Roanoke, Virginia Population 2020

99,648
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Roanoke is a city located in Virginia. With a 2020 population of 99,648, it is the 8th largest city in Virginia and the 319th largest city in the United States. Roanoke is currently declining at a rate of -0.14% annually but its population has increased by 2.70% 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 2,344 people per square mile.

The average household income in Roanoke is $59,205 with a poverty rate of 20.52%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $799 per month, and the median house value is $133,200. The median age in Roanoke is 38.7 years, 36.8 years for males, and 40.5 years for females. For every 100 females there are 92.1 males.

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: 62.52%
  • Black or African American: 28.72%
  • Two or more races: 3.57%
  • Asian: 3.08%
  • Other race: 1.90%
  • Native American: 0.19%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%
The current population of Roanoke, Virginia is 99,648, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 99,920.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 97,032.

Roanoke, Virginia Population 2020

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

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020315,5406840.22%
2019314,8566840.22%
2018314,1726840.22%
2017313,4886600.21%
2016312,828-377-0.12%
2015313,2054430.14%
2014312,7628830.28%
2013311,8791,3370.43%
2012310,5421,4360.46%
2011309,1065130.17%
2010308,5930.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White62,28262.52%
Black or African American28,60728.72%
Two or More Races3,5523.57%
Asian3,0703.08%
Some Other Race1,8961.90%
American Indian and Alaska Native1860.19%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander280.03%
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Roanoke Population Pyramid 2020

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Roanoke Median Age

38.7


Total

36.8


Male

40.5


Female

Roanoke Adults

There are 77,761 adults, (15,805 of whom are seniors) in Roanoke.

Roanoke Age Dependency

60.8

Age Dependency Ratio

25.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

35.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Roanoke Sex Ratio

Female

51,846

52.04%

Male

47,775

47.96%

Roanoke Households and Families

Roanoke Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Roanoke Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married69%31%
All51.8%48.2%
Non Family45.5%54.5%
Male40.2%59.8%
Female39.1%60.9%

51.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All42,0372.3251.8
Non Family18,9721.2545.5
Married13,7343.0469
Female6,9703.3239.1
Male2,3613.8140.2

3.07

Average Family Size

2.32

Average Household Size

7.4%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.6%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

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Roanoke Education

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade4,0265.75%
9th to 12th Grade6,1178.74%
High School Graduate22,87332.67%
Some College14,14320.20%
Associates Degree6,1518.79%
Bachelors Degree10,58615.12%
Graduate Degree6,1098.73%
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Roanoke Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White45,14540,14113,328
Black18,11614,9481,527
Hispanic3,3432,238507
Asian2,1871,519982
Multiple Races1,3271,110271
Other Race980664109
Native American13913914

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 44.90%.

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,232$35,623$29,103
Less Than High School$18,229$21,628$13,638
High School Grad$26,940$29,938$22,813
Some College$31,645$35,741$28,599
Bachelors Degree$43,701$50,811$38,521
Graduate Degree$61,036$72,738$53,219

$32,232

Average Earnings

$35,623

Average Male

$29,103

Average Female

Roanoke Language

Roanoke Language by Age

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Roanoke Language

91.13% of Roanoke residents speak only English, while 8.87% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.17% of the population.

Roanoke Poverty

Roanoke Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black28,0339,16932.71%
White57,5428,58814.92%
Hispanic6,0771,24620.50%
Multiple3,4921,05230.13%
Other1,88641922.22%
Asian3,0701203.91%
Native1862211.83%

20.52%

Overall Poverty Rate

18.69%

Male Poverty Rate

22.21%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Roanoke

The race most likely to be in poverty in Roanoke is Black, with 32.71% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Roanoke is Asian, with 3.91% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.82%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.32%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 28.83%.

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School30.15%
High School20.45%
Some College12.66%
Bachelors or Greater5.99%
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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed46.36%
Male Unemployed34.51%
Female Employed11.98%
Male Employed8.11%

Roanoke Income

Roanoke Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$43,028$59,205
Families$53,599$71,379
Married Families$70,016$91,871
Non Families$29,188$41,344
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Roanoke Marital Status

Roanoke Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

37.8%

Overall Marriage Rate

39.4%

Male Marriage Rate

36.3%

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 35-44.

Roanoke Marital Status by Race

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Roanoke Veterans

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6,434

Number of Veterans

6,040

Male Veterans

394

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam2,549
First Gulf War1,188
Second Gulf War1,175
Korea513
World War II324
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Age Group Veterans
65 to 741,583
55 to 641,429
35 to 541,422
75+1,384
18 to 34616
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Name Veterans % of Total
White4,6159.00%
Black1,4937.12%
Hispanic2456.38%
2 or More17410.58%
Other746.71%
Asian652.58%
Indian138.18%

Roanoke Veterans by Education

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12.92%

Veteran Poverty Rate

25.85%

Veteran Disability Rate

Roanoke Employment Status

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64.1%

Labor Force Participation

59.6%

Employment Rate

6.8%

Unemployment Rate

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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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63.90%

Born in Virginia

92.44%

Native Born

7.56%

Foreign Born

5.74%

Non Citizen

1.82%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

92.44% of Roanoke residents were born in the United States, with 63.90% having been born in Virginia. 5.74% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202099,648-136-0.14%
201999,784-136-0.14%
201899,9204840.49%
201799,436-136-0.14%
201699,572-161-0.16%
201599,7332900.29%
201499,4435830.59%
201398,8607680.78%
201298,0921,3161.36%
201196,776540.06%
201096,7221,8110.19%
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%