Virginia is the 12th largest state in the United States by population. There is a wide variety of great places to live in this amazing state including the largest cities in Virginia.
The state of Virginia is often referred to as “the birthplace of a nation” because of the role it played in American history. Many people also call Virginia the “Mother of Presidents” since eight US presidents were born there, including four of the first five.
Getting details about the population of the largest Virginia cities will help you determine which of these areas would be the best place for you to live. You can use helpful information from the US Census as well as the facts shared below.
You’ll find that knowing the state’s overall statistics will make it easier to identify the differences between each of the largest cities in Virginia.
- Population: 8,535,519 residents
- Median Age: 38 years old
- Median Household Income: $76,456
- Median Home Listing Price: $288,800
- Area of State: 39,482.2 square miles
- Density: 216.2 people per square mile
Largest Cities in Virginia
Learn all of the most important information about the largest Virginia cities so you can see which one will best fit your personal needs and lifestyle.
1. Virginia Beach
As the biggest city in Virginia by population, Virginia Beach was founded in 1887 and has rapidly grown since then. It is ranked among the top 20 safest cities in Virginia and stands as one of the best places to live in the entire state.
Virginia Beach is located on the eastern border of Virginia along the Atlantic Ocean and is often called by the nickname “Neptune City”. The local Neptune Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to celebrate the city’s heritage.
Known for its great restaurants as well as its popular art scene, residents living in Virginia Beach have plenty of activities to enjoy around the city. A couple of the top things to do include the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and First Landing State Park.
If you’re looking for jobs in Virginia Beach, some of the best places to work are Navy Exchange, Amerigroup, VBSchools, and Farm Fresh.
The top schools in Virginia Beach include Princess Anne High School, Frank W. Cox High, and Ocean Lakes High School.
For those who are searching for the best colleges in Virginia Beach, make sure you look into Regent University and ECPI University.
- Virginia Beach Population: 449,974
- Virginia Beach Area: 244.7 square miles
- Virginia Beach Median Age: 37 years old
- Virginia Beach Median Household Income: $79,054
- Virginia Beach Median House Price: $296,200
- Virginia Beach Density: 1,838.7 people per square mile
- Virginia Beach Map
The city of Chesapeake is one of the main and the second-largest cities in Virginia and can be found immediately to the southeast of Virginia Beach. It was established in 1963 and was named after the Chesapeake Native American tribe.
Chesapeake is known for having the most miles of deepwater canals anywhere in the United States.
A few of the best places to work in Chesapeake are DB Schenker, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, and Technical Systems Integration.
If you’ll be relocating to Chesapeake with kids, the top schools are Grassfield High School, Hickory High School, and Western Branch High.
- Chesapeake Population: 244,835
- Chesapeake Area: 338.5 square miles
- Chesapeake Median Age: 38 years old
- Chesapeake Median Household Income: $77,847
- Chesapeake Median House Price: $290,900
- Chesapeake Density: 723.3 people per square mile
- Chesapeake Map
Norfolk is one of the oldest cities in Virginia, having been founded back in 1682. It was named after Norfolk, England and has grown into one of the top areas throughout the state.
Norfolk jobs are available with major companies like Norfolk Southern Railway, Beacon Holding, Dal Global Services, and Sentara Healthcare.
A couple of the best colleges in Norfolk are Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University.
- Norfolk Population: 242,742
- Norfolk Area: 53.3 square miles
- Norfolk Median Age: 31 years old
- Norfolk Median Household Income: $53,093
- Norfolk Median House Price: $218,000
- Norfolk Density: 4,556.4 people per square mile
- Norfolk Map
As the capital of Virginia, the city of Richmond was established in 1737 and is often referred to by nicknames of either “RVA” or “River City”.
Considered one of the most important cities in Virginia, Richmond is known for the significant role it played in the Civil War and other aspects of American history. These events are memorialized by many local attractions such as the American Civil War Museum and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Parents are pleased with the school system in Richmond with its many great programs at Godwin High School, Richmond Community High School, Open High School, and Maggie Walker Governor’s School, which is ranked among the top high schools in Virginia.
Richmond is also home to a handful of highly-rated universities and colleges such as Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Union University.
If you’re on the lookout for local jobs in Richmond, a few of the top employers are Brink’s, the US Defense Supply Center Richmond, and CarMax.
- Richmond Population: 230,436
- Richmond Area: 59.9 square miles
- Richmond Median Age: 34 years old
- Richmond Median Household Income: $51,285
- Richmond Median House Price: $249,500
- Richmond Density: 3,845.5 people per square mile
- Richmond Map
5. Newport News
Newport News is ranked 5th among the biggest cities in Virginia and was founded in 1896.
The city of Newport News was named after a man named Christopher Newport who served as the captain of the Susan Constant. It was the leader of the fleet, which set sail in 1607 from Jamestown to the New World.
Known for its history of shipbuilding, a large number of US aircraft carriers were built in Newport News including the Roosevelt, Kennedy, Vinson, Enterprise, and Washington.
Newport News jobs tend to be easy to find with great places to work like Huntington Ingalls Industries, Ferguson, and Riverside Health System.
The Newport News Public School District offers strong education to local students at top-rated schools. It is also home to the reputable Christopher Newport University.
- Newport News Population: 179,225
- Newport News Area: 69 square miles
- Newport News Median Age: 33 years old
- Newport News Median Household Income: $53,029
- Newport News Median House Price: $186,600
- Newport News Density: 2,597.8 people per square mile
- Newport News Map
Located only a few miles south of Washington DC, the city of Alexandria is ranked among the safest cities in Virginia. It was established in 1749 and is one of the most historic areas in the state.
Alexandria is among the most affluent and wealthiest cities in Virginia with a median household income of $103,284 per year.
Top-rated Alexandria jobs are available with major companies like The Salvation Army, Adroit Systems, VSE, and the Society for Human Resource Management.
Many young students in Alexandria attend the local Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which is the #1 ranked high school in Virginia.
- Alexandria Population: 159,428
- Alexandria Area: 14.9 square miles
- Alexandria Median Age: 37 years old
- Alexandria Median Household Income: $103,284
- Alexandria Median House Price: $572,500
- Alexandria Density: 10,675.4 people per square mile
- Alexandria Map
Founded in 1610, the city of Hampton is located about 31 miles northwest of Virginia Beach.
Ranked as the 2nd safest city in the state, Hampton is frequently considered among the best cities in Virginia to raise a family.
Hampton is known for its huge arts scene, which features seasonal festivals, numerous events, and a variety of cultural attractions. Along with the area’s many museums, some of the top things to do in Hampton are at Buckroe Beach and Park and the Hampton Coliseum.
The local Hampton University features many great degree programs for college students looking to get their secondary education.
- Hampton Population: 134,510
- Hampton Area: 51.5 square miles
- Hampton Median Age: 36 years old
- Hampton Median Household Income: $56,930
- Hampton Median House Price: $193,500
- Hampton Density: 2,614 people per square mile
- Hampton Map
Roanoke was established in 1874 and is the westernmost city on this list. It’s one of the most affordable cities in Virginia with a median house price of $147,300.
The name Roanoke was taken from the Native American term “Rawrenock”, which are the shell beads that many natives wore and sold as trade goods.
Great jobs in Roanoke are being offered by local companies like Advance Auto Parts, the Carilion Clinic, Medical Facilities of America, and American HealthCare.
The local Hidden Valley High School is the top-ranked school in Roanoke, while Hollins University is the highest-rated college in the city.
- Roanoke Population: 99,143
- Roanoke Area: 42.5 square miles
- Roanoke Median Age: 38 years old
- Roanoke Median Household Income: $45,838
- Roanoke Median House Price: $147,300
- Roanoke Density: 2,331.6 people per square mile
- Roanoke Map
Portsmouth is a historic city that was settled back in 1752 immediately to the southwest of Norfolk across the Elizabeth River.
Lovingly called by the nickname “P-Town”, Portsmouth is among the top 10 largest Virginia cities by population.
Portsmouth is known for its incredible spread of antique homes, some of which are more than three centuries old. These properties are surrounded by many fun things to do for families including the Children’s Museum of Virginia and the local Portsmouth City Park.
The largest employers in Portsmouth are Ameri-Force, Aurora Behavioral Health Care, Chock Full o’Nuts, and the Portsmouth Public School District.
- Portsmouth Population: 94,398
- Portsmouth Area: 33.3 square miles
- Portsmouth Median Age: 37 years old
- Portsmouth Median Household Income: $51,195
- Portsmouth Median House Price: $169,600
- Portsmouth Density: 2,834.7 people per square mile
- Portsmouth Map
Rounding out the list of the ten largest Virginia cities, Suffolk was named after Suffolk County in East Anglia, which is located near England. It was established in 1742 and has become a great place to live for middle-class families.
Suffolk is the birthplace of Mr. Peanut, the well-known Planters Peanuts mascot with his top hat, monocle, and cane. The city is one of the largest processors and distributors of peanuts in the nation.
Top-rated Suffolk job opportunities are available with employers like Sysco Hampton Roads, Wanchese Fish, Suffolk Public Schools, and the City of Suffolk government.
- Suffolk Population: 92,108
- Suffolk Area: 399.2 square miles
- Suffolk Median Age: 38 years old
- Suffolk Median Household Income: $80,481
- Suffolk Median House Price: $263,500
- Suffolk Density: 230.8 people per square mile
- Suffolk Map
Map of Largest Cities in Virginia
How many cities are there in Virginia?
There are 38 incorporated cities in Virginia as well as more than 190 incorporated towns.
What is the most populous city in Virginia?
Virginia Beach is the largest city in Virginia by population with 449,974 residents.
How many people live in Virginia?
The population in Virginia is 8,535,519 residents.
Which of Virginia’s Largest Cities is Right for You?
Now that you know all the most important information about the largest cities in Virginia, you’ll be able to choose what area is right for you. Here at On the Fly Moving Guys, we have the best movers in the state ready to help with your relocation! Reach out to us today at (804) 836-4954 or fill out the Request a Quote form to get a free moving estimate!