Virginia Population 2018


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 8.53 million, 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 8.53 million as of 2018, 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.

Virginia Population History

Virginia was one of the 13 original States. Kentucky was part of Virginia until 1792, and a small part of Virginia was included in the District of Columbia from 1791 to 1846. West Virginia was separated from Virginia in 1862, becoming a State in 1863 and adding two more counties in 1866. Since then Virginia's boundaries have remained essentially unchanged, with slight modifications as early surveys were reviewed and corrected. Details of the Virginia-Tennessee boundary were not settled until 1901.

In 1790 census coverage included all of Virginia's present-day territory; Kentucky was reported separately. The populations for 1800-1840 include the area that was then part of the District of Columbia, and the populations for 1790-1860 exclude the counties entirely or primarily included in what is now West Virginia.

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 Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

Virginia Facts

Virginia Population in 2018Source: 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

Fairfax County

  • Population1,144,636
  • Density2928.56 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20105.33%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State13.60%

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.

Virginia Population Pyramid 2018

0k10k20k30k40k50k60kVirginia Male Population0k10k20k30k40k50k60kVirginia Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare Virginia to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Black or African American1,601,868
Two or More Races310,423
Some Other Race228,627
American Indian and Alaska Native23,156
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8,379

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.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in Virginia

Language Population Percentage
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba19,6550.26%

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

Virginia Economy

High school graduate or higher 87.9%
Bachelor's degree or higher 35.8%
With a Disability 7.6%
Persons Without Health Insurance 12.5%
In Civilian Labor Force 64.8%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 60.9%
Food Services Sales $17,795,901
Health Care Revenue $47,705,003,000
Manufacturers Shipments $96,389,872,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $86,613,641,000
Total Retail Sales $110,002,385,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $13,438
Mean Travel Time to Work 27.8 minutes
Median Household Income $64,792
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $33,958
Persons in Poverty 11.8%

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

Total Nonemployer Establishments 560,597
All firms 653,193
Men-owned Firms 353,012
Women-owned Firms 236,290
Minority-owned Firms 185,043
Nonminority-owned Firms 450,109
Veternan-owned Firms 76,434
Nonveteran-owned Firms 548,439

Virginia Housing

Housing Units 3,364,939
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 66.7%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $243,500
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,742
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $429
Median Gross Rent $1,108
Building Permits 28,469
Households 3,041,710
Persons per Household 2.61 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 84.7%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 15.2%
Data Sources
  1. Virginia State Data Center
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)