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What’s it Like Living in Richmond VA? | Ultimate Guide to Moving to Richmond VA

ULTIMATE Living in Richmond VA Guide | 😀 Is Moving to Richmond VA for You?

Last Updated on: 5th January 2024, 05:06 pm

Richmond is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia; it’s a great place to live and visit! Here is everything you should know before moving to Richmond.

The history of Richmond VA, is vast, dating back to 1607 when Captain Christopher Newport brought English explorers to the site. Before then, Indian tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy inhabited the area. In 1737, the city was founded by Colonel William Byrd II. Colonel Byrd inherited the land from his father and was soon known as “The Father of Richmond.” Richmond, Virginia, was officially incorporated in 1742. 

Richmond is most known for being the political capital of Virginia; it also boasts deep roots in arts and culture and has countless museums and historical landmarks. Richmond, VA nicknames are Capital of the South, The River City, RVA, and Dirt City, and its motto is “Sic Itur Ad Astra,” which is Latin for “Thus do we reach the stars.”

If you’re considering relocating to Richmond, VA, you’ll find that Richmond is a city of fine arts, unique culture, delicious food, and more!

Where Is Richmond?

Richmond is located in east-central Virginia, west of Williamsburg, and east of Charlottesville; James River runs through downtown Richmond. The city is part of the Great Richmond Regio metropolitan area.

RVA is an independent city in Central Virginia that Henrico County surrounds. Counties around Richmond, VA, are Amelia County, Charles City County, Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County, and Goochland County.

The Closest Beach to Richmond, VA, is Virginia Beach, which is 107 miles from Richmond.

Other cities near Richmond, VA:

Richmond Information

  • Richmond, VA county: Independent city
  • Richmond, VA area: 62.57 square miles
  • Richmond, Virginia zip code: 23113 – 23298
  • Richmond, VA area code: 804
  • Richmond elevation: 213 feet
  • Richmond time zone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)
  • Closest airport to Richmond: Richmond International Airport is 10.2 miles from the center of Richmond

Richmond VA Population & Demographics

The population of Richmond, VA, is 226,610, contributing to the Greater Richmond Region’s 1,314,434 residents. The Richmond area is highly populated; RVA has a population density of 3,828 people per square mile. Richmond is a desirable place to live, with a 22,396-person increase from 2010 to 2020. The Great Richmond Region is the 44th largest MSA in the country, and RVA, Virginia, is the 5th largest city in Virginia. 

RVA, Richmond boasts diverse demographics! The racial and ethnic makeup of Richmond, Virginia is 49.6% White (43.3% non-Hispanic or Latino), 44.6% Black or African American, 8.3% Hispanic or Latino, 2.7% two or more races, 2.5% Asian, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

Additional Richmond, VA demographics: 

  • Median age: 34.8 years old
  • Median household income: $54,795 (US $69,021)
  • Veteran population: 4.8%
  • Foreign-born population: 7.1%
  • Educational attainment: 91% have high school diplomas, and 45.8% have bachelor’s degrees or higher
  • Sex ratio: 53 females to 47 males

Famous people from Richmond, VA:

Richmond has a notable Black or African American population. In 2021, Richmond had 1.09 times more Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) residents than any other race or ethnicity.

Transportation

While living in Richmond, Virginia, you’ll find it easy to get around. Several highways and interstates serve the city, and Richmond has its own international airport! I-64 and I-95 serve the Richmond area. I-64 is an East-West interstate Highway, and I-95 runs North-South; I-95 passes through Saint Petersburg, following Richmond–Petersburg Turnpike through downtown Richmond.

Interstate 295 is the city’s by-pass highway. State Route 895 (interstate 895 or Pocahontas Parkway) is a four-lane, nine-mile toll road—the Pocahontas Parkway connects Interstate 95 to Interstate 295, serving as a convenient southeastern bypass for those that want to avoid the traffic Richmond’s center can produce.

Richmond isn’t just vehicle-friendly; BuzzFeed named Richmond among the country’s top 10 best places to bike. Thanks to the Connect RVA Project, Richmond has 20+ miles of family-friendly bikeways; RVA, Richmond is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the Commonwealth. 

Some of these trails run through the city’s heart, while others are more secluded, away from the hustle and bustle of Richmond’s downtown. When living in Richmond, you can access Virginia Capital Trail, a 52-mile paved path along Route 5.

GRTC Pulse provides bus transportation and paratransit transportation for Richmond. Since COVID-19, GRTC is free for anyone to ride. You can access their routes and schedules online in addition to other helpful resources like trip planning assistance.

Richmond International Airport is located in Richmond, Virginia, serving roughly one million passengers annually.

Cost of Living in Richmond VA

Before relocating to Richmond, you should note that it’s an affordable place to live! Here’s everything you need to know about the average cost of living in Richmond, VA!

The Cost of Living Index (COLI) in Richmond is 97, putting it 3% below the US average of 100. Housing in Richmond is 12% below the US average, whereas utilities are 4% above. You will pay 6% less for groceries while living in Richmond. The cost of living in Virginia is 4.2% higher than the national average, making Richmond more affordable than its state.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a family of four can live comfortably in Richmond with a household income of $89,149. The MIT Living Wage calculator shows that the living wage in Richmond, VA, is $18.50 for a single adult, $13.92 for every two adults with no children, or $25.19 for a family of four with two adults working.

Typical Richmond living expenses:

  • Inexpensive restaurant meal: $20.00
  • Gallon of milk: $3.41
  • Loaf of white bread: $2.5
  • Dozen eggs: $3.60
  • Pound of apples: $2.43
  • Pound of local cheese: $4.86
  • Average Richmond utilities per month: $449 (per Doxo)

Source: Numbeo

After moving to Richmond, you will have to pay taxes, which can greatly affect the overall cost of living in Richmond, VA. Luckily, Richmond has a sales tax rate that’s 2% below the US average. The Richmond, VA, sales tax rate ranges from 2% to 5.75%. The highest tax bracket is taxable income over $17,000. Richmond has a combined sales tax of 6%, whereas the Virginia sales tax rate is 4.3%.

Richmond’s property tax is $1.20 per $100 of assessed value, and properties are assessed at 100% of the fair market value. If your home is assessed at $340,000 (the median home price in Richmond), you would have a property tax bill of $3,808.

Housing can drastically affect the Richmond, VA, cost of living. Whether you’re renting or planning to buy, you should consider the median home price and average rent price before moving to Richmond, VA.

Richmond Real Estate | Average Rent & Home Prices

Despite the city’s various attractive attributes, the real estate market in Richmond is affordable! The median home price in Richmond is $340,000, which is nearly $100,000 below the US median home price of $431,000.

The average price per square foot in Richmond is $233. The median home price for single-family homes in Richmond is $345,000, whereas townhomes have a median price of $233,000; condos and co-ops in Richmond have a median sale price of $330,000. If you’re set on living in Richmond but $340,000 is slightly out of your budget, townhomes and condos are a more cost-effective option. Homes for sale in Richmond, VA, typically sell within 11 days.

According to RentCafe, the average rent in Richmond, VA, is $1,476 per month for an 859-square-foot rental. The most affordable Richmond neighborhood to rent in is Afton, which has an average monthly rent of  $1,191. The most expensive neighborhood to rent in is Brittons Hill, which has an average monthly rent of $1,835.

Richmond VA Neighborhoods | Best Neighborhoods in Richmond VA

Richmond has many great places to live; here are the best Richmond neighborhoods!

Fan District | Neighborhood in Richmond for Young Adults

Fan District is a notable neighborhood located on the west end of Richmond; it’s one of Richmond’s most popular neighborhoods and is known for its outstanding views, a bustling business district, and charming historic architecture.

Fan District is home to Monument AVE, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and diverse restaurants and things to do. Fan District is for you if you’re a fan of the outdoors, want proximity to various parks, and love having many food options and activities!

The median home price here is $650,000, which is above Richmond’s median home price, but many feel living here is entirely worth the price tag.

Scott’s Addison | Family Friendly Richmond Neighborhood

Scott’s Addison is known for its walkability, unique shops, and delicious dining options. This neighborhood is around the corner from downtown Richmond and is home to some of the city’s best attractions.

Some of the best things to do in Richmond are located in Scott’s Addison! For example, PARK365 is a notable Richmond park, and River City Roll is a popular bowling alley—these are both ideal activities for children. Scott’s Addison also boasts great schools: William Fox Elementary School, Albert Hill Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School are some of the best schools in Richmond, VA, and they all serve people residing in the Scott’s Addison area.

Shockoe Bottom

If you’re looking for riverside living in Richmond, VA, Shockoe Bottom is your neighborhood. This established community is one of the oldest in the city and is known for its proximity to Richmond’s downtown, vibrant arts culture, and excellent live music options. You can expect upscale fashion stores, great food, and eclectic coffee shops galore. This 129-acre neighborhood in Richmond is popular among young adults and people commuting to the city’s center for work. However, it’s still a great place to raise a family.

One of Shockoe Bottom’s most beloved attractions is Stony Point Fashion Park, and its most-reviewed restaurant is Bottoms Up Pizza! Before moving to Richmond, you’ll have to decide which neighborhood best fits your needs, and this one is a great option!

Richmond VA Weather & Climate

Before you relocate to Richmond, consider its weather and if it provides your desired climate.

The weather in Richmond is enjoyable most of the year, but the seasons providing the best temperatures are summer and fall. The summers are warm, and the falls are cool and breezy. Although Richmond can be hot and humid from June to August, there are plenty of ways to stay cool. There are nearby beaches, creeks, and lakes that many people living in Richmond, Virginia, enjoy during the summer.

The Richmond, Virginia, climate is best explained as mild winters and hot humid summers. Richmond has a Koppen classification of humid subtropical climate (Cfa.) The average temperature in Richmond, VA, in the warm season (May through September) is 80 degrees Fahrenheit; the average temperature in Richmond, VA, in the cold season (December to March) is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The best time to visit Richmond is the Spring and Fall; this way, you avoid the extra warm and extra cold months.

Richmond sees its fair share of rain and snow! The average annual rainfall here is 43.6 inches, and the average annual snowfall in Richmond is 11 inches.

Richmond Restaurants | Places to Eat in Richmond

When living in Richmond, VA, you’ll see the city boasts countless delicious restaurants from varying cultures; this city offers anything from traditional African cuisine to flavorful Indian dishes. Whether you’re craving a juicy burger, vegetarian cuisine, or perfectly seared steaks, Richmond can provide. Here is a list of the best restaurants in Richmond.

The Daily Kitchen & Bar

The Daily Kitchen & Bar is one of the best Carytown restaurants! If you’re looking for healthy cuisine (like veggies burgers and roasted brussel sprouts) at an eclectic spot, this is one of the top restaurants in Richmond.

2934 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221, (804) 342-8990

Lemaire

If you’re looking for downtown Richmond restaurants, Lemaire is a great choice. Per their reviews, the creme brulee, raw oysters, and beef tenderloin are must-try items.

101 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220, (804) 649-4629

Stella’s

Stella’s is one of the best Richmond restaurants. This gem offers traditional Greek cuisine in a casual communal setting.

1012 Lafayette St, Richmond, VA 23221, (804) 358-2011

Things to do in Richmond | Parks, Museums, Shopping & Entertainment

Not sure what to do in Richmond, VA, we’ve got you covered. Below, we discuss the top attractions, notable parks, best shopping options, and more!

Top Richmond Attractions

  • Maggie L Walker National Historic Site – One of the best things to do in Richmond, VA, is to visit the Maggie L Walker National Historic Site. You can tour the home of the first female African-American bank president.

  • Virginia State Capitol – If you’re looking for fun things to do in Richmond, VA, consider visiting the state capitol. It’s a notable historical landmark and can be a great activity with children.
  • Canal Walk – Canal Walk is a popular tourist attraction in RVA; the paved path follows the James River. Murals are plastered along the nearby walls, providing great views from all directions.
  • Maymont – This 19th-century estate hosts home tours; you can enjoy the grounds, mature landscape, and beautiful antique architecture.
  • Hollywood Cemetery – You can explore the Hollywood Cemetery and the notable people buried here. Many Confederate soldiers and historians rest here.
  • Virginia War Memorial – This memorial has been open since 1956 and remembers two war heroes.
  • Haunts of Richmond – Shadows of Shockoe Tour – Haunts of Richmond is a popular tourist attraction exploring haunted mansions and other paranormal activity.

Richmond Entertainment & Arts

Richmond Museums

  • Virginia Holocaust Museum – One of the best free things to do in Richmond, VA, is visiting the Virginia Holocaust Museum. You can admire powerful exhibits of the Holocaust and its survivors.
  • The Poe Museum – Explore the oldest stone house in the city while admiring Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia and photos. The Poe Museum is one of the best museums in Richmond, VA.

Richmond Parks & Outdoors

  • Bryan Park – There are countless parks in Richmond, VA, and Bryan Park is one of the most popular. You can attend local events, play disc golf, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
  • Huguenot Flatwater – James River Park System – Huguenot Flatwater boasts 37 acres along the Jame River. You can hike, bike, bird watch, and fish here.
  • Park365 – This is the ideal family-friendly activity in Richmond. Park365 offers an expansive playground for children to explore and plenty of open spaces.

  • William Byrd Park – William Byrd Park is a popular park in downtown Richmond. There are three large ponds, walking trails, and picnic areas.

Shopping in Richmond

  • Stony Point Fashion Park – Explore the various high-end retail and locally-owned shops at this notable outdoor mall in Richmond.
  • Shops At Stratford Hills – Shops At Stratfor Hills is a popular shopping center providing all the necessary stores.
  • Willow Lawn – Offing chain stores, independent retailers, and eateries, Willow Lawn is a great Richmond shopping center.

Map of Richmond Things to Do

Sports Teams in Richmond VA

Richmond provides countless sports teams, making it a great city to catch a game, match, race, or meet!

Professional sports teams in RVA:

The VCU’s Rams, University of Richmond’s Spiders, Virginia Union’s Panthers, and Randolph-Macon’s Yellow Jackets are collegiate sports teams that offer a great atmosphere! Richmond is also home to the Richmond Race Way, a NASCAR racetrack.

Is Richmond VA Safe? | Richmond Crime Rate

If you analyze the crime rate in Richmond, VA, the city may appear unsafe, but Richmond has actually seen a significant decrease in crime since the early 2000s. Between 2004 and 2009, violent and property crime in Richmond saw a 47% decrease. In 2008, RVA saw its lowest homicide rate since 1971! Richmond, Virginia, also saw a 34% reduction in murders from 2021 to 2022.

Here is Richmond’s crime rate compared to the state and country:

  • Richmond, VA, crime rate per 100k people: 3,270
  • Virginia crime rate per 100k people: 1,665
  • US crime rate per 100k people: 2,346

 

  • Richmond, VA, violent crime rate per 100k people: 349
  • Virginia violent crime rate per 100k people: 209
  • US violent crime rate per 100k people: 388

 

  • Richmond, VA, property crime rate per 100k people: 2,921
  • Virginia property crime rate per 100k people: 1,456
  • US property crime rate per 100k people: 1,958

Although overall crime in Richmond, VA, is 96.4% higher than the state and 39.4% higher than the country, the violent crime rate in Richmond is 10% lower than the country and only 67.2% higher than the state.

Here is how the crime rate in Richmond, VA, compares to other large cities in Virginia:

    • Virginia Beach, VA, has 68.0328% less crime than Richmond.
    • Richmond has 2.53623% less crime than Norfolk, VA.
    • Charlottesville, VA, has 36.5303% less crime than Richmond.
    • Richmond has 50.1718% less crime than Portsmouth, VA.

Virginia has a lower crime rate than the US average, and most cities are very safe! Richmond has a few high-crime areas, but the city boasts countless safe places to live. Before moving to Richmond, Virginia, you should research the safest neighborhoods in Richmond, VA; this way, you know you’re investing in a great area.

While the violent crime rate in Richmond is 10% lower than in the US, the Richmond Police Department works hard to keep all the crime low. You will experience peace of mind when living in Richmond, Virginia, knowing the city’s police department has 199 sworn officers protecting you.

Economy & Jobs in Richmond VA

Richmond boasts one of the largest economies in Virginia; the city was ranked fourth in economic growth potential for mid-sized cities by Business Facility Magazine and has seen a 1.8% jobs market increase since 2022. The gross metro product for Richmond is 1.3 million, and its future job growth by 2033 is 37.1%.

According to Richmond’s economic website, the main industries are financial, medical, biotechnology, knowledge-based services, manufacturing, and transportation industries. However, there are countless jobs in Richmond in varying industries! There are currently 9,677 Richmond, VA, jobs listed on Indeed! Various Government jobs in Richmond, VA, are also open for hire.

Large Richmond, VA, companies are Virginia Commonwealth University, Bon Secours, and HCA Virginia Health System, but the top two employers in Richmond, VA, are Capital One and VCU Health. Richmond Public Schools (jobs) and the University of Richmond (jobs) are also major Richmond employers.

People living in Richmond are earning a great living! The average hourly rate in Richmond is  $19.97; the average salary in Richmond, VA, is $68,000, and the minimum wage in Richmond, VA, is $12.00 per hour.

Healthcare

There are countless notable hospitals and medical groups in Richmond, VA, but the best hospital in Richmond is VCU Medical Center; VCU is ranked #8 in the nation for children’s specialties and boasts the second-best children’s department in the state. VCU is high-performing in 5 adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions.

Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals is another notable hospital in Richmond and is ranked high-performing in ten procedures and conditions.

Richmond VA Schools | Public, Private, and Universities in Richmond VA

The 25,000 students living in Richmond are served by Richmond Public Schools (RPS.) The district contains 54 schools and boasts a 14:1 student-to-teacher ratio. The high school graduation rate is 85.4% and received a college readiness score of 25.4 by U.S. News. The best schools in Richmond, VA, are Open High School, Richmond Community High School, and Albert Hill Middle School. There are also great private schools in Richmond, VA: Grove Christian Academy and St. Catherine’s School are the most notable!

Whether you’re moving to Richmond with children or are planning to further your own education, Richmond offers some of the best colleges in the county. University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) serve the people living in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond Utilities & DMV Change of Address

If you decide to relocate to Richmond, VA, setting up utilities and DMV documentation will be one of your first important tasks.

Here are a few Richmond utility providers:

After moving to Richmond, you’ll need to change your address with the DMV.

You have a few options when changing your address:

  • Call the Virginia DMV at (804) 497-7100.
  • Make an appointment with a customer service representative at a Richmond DMV office.
  • Mail this completed form to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, PO Box 27412, Richmond, VA 23269.

Living in Richmond, Virginia, is great—the city boasts countless attractions, delicious restaurants, and safe neighborhoods! If moving to Richmond is in your future, call On The Fly Moving Guys at 804-836-4954 for a free estimate; we’re the best Richmond movers and can help you transition quickly and affordably!

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