According to the 2000 national census, Virginia’s population was 7,078,515, ranking it 12th among the states. The population increased during the 1990s by 891,157, an increase of 14.4 percent during the decade.
In 2000, 73 percent of the population lived in urban areas, compared to 47 percent in 1950. After 1940 there was a tremendous expansion of civilian and military employees in the federal government, so that by the 1980s the metropolitan corridor from Washington, D.C., south to Richmond and east to Newport News and Norfolk contained about one-half of the state’s total population. Virginia has three major metropolitan areas in its metropolitan corridor:
Northern Virginia (the Virginia portion of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area); Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area with 1,194,008 inhabitants in 2006; and the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News metropolitan area (also known as Hampton Roads) with 1,647,346 residents. Virginia’s other metropolitan areas include Roanoke (295,050), Lynchburg (239,510), Charlottesville (190,278), Danville (107,087), and Bristol, the Virginia portion of the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol metropolitan area that spreads into Tennessee. Virginia’s population density in 2006 was 75 persons per sq km (193 per sq mi).
Virginia’s first inhabitants were several Native American tribes belonging to three language groups, Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Siouan.
The Native American population was probably less than 20,000 when European explorers and colonists arrived in the late 1500s and early 1600s. These settlers were mainly English, but in the 18th century, German and Scotch-Irish settlers entered from Pennsylvania. In 1619 the first Africans were landed in Virginia to be indentured servants, but their status soon deteriorated into slavery, and the black population began to grow rapidly late in the century, when the large-scale slave trade began. At the time of the 2000 federal census whites constituted 72.3 percent of the population, blacks 19.6 percent, Asians 3.7 percent, Native Americans 0.3 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 4 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 4.7 percent of Virginia’s people. "Virginia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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