Norfolk, Virginia Population 2023

236,565

Norfolk is a city located in Virginia Beach City County Virginia. With a 2023 population of 236,565, it is the 4th largest city in Virginia and the 99th largest city in the United States.Norfolk is currently declining at a rate of -0.2% annually and its population has decreased by -0.61% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 238,005 in 2020. Spanning over 96 miles, Norfolk has a population density of 4,440 people per square mile.

The average household income in Norfolk is $72,315 with a poverty rate of 19.09%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Norfolk is 30.8 years, 29.1 years for males, and 33.3 years for females.

Norfolk is part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area which is made up of a total of nine cities and seven counties. It is one of the oldest cities in the region, and it is a center of history, culture, and finance.

Norfolk Population Statistics

The total crime in Norfolk falls above the national average, although it does seem to be improving. The city’s top employer is the US Department of Defense. Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk City Public Schools, the City of Norfolk and Old Dominion University round out the top five employers in Norfolk.

Norfolk Population Growth

The city of Norfolk has seen its share of ups and downs throughout the years when it comes to population. For many years, Norfolk saw steady growth, more than doubling its population between 1790 and 1800. The city reached a population of more than 100,000 at the time of the 1920 census and rose to more than 200,000 in 1950. It reached its peak in 1970 with more than 307,000 residents. However, the population began to decline after this, dropping to 234,403 in 2000 before rising again to 242,803 in 2010. The community seems to be on the upswing still, growing 1% between the 2010 census and estimates taken in 2016.

The city of Norfolk is one of the oldest cities in the Hampton Roads metro area. It was officially founded in 1682. Before that, it was jurisdiction under the Elizabeth Cittie incorporation. It was later incorporated in 1705. By the end of the century, it was considered the most prosperous city in the state because of its role as a port for exporting goods to the British Isles and other areas around the world. In 1776 during the Revolutionary War, the city was attacked for more than eight hours, destroying nearly two-thirds of the city’s buildings. The city began to rebuild but faced another challenge following a fire in 1804.

Like other areas in the south, Norfolk was affected by a recession in 1820 that led to the migration of many residents. The population was affected again in the mid-1800s with an outbreak of yellow fever that killed many people, and one-third of the residents left the city to avoid the illness. Neighboring cities and the state of New York banned residents from Norfolk as the epidemic continued to spread, primarily because of sanitation issues and mosquitoes. The cooler weather finally brought some relief, although over 3,000 people were dead after it all.

In the early 1900s, the Naval Air Station Hampton Roads was erected ahead of World War I. The Virginian Railway was also part of the city during this period. The city continued its expansion through annexation, with its current borders finally established in the 1980s. After World War II, highways, bridges, and tunnels furthered the city’s development. This led to the construction of more residential housing in the suburbs. This ultimately led to a decline in population as middle-class white residents moved out of the city and into the suburbs. To draw in more residents, the city built malls and shopping centers in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, revitalization efforts continued with the construction of the Waterside marketplace. The city continued its expansion to include a stadium, restaurants and retail centers. The downtown area has brought in revenues that will be used to revitalize other neighborhoods in Norfolk.

Today, the city is home to the Norfolk Southern Railway headquarters, as well as the Maersk Line headquarters. It boasts many attractions that appeal to residents and tourists, including the beaches of Chesapeake Bay.

Norfolk Demographics

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

  • White: 46.32%
  • Black or African American: 40.59%
  • Two or more races: 5.9%
  • Asian: 3.67%
  • Other race: 3.15%
  • Native American: 0.3%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Norfolk, Virginia is 236,565 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 238,005.

Norfolk, Virginia Population 2023

Norfolk Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

White

Black or African American

Two or more races

Asian

Other race

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Norfolk Population by Race

Norfolk Population Pyramid 2023

Norfolk Median Age

30.8

Total

29.1

Male

33.3

Female

Norfolk Adults

There are 196,389 adults, (27,349 of whom are seniors) in Norfolk.

Norfolk Age Dependency

44.5

Age Dependency Ratio

16.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

28.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Norfolk Sex Ratio

Female116,81947.82%
Male127,48152.18%

Norfolk Population by Age

Norfolk Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

3.12

Average Family Size

2.43

Average Household Size

43.5%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Norfolk Households and Families

Male

Female

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Norfolk Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Norfolk Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

The highest rate of high school graduation is among asian people with a rate of 74.74%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 34.52%.

Norfolk Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

$36,178

Average Earnings

$42,256

Average Male

$30,979

Average Female

Norfolk Earnings by Educational Attainment

Norfolk Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Norfolk Language

89.36% of Norfolk residents speak only English, while 10.64% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 5.09% of the population.

Norfolk Language

Norfolk Poverty by Race

rate

19.09%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.62%

Male Poverty Rate

19.94%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Norfolk

The race most likely to be in poverty in Norfolk is Native, with 30.87% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Norfolk is Islander, with 8.97% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.32%. Among those working part-time, it was 24.34%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.9%.

Norfolk Poverty

Norfolk Poverty Rate by Education

Norfolk Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Norfolk Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Norfolk Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

35.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

35.7%

Male Marriage Rate

34.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Norfolk Married by Age and Sex

male

female

Norfolk Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 35-44, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.

Norfolk Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Norfolk Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

24,989

Number of Veterans

20,835

Male Veterans

4,154

Female Veterans

Norfolk Veterans by War

Norfolk Veterans by Age

count

Norfolk Veterans by Race

Norfolk Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

8.64%

Veteran Poverty Rate

19.75%

Veteran Disability Rate

Norfolk Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

70.8%

Labor Force Participation

51.9%

Employment Rate

8%

Unemployment Rate

Norfolk Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Norfolk Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Norfolk Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

50.36%

Born in Norfolk

95.15%

Native Born

7.49%

Foreign Born

3.56%

Non Citizen

3.93%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

95.15% of Norfolk residents were born in the United States, with 50.36% having been born in Virginia. 3.56% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Norfolk Place of Birth

Note: data after 2020 is projected based on recent growth

Norfolk Population by Year