Virginia is a state in the Southern United States. About one in four working Virginians are employed by the US government. The capital of Virginia is Richmond. The most populous city is Virginia Beach followed by Norfolk and Richmond. It is the twelfth most populous state in the nation with a population of 7,078,515 according to the 2000 census.

The state was named in 1584 for Queen Elizabeth of England, who was popularly called the "Virgin Queen."


The state is in the South Atlantic census region. It has a surface area of 42,774 square miles, and 7.43% of the surface area is covered by water. It is the among the twenty smallest states in area. Virginia has an humid subtropical climate. It ranks among the top twenty in the total amount of surface water among the fifty states. Virginia has had 3 capital cities: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond. The highest point in the state is Mount Rogers with an elevation of 5,729 feet.


The Powatan were one of the native American tribes living in the area that would become Virginia during the initial European exploration and settlement. In 1570 Spanish Jesuit priests attempted to establish a mission probably on the York River. English farmers and Polish woodcutters founded the first permanent colony at Jamestown in 1607. In 1612 John Rolfe began cross-breeding imported tobacco seed from the Caribbean with native plants and produced a new variety that became popular in Europe. This tobacco made the Virginia colonies financially viable.

Virginia was one of the 13 States which declared their independence from the British Empire on July 4, 1776. Virginia was admitted as the 10th state on June 25, 1788. Virginia holds an important place in American history, as it was home to many of the founding fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry.

Business and Economy

The economic product (GSP or gross state product) of the state in 2003 was 304 billion dollars. The state produces various commodities including broiler chickens, cattle, dairy products, greenhouse or nursery plants and turkeys. Federal civilian, military, and tobacco products are notable industries. From 2000 to 2003 the GSP increased by 8.35%. Virginia's GSP represents 2.79% percent of the combined GSP of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Society and Culture

Virginia birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson). A person from Virginia is called a Virginian. The state is nicknamed the Old Dominion and Mother of Presidents. Its tourism slogan is “Virginia is for Lovers.”


The population was 6,187,358 at the time of the 1990 census. The State's population in 2003 was estimated to be 7,386,330 by the US Census Bureau. The state experienced an estimated growth of 4.3% between 2000 and 2003.

Virginia's population is somewhat varied with a non-Latino white majority and significant Black minority population. According to the 2003 census, the ethnic breakdown of the state is:
White: 72.3%
Black: 19.6%
Indian: 0.3%
Asian: 3.7%
Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Other Races: 2%
Two or more races: 2%

The state's Latinos represent 4.7% of the total population. 70.2% of the population classifies itself as non-Latino white.

Regional Area
Surface: 42,769 square miles
Population: 7,078,515
Located in: United States
Area Code: 276 - 434 - 540 - 571 - 703 - 757 - 804
President/Governor: Mark R. Warner (D)
Flag/Coat of Arms: