Norfolk, Virginia Population 2020

242,234

Norfolk is a city located in Virginia. With a 2020 population of 242,234, it is the 3rd largest city in Virginia (after Virginia Beach and Chesapeake) and the 95th largest city in the United States. Norfolk is currently declining at a rate of -0.38% annually and its population has decreased by -0.23% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 242,803 in 2010. Norfolk reached it's highest population of 307,951 in 1970. Spanning over 96 miles, Norfolk has a population density of 4,547 people per square mile.

The average household income in Norfolk is $69,410 with a poverty rate of 19.71%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,031 per month, and the median house value is $199,400. The median age in Norfolk is 30.5 years, 28.8 years for males, and 32.8 years for females. For every 100 females there are 109.4 males.

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: 47.01%
  • Black or African American: 41.58%
  • Two or more races: 4.29%
  • Asian: 3.69%
  • Other race: 2.95%
  • Native American: 0.41%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.07%
The current population of Norfolk, Virginia is 242,234, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 244,076.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 242,803.

Norfolk, Virginia Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
20201,736,4503,8600.22%
20191,732,5903,8600.22%
20181,728,7303,8500.22%
20171,724,8802,4600.14%
20161,722,4202,5800.15%
20151,719,8405,7000.33%
20141,714,1409,7500.57%
20131,704,3907,3300.43%
20121,697,06011,1500.66%
20111,685,9106,1100.36%
20101,679,8000.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White115,44347.01%
Black or African American102,11741.58%
Two or More Races10,5484.29%
Asian9,0633.69%
Some Other Race7,2542.95%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,0060.41%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1610.07%

Norfolk Population Pyramid 2020

Norfolk Median Age

30.5


Total

28.8


Male

32.8


Female

Norfolk Adults

There are 196,793 adults, (25,928 of whom are seniors) in Norfolk.

Norfolk Age Dependency

43.7

Age Dependency Ratio

15.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

28.6

Child Dependency Ratio

Norfolk Sex Ratio

Female

117,299

47.76%

Male

128,293

52.24%

Norfolk Households and Families

Norfolk Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Norfolk Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married64%36%
All43.1%56.9%
Male33.7%66.3%
Non Family33.4%66.6%
Female27.6%72.4%

43.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All88,1552.4943.1
Non Family37,5991.433.4
Married30,9053.1964
Female15,4083.5527.6
Male4,2433.2533.7

3.19

Average Family Size

2.49

Average Household Size

5.3%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Norfolk Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade5,4233.56%
9th to 12th Grade13,3958.78%
High School Graduate39,00425.58%
Some College39,29825.77%
Associates Degree12,6688.31%
Bachelors Degree25,89816.98%
Graduate Degree16,81111.02%

Norfolk Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White72,72267,72127,546
Black60,34649,5259,365
Hispanic9,5517,5952,110
Asian6,1915,6022,681
Other Race4,1212,694594
Multiple Races3,9873,5601,057
Native American665601178
Islander676718

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 43.30%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$34,482$40,914$29,521
Less Than High School$21,814$26,772$16,513
High School Grad$28,007$31,484$24,036
Some College$31,528$37,869$27,024
Bachelors Degree$46,189$53,651$39,318
Graduate Degree$63,443$77,721$54,445

$34,482

Average Earnings

$40,914

Average Male

$29,521

Average Female

Norfolk Language

Norfolk Language by Age

Norfolk Language

89.48% of Norfolk residents speak only English, while 10.52% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.93% of the population.

Norfolk Poverty

Norfolk Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black92,30726,06428.24%
White94,95811,66512.28%
Hispanic16,7233,26319.51%
Multiple9,5142,13422.43%
Asian8,3561,14913.75%
Other6,7251,10816.48%
Native93410511.24%
Islander12864.69%

19.71%

Overall Poverty Rate

17.88%

Male Poverty Rate

21.55%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Norfolk

The race most likely to be in poverty in Norfolk is Black, with 28.24% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Norfolk is Islander, with 4.69% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.69%. Among those working part-time, it was 27.36%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 30.61%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School30.63%
High School18.34%
Some College14.38%
Bachelors or Greater5.54%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed42.24%
Male Unemployed36.03%
Female Employed13.06%
Male Employed8.08%

Norfolk Income

Norfolk Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$49,146$69,410
Families$59,062$81,921
Married Families$80,121$104,083
Non Families$35,435$50,166

Norfolk Marital Status

Norfolk Marital Status

Marriage Rates

35.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

35.4%

Male Marriage Rate

34.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Norfolk Married by Age and Sex

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 35-44.

Norfolk Marital Status by Race

Norfolk Veterans

27,860

Number of Veterans

23,370

Male Veterans

4,490

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Second Gulf War13,598
First Gulf War9,198
Vietnam5,776
Korea982
World War II486
Age Group Veterans
35 to 548,389
18 to 348,130
55 to 645,089
65 to 743,509
75+2,743
Name Veterans % of Total
White16,52720.31%
Black9,20312.61%
Hispanic2,04918.50%
Asian77110.84%
2 or More76615.73%
Other4449.31%
Indian13018.71%
Hawaiian1918.10%

$Norfolk Veterans by Education

10.24%

Veteran Poverty Rate

17.84%

Veteran Disability Rate

Norfolk Employment Status

69.1%

Labor Force Participation

52.1%

Employment Rate

8.2%

Unemployment Rate

Norfolk 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

49.34%

Born in Virginia

92.65%

Native Born

7.35%

Foreign Born

3.54%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

92.65% of Norfolk residents were born in the United States, with 49.34% having been born in Virginia. 3.54% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020242,234-921-0.38%
2019243,155-921-0.38%
2018244,076-846-0.35%
2017244,922-921-0.37%
2016245,843-691-0.28%
2015246,534-53-0.02%
2014246,5871,1380.46%
2013245,449-692-0.28%
2012246,1412,5091.03%
2011243,6326340.26%
2010242,9988,5950.36%
2000234,403-26,826-1.08%
1990261,229-5,750-0.22%
1980266,979-40,972-1.42%
1970307,9513,0820.10%
1960304,86991,3563.63%
1950213,51369,1813.99%
1940144,33214,6221.07%
1930129,71013,9331.14%
1920115,77748,3255.55%
191067,45220,8283.76%
190046,62411,7532.95%
189034,87112,9054.73%
188021,9662,7371.34%
187019,2294,6092.78%
186014,6202940.20%
185014,3263,4062.75%
184010,9201,1061.07%
18309,8141,3361.47%
18208,478-715-0.81%
18109,1932,2672.87%
18006,9263,9678.88%
17902,9590.00%