Greater Richmond Region

The Greater Richmond Region, the Richmond metropolitan area or Central Virginia, is a region and metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Virginia, centered on Richmond. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines the area as the Richmond, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other entities. The OMB defines the area as comprising thirteen counties, including the principal cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights. As of 2016, it had a population of 1,263,617, making it the 45th largest MSA in the country.[1]

The Greater Richmond Region is located in the central part of Virginia. It straddles the Fall Line, where the coastal plain and the Piedmont come together on the James River at Richmond and the Appomattox River at Petersburg. The English established each as colonial ports in the 17th century. The Greater Richmond Metro region is considered to be the southern extension of the Northeast megalopolis.[2]

Greater Richmond Region
Counties of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area
Counties of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area
CountryUnited States
Largest cityRichmond
Other cities
 • Total62.51 sq mi (161.9 km2)
 • Total1,263,617[1]
 • Rank44th in the U.S.

Political subdivisions and communities

Independent cities

Richmond-Petersburg TIGER MAP
Roads, rivers, and cities of the center of the metropolitan area

Since a state constitutional change in 1871, all cities in Virginia are independent cities and they are not legally located in any county. The OMB considers these independent cities to be county-equivalents for the purpose of defining MSAs in Virginia. Each MSA is listed by its counties, then cities, each in alphabetical order, and not by size.

The area includes four independent cities (listed in order of population):

The three smaller cities (Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights) are located near each other in an area south of Richmond and are known collectively as the "Tri-cities".


The following counties are included in the Richmond MSA:[3]

Incorporated towns

Selected unincorporated towns and communities

The Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area includes many unincorporated towns and communities.

Note: This is only a partial listing.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20161,281,7081.9%
Source: [4][5]

The Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which includes 3 other cities (Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights), and adjacent counties is home to approximately 1.3 million Virginians or 15.1% of Virginia's population.[6] The Richmond region is growing at a steady rate, adding nearly 400,000 residents in the past two decades. This has resulted in major suburban sprawl, particularly in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties, both which have populations over 300,000. This also resulted in boosts in its economy, the building of malls, more national attention, and major sporting events and concerts coming to Richmond. Its arts and culture scene has also seen a major gain, with the building or renovations of many new arenas, including the Landmark Theater, Carpenter Center, CenterStage, and the creation of an art walk, the First Fridays Art Walk, occurring on the first Friday of every month on Broad Street in Downtown Richmond, drawing crowds of over 20,000 people. The population has seen its ups and downs, with the city of Richmond itself dropping a bit below 200,000, but coming back in 2008 to 204,000 people again.

The region is located approximately equidistant from Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Lynchburg. The area is home to the state's center of gravity of population—which, in 1980, was located thirty miles west of Richmond near the Powhatan-Goochland County border.

The Median age for the MSA was 36.7 years. For people reporting one race alone, 66 percent were White; 30 percent were Black or African American; less than 0.5 percent were American Indian and Alaskan Native; 2.75 percent were Asian; less than 0.5 percent were Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 1 percent were some other race. One percent reported two or more races. Three percent of the people in the Richmond/Petersburg MSA were Hispanic. Sixty-three percent of the people in the Richmond/Petersburg MSA were White non-Hispanic. People of Hispanic origin may be of any race. The median house income for the MSA was $59,468. The median family income was $65,289. The Per Capita income was $27,887. In 2004, seven percent of people were in poverty. Poverty status is determined by the U.S. Census Bureau and is based on family composition, size, and income level. In the Richmond/Petersburg MSA nine percent of children under age 18 were below the poverty line, and eight percent of people 65 years old and over were below the poverty line. Five percent of all families and 15 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level. The unemployment rate was 4.6%.[7]

In 2004, there were 397,000 households in the Richmond/Petersburg MSA. The average household size was 2.6 people.[7]

In 2004, 85 percent of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 33 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. Among people 16 to 19 years old, nine percent were not in school; they were not enrolled in school and had not graduated from high school.


Expressways and Interstate highways

Several of the most heavily traveled highways in the state transverse the area, which includes the junctions of Interstate 64 (which runs east-west), and Interstate Highways 85 and 95 (which run north-south). The area is also served by a comprehensive network of Interstate bypasses and spurs, and several non-interstate expressways. Several of these local roads are funded by tolls, although tolls have long been removed from the area's first limited access highway, the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, which opened in 1958, and now forms a portion of I-95 and I-85. I-295 opened in 1992, was the last segment of Virginia's interstate system and forms an eastern bypass of Richmond and Petersburg.

Railway network

The Richmond-Petersburg region is also located along several major rail lines operated by CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and the Buckingham Branch Railroad.

The area has four passenger stations served by Amtrak.

The Department of Rail and Public Transportation of the State of Virginia has studies underway for extending high speed passenger rail service to the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads areas with a rail connection at Richmond to service along both the Northeast Corridor and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. [1].

Another project, known as Transdominion Express, would extend from Richmond west to Lynchburg and from Washington, DC (Alexandria) south via an existing Virginia Railway Express route to Manassas, extending on south to Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Bristol on the Tennessee border. [2]

Sea and airport facilities

An international deepwater terminal is located at the Port of Richmond [8] on the James River which is navigable for shipping to Hampton Roads, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Richmond International Airport is located in Henrico County, five miles east of the city center. The airport serves primarily domestic destinations in the Midwest, South, and Northeast as well as Eastern Canada.


The Virginia State Capitol is located in the historic Capitol Square. Also, the new U.S. Courthouse was opened in 2010, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is located in Richmond, as well, along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Richmond itself and Petersburg are strongly Democratic, The suburbs began trending Republican at the national level as early as the 1950s; Henrico County, for instance, went Republican in every election from 1952 to 2004.[9] However, conservative Byrd Democrats continued to hold most suburban local offices and state legislative seats well into the 1980s. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democrat to carry the metropolitan area in decades. Since then, it has remained Democratic at the presidential level and along with northern Virginia, has kept the state of Virginia in the Democratic column.

Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2016 42.3% 271,507 52.0% 333,376 5.7% 36,712
2012 46.4% 289,127 52.2% 325,265 1.4% 8,694
2008 46.5% 291,304 52.8% 330,528 0.7% 4,369
2004 55.0% 287,810 44.4% 232,240 0.6% 3,239
2000 54.4% 239,734 43.1% 189,867 2.6% 11,269
1996 50.6% 200,687 42.4% 168,190 6.9% 27,387
1992 44.9% 184,241 40.0% 164,116 15.0% 61,538
1988 62.4% 224,861 36.7% 132,277 0.9% 3,406
1984 64.1% 231,956 35.4% 128,044 0.5% 1,792
1980 55.9% 178,936 39.5% 126,245 4.6% 14,797
1976 53.8% 155,979 44.1% 127,693 2.1% 6,044
1972 70.5% 176,154 27.8% 69,598 1.7% 4,185
1968 46.5% 109,988 30.8% 72,876 22.7% 53,648
1964 55.1% 103,295 44.9% 84,184 0.1% 144
1960 58.4% 75,523 40.9% 52,945 0.7% 905


The applicable Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Richmond-Petersburg region is the Richmond, VA MSA, which as of 2006 is identical to the region defined in this article. The Richmond MSA provides employment for a total of approximately 472,000 workers. In order of the number of workers, the major employment categories of the region are services; retail trade; manufacturing; state government; finance, insurance and real estate; local government; construction; wholesale trade; transportation and public utilities and federal government. Within the manufacturing category of some 63,700 employees, the largest category of workers is in the tobacco industry. Other important manufacturing categories are chemicals, printing and publishing, paper, and wood manufactures.

This economic diversity, which is typical of the entire Richmond-Petersburg region, helps to insulate it from hardship due to economic fluctuation in particular sectors of the economy. The region's central location also allows it to benefit from growth in other regions of Virginia and the state as a whole.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Demographics - Greater Richmond Partnership". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-02-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas
  5. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2007 to July 1, 2008
  7. ^ a b "Richmond/ Petersburg Metropolitan Statistical Area Demographic Fact Sheet" (PDF). Richmond Regional Planning District Commission. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Richmond VA >Port of Richmond". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  9. ^ Todd, Chuck and Gawiser, Sheldon. How Barack Obama Won. New York City: Vintage, 2009.
Brandermill, Virginia

Brandermill is a major suburban residential and commercial development in the Southside of Richmond, Virginia. It is located near Midlothian, Virginia at the southern terminus of the Powhite Parkway and is centered on the Swift Creek Reservoir. The Census Bureau defines it as a Census-designated place (CDP), with a population of 13,173 as of 2010.

Centralia, Virginia

Centralia, Virginia is an unincorporated community located in Chesterfield County. The community is situated at the intersection of Virginia State Route 145 and State Route 144.

Colonial Heights, Virginia

Colonial Heights is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,411. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Colonial Heights (along with the City of Petersburg) with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes.

Colonial Heights is located in the Tri-Cities area of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Dinwiddie County, Virginia

Dinwiddie County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,001. Its county seat is Dinwiddie.Dinwiddie County is part of the Richmond, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Erron Kinney

Erron Quincy Kinney (born July 28, 1977) is an American former college and professional football player who was a tight end in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the early 2000s. Kinney played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL.

Ettrick, Virginia

Ettrick is a census-designated place (CDP) in Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States. The population was 6,682 at the 2010 census. The town is home to Virginia State University and the Petersburg Amtrak train station.

Most of Ettrick has a Petersburg mailing address, ZIP code 23803, although the community is not part of the city of Petersburg.

Goochland County, Virginia

Goochland County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its southern border is formed by the James River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 21,717. Its county seat is Goochland.Goochland County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

King William County, Virginia

King William County is a county located in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,935. Its county seat is King William.King William County is located in the Middle Peninsula and is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

Louisa County, Virginia

Louisa County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,153. The county seat is Louisa.

New Kent County, Virginia

New Kent County is a county in the eastern part the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 18,429. Its county seat is New Kent.New Kent County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

North Anna River

The North Anna River is a principal tributary of the Pamunkey River, about 62 miles (100 km) long, in central Virginia in the United States. Via the Pamunkey and York rivers, it is part of the watershed of Chesapeake Bay. The river was the site of the Battle of North Anna during the American Civil War.

According to the Geographic Names Information System, the river has also been known as "Northa-Anna" and as the main stem of the Pamunkey River.

Pamunkey River

The Pamunkey River is a tributary of the York River, about 93 miles (150 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. Via the York River it is part of the watershed of Chesapeake Bay.

Powhatan County, Virginia

Powhatan County () is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,046. Its county seat is Powhatan.Powhatan County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

The James River forms the county's northern border, and the Appomattox River is on the south side. The county is named for the paramount chief of the powerful confederacy of tribes of Algonquian-speaking Native Americans in the Tidewater in 1607, when the British settled at Jamestown. Historically this Piedmont area had been occupied by the Siouan-speaking Monacan. They moved further west, abandoning villages in this area, under pressure from colonists.

In 1700 French Huguenot refugees settled at a Monacan abandoned village, which they renamed as Manakin Town. It was located about 20 miles above the falls on the James River. French refugees also settled on the other side of the river in two villages now known collectively as Manakin-Sabot in nearby Goochland County to the north.

Prince George County, Virginia

Prince George County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,725. Its county seat is Prince George.Prince George County is located within the Greater Richmond Region of the U.S. state of Virginia.

Tri-Cities, Virginia

The Tri-Cities of Virginia (also known as the Tri-City area or the Appomattox Basin) is an area in the Greater Richmond Region which includes the three independent cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell and portions of the adjoining counties of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Prince George in south-central Virginia. Other unincorporated communities located in the Tri-Cities area include Ettrick, Fort Lee, and City Point, the latter formerly a historic incorporated town which was annexed to become part of the City of Hopewell.


WKYV (100.3 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station, licensed to Petersburg, Virginia and serving the Greater Richmond Region in Virginia. The station is branded as "K-Love" and features a Contemporary Christian format. The station is owned by Educational Media Foundation (EMF). WKYV's transmitter is located off Johnson Road in Petersburg.


WLFV (98.9 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station, licensed to Midlothian, Virginia and serving the Greater Richmond Region. The station is branded as "K-Love" and features a Contemporary Christian format. The station is owned by Educational Media Foundation (EMF). WLFV's transmitter is off Basie Road in Henrico, Virginia.


WRIH is a Christian Talk formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Richmond, Virginia, serving the Greater Richmond Region. WRIH is owned and operated by American Family Association.

Walthall Mill, Virginia

Walthall Mill, Virginia is an unincorporated community located in Chesterfield County. The community is situated at the intersection of Virginia State Route 145 and State Route 144.

Metro areas
The 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas of the United States of America

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