Chesapeake is a city located in Chesapeake County, Virginia. With a 2020 population of 248,106, it is the 2nd largest city in Virginia (after Virginia Beach) and the 91st largest city in the United States. Chesapeake is currently growing at a rate of 1.12% annually and its population has increased by 11.65% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 222,209 in 2010. Spanning over 351 miles, Chesapeake has a population density of 733 people per square mile.
The average household income in Chesapeake is $92,716 with a poverty rate of 8.98%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,235 per month, and the median house value is $265,600. The median age in Chesapeake is 36.7 years, 35.5 years for males, and 38 years for females. For every 100 females there are 95.5 males.
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.
Chesapeake is the third-most populous city in Virginia and the second-largest city by land area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The population density in Chesapeake is 260% higher than the Virginia average and 660% higher than the national average.
Chesapeake Diversity and Language
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 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 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.