Roanoke, Virginia Population 2021

99,411
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Roanoke is a city located in Botetourt County, Montgomery County, and Roanoke County Virginia. It is also the county seat of Roanoke County. With a 2020 population of 99,411, it is the 8th largest city in Virginia and the 329th largest city in the United States . Roanoke is currently growing at a rate of 0.13% annually and its population has increased by 2.45% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 97,032 in 2010. Roanoke reached it's highest population of 100,220 in 1980. Spanning over 43 miles, Roanoke has a population density of 2,338 people per square mile.

The average household income in Roanoke is $60,914 with a poverty rate of 20.77%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $814 per month, and the median house value is $135,100. The median age in Roanoke is 38.5 years, 37.4 years for males, and 39.7 years for females.

Roanoke is an independent city located in the Roanoke Valley. Roanoke serves as a center of commercial activity and culture throughout the region.

Roanoke Population Statistics

Roanoke’s top employer is Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, which employs more than 1,000 people. Other top employers including Roanoke City Public Schools, the City of Roanoke, and Carilion Professional Service, each of which employ at least 1,000 people.

Roanoke Population Growth

Roanoke saw significant population growth throughout history, primarily due to annexation. Between 1880 and 1890, the population jumped by over 2,000%. The city reached over 50,000 residents in 1950 and doubled that number in 1980. This was when the population peaked before it dropped by 3.8% at the time of the 1990 census. The population continued to fall through 2000 before increasing again at the 2010 census. Current estimates show that the population has risen by 2.7% since the last poll, indicating that efforts made to prevent “brain drain” and other initiatives to transform the city may be successful.

Roanoke was established as a town in 1852. At that time, the town was called Big Lick. The name came because of the outcrop of sale near the Roanoke River that attracted wildlife. The name was changed in 1882 to Roanoke, and in 1884, it was incorporated as a city.

Through its early history, the city grew quite quickly. It was designated as a stop along the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad during the mid-19th century and later, the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. The city saw very prosperous times in the year ahead. In particular, the development of coalfields and the manufacturing of steam locomotives led to the growth of the economy and the population. Today, the coal from Roanoke is used in plants and mills around the world.

Manufacturers in the early 20th century were attracted to Roanoke because of its access to the railroad. However, later in the century, the closing of plants and the conversion of the railroad to diesel resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, the city’s growth slowed significantly, falling below national and state averages. This is primarily due to underemployment and many residents being unable to find satisfactory employment—or “brain drain.” The city has launched initiatives to address this problem, including the creation of a job seeker database and career fairs.

Despite these struggles, Roanoke continues to be a hub of retail and economy within the region. It is home to many businesses and headquarters, including Advance Auto Parts and Carillion Health Center. The city’s surrounding suburbs continue to grow, and according to recent estimates and the last census, the city of Roanoke’s population is once again on the rise.

Roanoke Demographics

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

  • White: 62.39%
  • Black or African American: 28.98%
  • Two or more races: 4.36%
  • Asian: 2.98%
  • Other race: 1.06%
  • Native American: 0.22%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.02%
The current population of Roanoke, Virginia is 99,411 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 99,009.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 97,032.

Roanoke, Virginia Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2021313,6001890.06%
2020313,4111890.06%
2019313,2221890.06%
2018313,033450.01%
2017312,9883410.11%
2016312,647-505-0.16%
2015313,1524050.13%
2014312,7478690.28%
2013311,8781,3990.45%
2012310,4791,3450.43%
2011309,1345450.18%
2010308,5890.00%

Roanoke Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White61,90962.39%
Black or African American28,75328.98%
Two or More Races4,3234.36%
Asian2,9562.98%
Some Other Race1,0481.06%
American Indian and Alaska Native2200.22%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander200.02%
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Roanoke Population by Race

Roanoke Population Pyramid $2021

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Roanoke Median Age

38.5


Total

37.4


Male

39.7


Female

Roanoke Adults

There are 77,528 adults, (15,988 of whom are seniors) in Roanoke.

Roanoke Age Dependency

61.2

Age Dependency Ratio

26

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Roanoke Sex Ratio

Female

51,973

52.38%

Male

47,256

47.62%

Roanoke Population by Age

Roanoke Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Roanoke Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married68.6%31.4%
All51.5%48.5%
Non Family44.8%55.2%
Male41.3%58.7%
Female39.7%60.3%

51.5%

Rate of Home Ownership

Roanoke Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All41,7402.3351.5
Non Family19,2451.2644.8
Married13,4253.0568.6
Female6,8263.4339.7
Male2,2443.8941.3

3.11

Average Family Size

2.33

Average Household Size

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Roanoke Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade3,3624.81%
9th to 12th Grade6,2999.00%
High School Graduate23,85334.09%
Some College13,78219.70%
Associates Degree6,2788.97%
Bachelors Degree10,09214.43%
Graduate Degree6,2959.00%
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Roanoke Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Roanoke Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White44,78539,83412,892
Black18,73515,4761,521
Hispanic3,4002,456442
Asian2,1341,7991,245
2+ Races1,3681,125236
Other Race46241373
Native American146146

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

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 58.34%.

Roanoke Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,327$36,323$30,203
Less Than 9th Grade$18,003$17,718$18,115
High School Graduate$26,276$29,974$22,234
Some College$32,023$34,986$30,736
Bachelors Degree$46,145$51,155$41,654
Graduate Degree$60,369$67,054$55,931

$32,327

Average Earnings

$36,323

Average Male

$30,203

Average Female

Roanoke Earnings by Educational Attainment

Roanoke Language by Age

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Roanoke Language

91.36% of Roanoke residents speak only English, while 8.64% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.27% of the population.

Roanoke Language

Roanoke Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black28,3319,69634.22%
White56,7508,06814.22%
Multiple4,2961,41232.87%
Hispanic6,1901,24620.13%
Asian2,9561796.06%
Other1,03112512.12%
Native220125.45%

20.77%

Overall Poverty Rate

19.24%

Male Poverty Rate

22.16%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Roanoke

The race most likely to be in poverty in Roanoke is Black, with 34.22% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Roanoke is Native, with 5.45% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 6.10%. Among those working part-time, it was 27.45%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 28.70%.

Roanoke Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade30.57%
High School21.27%
Some College13.14%
Bachelors or Greater5.73%

Roanoke Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed41.13%
Male Unemployed33.57%
Female Employed11.82%
Male Employed9.58%

Roanoke Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Roanoke Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$44,230$60,914
Families$54,633$74,726
Married Families$72,970$96,467
Non Families$29,345$42,024
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Income by Household Type

Roanoke Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

36.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

38.3%

Male Marriage Rate

34.8%

Female Marriage Rate

Roanoke Married by Age and Sex

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Roanoke Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.

Roanoke Marital Status by Race

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Roanoke Marital Status

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6,467

Number of Veterans

5,911

Male Veterans

556

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam2,478
Second Gulf War1,307
First Gulf War1,197
Korea493
World War II240

Roanoke Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 741,622
55 to 641,470
75+1,321
35 to 541,309
18 to 34745

Roanoke Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White4,5218.85%
Black1,5657.31%
2+ Races19911.04%
Asian1536.28%
Hispanic1463.74%
Native American2613.40%
Other Race30.60%

Roanoke Veterans by Race

Roanoke Veterans by Education

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12.23%

Veteran Poverty Rate

23.87%

Veteran Disability Rate

Roanoke Veterans by Education

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64.1%

Labor Force Participation

60%

Employment Rate

6.3%

Unemployment Rate

Roanoke Employment by Age

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Roanoke Employment by Race

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Roanoke Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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64.12%

Born in Roanoke

93.28%

Native Born

6.72%

Foreign Born

4.62%

Non Citizen

2.09%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

93.28% of Roanoke residents were born in the United States, with 64.12% having been born in Virginia. 4.62% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Roanoke Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202199,4111340.13%
202099,2771340.14%
201999,1431340.14%
201899,009230.02%
201798,986-351-0.35%
201699,337-332-0.33%
201599,6692420.24%
201499,4275780.58%
201398,8498380.86%
201298,0111,2291.27%
201196,782620.06%
201096,7201,8090.19%
200094,911-1,486-0.16%
199096,397-3,823-0.39%
1980100,2208,1050.85%
197092,115-4,995-0.53%
196097,1105,1890.55%
195091,92122,6342.87%
194069,287810.01%
193069,20618,3643.13%
192050,84215,9683.84%
191034,87413,3794.96%
190021,4955,3362.89%
189016,1590.00%

Roanoke Population by Year