Chesapeake, Virginia Population 2020

242,634

Chesapeake is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chesapeake is not located within a county. Chesapeake is located on the border of North Carolina.

The 2018 estimated population of Chesapeake is 242,634. Chesapeake is the third-most populous city in Virginia and the second-largest city by land area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chesapeake spans over 350.95 square miles and has a population density of 630 people per square mile. The population density in Chesapeake is 260% higher than the Virginia average and 660% higher than the national average. According to the 2010 United States Census, for every 100 females in Chesapeake, there are 94.4 males.

Chesapeake Diversity and Language

According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial makeup of Chesapeake was 62.6% white, 29.8% black, 0.4% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. 4.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latinos of any race. Approximately 50.7% of the population is non-Hispanic white, according to 2012 estimates.

English is the primary language in Chesapeake, with 92.41% of residents speaking only English. 7.59% of residents speak another non-English language. The most common non-English language spoken is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.76% of the population.

Chesapeake History

Chesapeake has played a significant role in the birth of the United States since the arrival of colonial settlers to the area in 1620. The Virginia Colony was formed in 1691 and Norfolk County included the area encompassing what would become the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and South Norfolk. South Norfolk would later become Chesapeake.

During the American Revolutionary War, the colonists fought and won the Battle of Great Bridge in 1775. The victory resulted in the removal of the British Government from the Colony of Virginia.

South Norfolk became an incorporated town in Norfolk County in 1919 and became an independent city in 1922. The residents of South Norfolk wanted to put their jurisdiction on equal ground with the larger cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth; however, South Norfolk was about to lose all of the county land adjoining it to the city of Norfolk. In 1963, Chesapeake was formed as a new independent city of South Norfolk consolidated with Norfolk County.

Up until the late 1980s and 1990s, Chesapeake remained relatively rural or suburban and served as a bedroom community for Norfolk and Virginia. Chesapeake residents typically commuted to these larger cities from Chesapeake. During and after this period, Chesapeake started to experience significant growth in both the population and industries and businesses. While the growth was mostly positive, it did come with several issues, such as strains on municipal infrastructure.

Chesapeake hosted the first trial of alleged Beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo for shootings in 2002. A jury convicted him of murder and sentenced him to life in prison without parole. Chesapeake made national headlines for the trial.

Chesapeake Population Growth

The Chesapeake population has had a generally steady growth with a few periods of decreasing population, such as a 48.1% decrease from 1950 to 1960. Chesapeake’s largest period of population growth happened between 1940 and 1950, with an increase from 35,828 people to 99.537, or 177.8%. Between 2010 and 2018, Chesapeake’s population is estimated to have grown 9.2%, a little over 1% per year.

Chesapeake, Virginia's estimated population is 242,634 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Chesapeake, Virginia is the 3rd largest city in Virginia based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau.

The population density is 716.77 people/mi² (276.75 people/km²).

The overall median age is 36.7 years, 35.5 years for males, and 38 years for females. For every 100 females there are 95.5 males.

The median income for households in Chesapeake, Virginia is $, while the mean household income is $.

Chesapeake Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Chesapeake was:

  • White: 61.37%
  • Black or African American: 29.89%
  • Two or more races: 3.61%
  • Asian: 3.28%
  • Other race: 1.58%
  • Native American: 0.18%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.09%

How Many People Live in Chesapeake, Virginia?

242,634
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018242,6342,3070.96%
2017240,3272,7361.15%
2016237,5912,4231.03%
2015235,1681,7880.77%
2014233,3803,0501.32%
2013230,3302,2550.99%
2012228,0752,7431.22%
2011225,3321,7820.80%
2010223,55024,3661.16%
2000199,18447,2082.74%
1990151,97637,4902.87%
1980114,48624,9062.48%
197089,5800.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White145,95461.37%
Black or African American71,09229.89%
Two or More Races8,5823.61%
Asian7,7903.28%
Some Other Race3,7581.58%
American Indian and Alaska Native4280.18%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2160.09%

Chesapeake Population Pyramid 2020

Chesapeake Median Age

36.7


Total

35.5


Male

38


Female

Chesapeake Adults

There are 180,053 adults, (29,829 of whom are seniors) in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake Age Dependency

58.3

Age Dependency Ratio

19.9

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.5

Child Dependency Ratio

Chesapeake Sex Ratio

Female

121,632

51.14%

Male

116,188

48.86%

Chesapeake Households and Families

Chesapeake Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Chesapeake Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married83.3%16.7%
All71.3%28.7%
Non Family61.5%38.5%
Male56.1%43.9%
Female48.9%51.1%

71.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All84,2302.7571.3
Married46,3673.2483.3
Non Family20,9221.2361.5
Female12,7353.3448.9
Male4,2063.1256.1

3.19

Average Family Size

2.75

Average Household Size

3.9%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Chesapeake Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade3,4442.16%
9th to 12th Grade9,0085.66%
High School Graduate39,84125.04%
Some College40,22925.29%
Associates Degree14,9399.39%
Bachelors Degree32,01320.12%
Graduate Degree19,61112.33%

Chesapeake Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White96,37990,48333,095
Black46,47141,55412,376
Hispanic7,6196,5952,193
Asian5,8575,3663,071
Multiple Races3,1423,0081,124
Other Race2,0971,682434
Native American37334995
Islander115115

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 52.43%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$44,158$53,001$37,348
Less Than High School$22,037$25,781$16,544
High School Grad$32,391$39,565$26,177
Some College$41,210$52,413$32,925
Bachelors Degree$54,111$69,008$45,505
Graduate Degree$72,064$96,210$58,095

$44,158

Average Earnings

$53,001

Average Male

$37,348

Average Female

Chesapeake Language

Chesapeake Language by Age

Chesapeake Language

92.03% of Chesapeake residents speak only English, while 7.97% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 3.94% of the population.

Chesapeake Poverty

Chesapeake Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black67,2979,85614.65%
White135,0347,9275.87%
Hispanic13,9322,33716.77%
Other3,71657515.47%
Multiple8,5555486.41%
Asian7,7752453.15%
Native42071.67%
Islander20273.47%

8.98%

Overall Poverty Rate

7.48%

Male Poverty Rate

10.36%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Chesapeake

The race most likely to be in poverty in Chesapeake is Hispanic, with 16.77% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Chesapeake is Native, with 1.67% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.11%. Among those working part-time, it was 9.65%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 13.30%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School19.94%
High School8.44%
Some College6.38%
Bachelors or Greater1.77%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed21.54%
Male Unemployed19.27%
Female Employed5.67%
Male Employed2.92%

Chesapeake Income

Chesapeake Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$75,790$92,716
Families$86,016$103,242
Married Families$101,533$118,334
Non Families$44,786$56,287

Chesapeake Marital Status

Chesapeake Marital Status

Marriage Rates

52.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

53.6%

Male Marriage Rate

51.2%

Female Marriage Rate

Chesapeake Married by Age and Sex

Chesapeake Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.

Chesapeake Marital Status by Race

Chesapeake Veterans

27,191

Number of Veterans

22,343

Male Veterans

4,848

Female Veterans

War Veterans
First Gulf War10,760
Second Gulf War10,121
Vietnam6,441
Korea871
World War II558
Age Group Veterans
35 to 5410,597
55 to 645,902
65 to 744,175
18 to 343,588
75+2,929

Chesapeake Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White18,11716.84%
Black7,46314.14%
Hispanic1,14313.58%
2 or More61316.34%
Asian4877.94%
Other38815.87%
Indian7622.49%
Hawaiian4740.87%

Chesapeake Veterans by Education

3.13%

Veteran Poverty Rate

17.06%

Veteran Disability Rate

Chesapeake Employment Status

66%

Labor Force Participation

59.1%

Employment Rate

5.1%

Unemployment Rate

Chesapeake Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

52.40%

Born in Virginia

94.33%

Native Born

5.67%

Foreign Born

2.10%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

94.33% of Chesapeake residents were born in the United States, with 52.40% having been born in Virginia. 2.10% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.