Virginia State: Population, Rankings, and Facts

#7 in Overall Ranking out of 50 in 2020

Virginia is in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. From here, it’s quite easy to get to major metropolitan cities such as Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. At the same time, it’s close to beautiful natural areas of the United States like the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. They say ‘Virginia is for lovers,’ which is due to its beaches and serene bodies of water. It’s become one of the most iconic tourism slogans ever!

Updated: April 20, 2021
  • Area
    42,774 sq. mi.
  • Capital
  • Population
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Education
  • Medicine
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Infrastructure

During the colonial era, there were several European expeditions to this area, but on June 25, 1788, Virginia became the 10th state to join the Union. Local residents were pivotal to the writing of the United States Declaration of Independence. It was James Madison who wrote the draft of the Virginia Plan in 1787.

Several indigenous groups have lived in the land that encompasses this region. These include the Powhatan, the Algonquian people, the Siouan, and the Iroquoians.

The weather here is somewhere in the middle; it can get humid, but the mountainous areas tend to be cooler. The native habitats and species are influenced mainly by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay. Here, 36% of residents live in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

The geography is full of beautiful bodies of water. Over 3,000 square miles of the region are made of water. The Chesapeake Bay separates part of the state; two counties are located on the Eastern Shore peninsula. Several rivers flow into the Bay, including the Potomac.

The top tourist destinations here are some of the most beautiful in the United States. These include Colonial Williamsburg, Shenandoah National Park, Mount Vernon, and Charlottesville.

How We Figured Out Which Were the Best States to Live in

To find the best American states to live in, we looked at the data from various sources, such as the National Census Bureau. This helped us rank different metrics such as crime, unemployment, average income, the job market, health, and more. Check below to see each critical point and research more insights like median home values, education levels, and environmental ratings.

Virginia Rankings

  • Population
    Data: 8,535,519

    According to the census, the total Virginia population is about 8.5 million, and the density is 207/sq mi. This is pretty good for people who prefer a smaller population but still want to have easy access to the city. The most populous cities are Richmond, the capital city, and Virginia Beach.

  • Median Income
    Income in $
    Data: $71,535

    The average income estimates rank in ninth place, at $71,535. Some of the industries that get the most business include federal and local government, the military, farming, and the technology sector. The gross domestic product in 2018 was $476 billion, which was the 13th-highest in the USA. The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average.

  • Home Value
    Home Value
    Data: $307,964

    About 87% of the homes here are for sale, and the median square footage for houses is about 1,700. A little over half the properties for sale are single-family homes. The average rent is $1,660 per month. According to current data, home prices have risen about 8.3% in the past year.

  • Unemployment Rate
    Data: 5.6%

    At 5.6%, the rate is among the lowest in the country. Virginia unemployment has steadily been on the decline for the past ten years but increased during 2020. According to the new Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market is dominated by tech jobs and farming, so it's diverse employment possibilities and economy.

  • Poverty
    Data: 10.1%

    Going by the census, poverty rates here aren't great, but they're lower than in many states. At 10%, there are too many people that can't afford decent living conditions. About 10% of men and 12% of women are currently classified as poor.

  • Education
    Data: 37.6%

    The good news is that over 86% of residents have graduated high school, which is higher than the national average. Test scores are slightly higher than the national average, too. It is in the top ten regarding K-12 graduation rates. There are dozens of universities and colleges, several of which are quite prestigious.

  • Medicine
    Health Outcomes: 21

    Clinical care and health outcomes are about average, but VA ranks highly for behavioral health. The bad news is that over 9% of American people living there are uninsured. Environmental health here is quite stable. The state has plans to adopt an exchange system for healthcare coverage.

  • Crime Rate
    Violent Crime: 17,753

    Property crimes and larceny-theft are the most common violations. Violent crime accounts for 17,753 cases per year. According to police data, some of the most dangerous cities are Portsmouth, Colonial Heights, Roanoke, and Richmond. Hale County is one of the most crime-ridden areas.

  • Natural Environment
    Air: 35

    It is right in the middle of the chart in terms of environmental health and outcomes. Air and drinking water quality is average, and new pesticide violations are sub-par. However, hazardous waste is a problem. Compared with the neighbors, VA is slightly better in terms of overall health policy.

  • Infrastructure
    Poor Roads: 2.7%

    The infrastructure could use some work. While it ranks #11 in the country, the roads aren't great, and the average drive time is over 28 minutes. According to estimates and ranks, it is doing markedly better than its neighbors.

Virginia Facts

  • Its nickname is “The Old Dominion State.”
  • The state bird is the Northern Cardinal, and the tree is the American Dogwood.
  • The state flower is the Flowering Dogwood.
  • The Cherokee, Croatoan, Powhatan, and Tuscarora tribes lived there thousands of years ago.
  • The state gets its name from the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.
  • It is the birthplace of eight United States Presidents.
  • Some famous people from here include Ella Fitzgerald, Warren Beatty, Patrick Henry, Shirley MacLaine, and Booker T. Washington.
  • Colonial Williamsburg is one of the most renowned living history museums in the state.
  • Shenandoah National Park is a state treasure full of native flora and fauna.
  • The official abbreviation is VA.
  • The state flag consists of a coat of arms depicting the Roman Goddess Virtue.
  • The VA gun law policy does not clearly indicate a minimum age requirement to purchase firearms.
  • The 1950 State Code is the one currently in use.
  • A few of the schools display artifacts from the Science Museum of Virginia to allow students to learn new information.

Virginia in Photos

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FAQ Section

  • How Many Counties are in Virginia?

    There are 95 Virginia counties and 38 independent cities that are considered counties in the U.S. census. Fairfax County, with a population of over 1.1 million people, is the largest county. It’s the wealthiest county, while Buchanan County is the poorest. There are 1,213 zip codes in VA.

  • What Time Zone is VA in?

    It is in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT-4), so it syncs up with New York Time. It is four hours ahead of California.

  • What is Virginia Known for?

    It is famous for being one of the original 13 colonies and the birthplace of eight US Presidents, among which are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

    The state is home to the Ronald Reagan-Washington Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, two of the busiest in the country. There are two national forests, 16 state forests, and 44 Virginia state parks.

  • What is the Minimum Wage in VA?

    The minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. Earnings vary throughout the area since the economy depends on farming as well as tech and government jobs. Comparing sales tax, which is 5.3%, the state tax for income is 5.75%, and the property tax is 0.86%.