Virginia Population 2017


The US state of Virginia is situated on the central eastern tip of the country and it is the 35th largest in the Union in terms of land mass. As with the majority of states on the US Eastern seaboard, however, Virginia is densely populated. The current population is estimated at 8,382,993, an increase of over 380,000 since the official census in 2010. Virginia currently enjoys a growth rate of 1.15%, which ranks 13th in the country.

The most recent nationwide Census took place in the United States in 2010, and it revealed that the Virginia population had exceeded eight million for the first time in its history. The final figure was confirmed at 8,001,024. This was a rise of 13% on the numbers declared at the census of 2000.

That number has soared to an estimated 8,382,993 as of 2016, and Virginia now ranks 12th in terms of population in the country and 14th in terms of density. Virginia has a population density of 202.6 people per square mile.

Virginia has 11 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), amd Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Richmond-Petersburg are the most populous. The capital, Richmond, and its metropolitan area has a population of nearly 1.3 million, but Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state.

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Virginia Population Chart

Virginia Population History

The majority of states on the eastern edge of the USA displayed healthy population figures from the latter half of the 18th century onwards. Virginia is no exception to this generalization, and in 1790, numbers were recorded at an impressive 691,737.

Just ten years later, this had grown by over 16% to 807,557 but increases in population over the years have been a little sporadic, and there was even a fall in numbers recorded at the 1840 Census.

It wasn’t until the latter part of the 20th century that these increases began to settle down, and at every Census from 1960 onwards, the growth tends to average out at around 15% on a Census by Census basis, making Virginia one of the fastest growing states in the USA.

Therefore, as a result of this pattern of sustained and substantial growth, the population of Virginia in 2016 has comfortably exceeded 8.3 million.

Virginia Population Projections

The overall picture with regards to the population of Virginia in 2016 is one of sustained growth, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. The milestone of eight million has now been reached, but if Virginia can achieve a population increase of 15% again, that number will go beyond nine million at the 2020 Census.

As far as current estimates go, Virginia is projected to add over 800,000 new residents every decade, finally reaching 10.5 million by 2040. It's also estimated the population will have a larger representation of racial and ethnic minorities. By 2030, nearly 20% of Virginia's population will be over 65, compared to just 12% in 2010. By 2040, the population under 50 is projected to be the majority minority.

Population Data via US Census

Virginia Growth Rate

Virginia State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 8,657,468 0.64%
2019 8,602,573 0.64%
2018 8,547,678 0.65%
2017 8,492,783 0.65%
2016 8,437,888 0.65%
2015 8,382,993 0.66%
2014 8,328,098 0.73%
2013 8,267,875 0.91%
2012 8,193,374 1.02%
2011 8,110,783 1.37%
2010 8,001,024 1.23%
2000 7,078,515 1.35%
1990 6,187,358 1.47%
1980 5,346,818 1.41%
1970 4,648,494 1.60%
1960 3,966,949 1.80%
1950 3,318,680 2.17%
1940 2,677,773 1.01%
1930 2,421,851 0.48%
1920 2,309,187 1.14%
1910 2,061,612 1.07%
1900 1,854,184 1.14%
1890 1,655,980 0.91%
1880 1,512,565 2.13%
1870 1,225,163 0.05%
1860 1,219,630 0.86%
1850 1,119,348 0.88%
1840 1,025,227 -0.18%
1830 1,044,054 1.07%
1820 938,261 0.67%
1810 877,683 0.84%
1800 807,557 1.56%
1790 691,937 0.00%

Virginia Facts

Virginia Population in 2017 Source: No machine-readable author provided. SchuminWeb assumed (based on copyright claims).

  • The first permanent English settlement was established in Jamestown.
  • Virginia was the most populated state from the time it was settled until 1805, when it was surpassed by New York.
  • Approximately one-quarter of Virginians work for the United States Government.
  • Eight US presidents were born in Virginia, and seven presidents are buried there.
  • Approximately half of the US population live within a 500-mile radius of Virginia's Capital.
  • Over half of the battles fought during the Civil War were fought in Virginia.
  • Virginia's leading industry became tobacco after John Rolfe developed a way to export the crop.

Virginia Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Virginia Population Growth Rate by County

The state of Virginia's counties have seen both gains and losses in their populations, according to comparisons of data from the 2010 Census and estimates taken by the US Census Bureau in 2015. This comparison showed that Virginia had a pretty balanced mix when it came to which counties had a population jump and those that had a drop in population. The highest increase came in the northern county of Loudoun, which posted 19.02% growth. Its neighboring county of Prince William saw an increase of 11.16%, while other significant population increases were observed in New Kent, James City, King George, and Stafford.

There were also declining populations recorded across the state, with the highest loss happening in Buchana at 5.26%. This was followed by a 5.14% decrease in Bath County. Other smaller losses occurred in many of the southern counties, particularly those located in the southwestern corner of the state. These counties include Lee, Russell, Halifax, Wise, Giles, and Bland.

Population Pyramid

To compare Virginia to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

The state of Virginia contains a diverse set of ethnic groups and one of the higher percentages of Asians and African Americans in the country, ranking 9th in terms of percentage when compared to the other 49 states. Its most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic whites, declined from 76% in 1990 to 64% in 2012.

Many people in the state are of English heritage and are the descendants of those who settled in the state during the colonial period, although British and Irish heritages are also very common. Most people who identify as "American" ethnicity are of English descent. Interestingly, 75% of the English immigrants to Virginia during the 17th century were indentured servants.

Virginia also has a very large population of African Americans, most of whom are descendants of enslaved people who worked the plantations in the state. While a large percentage of the black population left during the Great Migration north, reverse migration occurred in the 1960s.

Languages Spoken in Virginia

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 7,590,865 100
English 6,802,750 89.62
Spanish 506,650 6.67
Chinese 37,210 0.49
French 31,915 0.42
German 31,145 0.41
Amharic 23,160 0.31
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 19,655 0.26
Telugu 14,645 0.19
Bengali 11,025 0.15

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Virginia. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Virginia Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 88
BachelorsDegree 36
Disabled 8
NoHealthInsurance 13
LaborForceTotal 65
LaborForceFemale 61
FoodServiceSales 17,795,901
HealthCareRevenue 47,705,003
ManufacturerShipments 96,389,872
MerchantWholesalesSales 86,613,641
RetailSales 110,002,385
RetailSalesPerCapita 13,438
MeanWorkTravelTime 28
MedianHouseholdIncome 64,792
PerCapitaIncome 33,958
PovertyPercentage 12

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Virginia for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.2% and the labor force participation rate is 66.3%.

Virginia Business

NonemployerEstablishments 560,597
AllFirms 653,193
MenOwnedFirms 353,012
WomenOwnedFirms 236,290
MinorityOwnedFirms 185,043
NonminorityOwnedFirms 450,109
VeteranOwnedFirms 76,434
NonveteranOwn 548,439

Virginia Housing

HousingUnits 3,468,829
HousingUnits 3,364,939
OwnerOccupiedRate 67
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 243,500
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,742
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 429
MedianGrossRent 1,108
BuildingPermits 28,469
Households 3,041,710
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 85
NonEnglishAtHome 15
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts