
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Norton
  • Petersburg
  • Poquoson
  • Portsmouth
  • Radford
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Salem
  • Staunton
  • Suffolk
  • Virginia Beach
  • Waynesboro
  • Williamsburg
  • Winchester

CENSUS TRACTS/BLOCK GROUPS/BLOCKS

Virginia has 1,907 census tracts, 5,332 block groups, and 285,762 census blocks.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS

For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Virginia had 11 congressional districts.  For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Virginia continues to have 11 congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Virginia has 1 elementary school district and 137 unified school districts.  The Department of Defense runs two unified school districts in Virginia.

STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS

There are 40 state senate districts and 100 state house districts in Virginia.

URBAN AREAS

Virginia has 75 urban areas; 14 urbanized areas and 61 urban clusters.

ZIP CODE TABULATION AREAS

There are 898 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Virginia.

Centers of Population

Year North Latitude West Longitude
20106 37° 48′ 37″ 77° 48′ 40″
20006 37° 45′ 01″ 77° 50′ 09″
19905 37° 41′ 53″ 77° 52′ 28″
19804 37° 38′ 19″ 78° 00′ 03″
19703 37° 36′ 20″ 77° 58′ 35″
19603 37° 30′ 58″ 78° 06′ 23″
19503 37° 26′ 28″ 78° 21′ 53″
19402 37° 27′ 16″ 78° 41′ 47″
19302 37° 26′ 11″ 78° 39′ 32″
19201 37° 23′ 38″ 78° 30′ 23″
19101 37° 25′ 05″ 78° 33′ 58″
19001 37° 26′ 19″ 78° 32′ 54″
18901 37° 28′ 31″ 78° 33′ 29″
18801 37° 29′ 34″ 78° 29′ 51″

1  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1923
2  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, recomputation for historical county level data which relied upon aggregate county level population data with an estimated county centroid resulting in a possible error of up to one mile.
3  Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Centers of Population for States and Counties, 1974
4  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group/enumeration area data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
5  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division, recomputation from archived national block group data resulting in a possible error of up to 1,000 feet.
6  Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, computation from national block-level data

Most Populous, Largest, and Dense Areas


Population Land Area
(square miles)
Population Density
(Persons per square mile)

Name Population Name Area Name Density
County Fairfax County 1,081,726 Pittsylvania County 968.94 Alexandria city 9,314.3
Place





 - Inc Place Virginia Beach city 437,994 Suffolk city 400.17 Alexandria city 9,314.3
 - CDP Arlington CDP 207,627 Mechanicsville CDP 28.31 Seven Corners CDP 13,526.0

List of Entities

See the Gazetteer Files for a list of geographic entities. See the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas page for a list of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas and related statistical areas.

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