List of cities and counties in Virginia

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Independent cities and Counties of Virginia
LocationCommonwealth of Virginia
Number95 Counties
38 Independent cities
Populations(Counties): 2,301 (Highland) – 1,138,331 (Fairfax)
(Independent cities): 3,609 (Norton) – 455,618 (Virginia Beach)
Areas(Counties): 26 square miles (67 km2) (Arlington) – 978 square miles (2,530 km2) (Pittsylvania)
(Independent cities): 2 square miles (5.2 km2) (Falls Church) – 400 square miles (1,000 km2) (Suffolk)
  • (Counties): cities, towns, unincorporated communities, census designated place
    (Independent cities): Borough, Neighborhood
Virginia counties and cities by year of establishment

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into 95 counties, along with 38 independent cities that are considered county-equivalents for census purposes. In Virginia, cities are co-equal levels of government to counties, but towns are part of counties. For some counties, for statistical purposes, the Bureau of Economic Analysis combines any independent cities with the county that it was once part of (before the legislation creating independent cities took place in 1871).

Many county seats are politically not a part of the counties they serve; under Virginia law, all municipalities incorporated as cities are independent cities and are not part of any county. Some of the cities in the Hampton Roads area, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, and Suffolk) were formed from an entire county. These cities are no longer county seats, since the counties ceased to exist once the cities were completely formed but are functionally equivalent to counties. Also in Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center; for example, Fairfax City is both the county seat of Fairfax County and is completely surrounded by Fairfax County but the city is politically independent of the county.

Map showing the population density of Virginia

There are 38 independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

Many towns are as large as cities but are not incorporated as cities and are situated within a parent county or counties. Seven independent cities had 2020 populations of less than 10,000 with the smallest, Norton having a population of only 3,687.[1] In 2020, the largest towns were Leesburg (with 48,250 people) and Blacksburg (44,826). Six other towns also had populations of over 10,000 people.[1] For a complete list of these towns, see List of towns in Virginia. For major unincorporated population centers, see List of unincorporated communities in Virginia.

Virginia's independent cities were classified by the Virginia General Assembly in 1871 as cities of the first class and cities of the second class.[2] The Virginia Constitution of 1902 defined first class cities as those having a population of 10,000 or more based upon the last census enumeration while second class cities were those that had a population of less than 10,000.[2] Cities that previously been granted a city charter, but did not have the requisite population, had their status grandfathered in.[2]

Second class did not have a court of record and were required to share the cost of that court with their adjacent county and also shared the cost for three constitutional officers of that court—generally, the clerk, commonwealth attorney and sheriff—and those shared officers stood for election in both the city and the county.[2] At least two constitutional officers—treasurer and commissioner of the revenue—were required to be elected solely by the residents of the city.[2] The distinction between first and second class cities was ended with the Virginia Constitution of 1971.[2] However, cities that were classified as second class cities at the time of the adoption of the 1971 Virginia Constitution were authorized to continue sharing their court system and three constitutional officers with the adjacent county.[2] As of 2003, 14 of Virginia's independent cities retain these features.[2]

There are several counties and cities that have the same name but are separate politically. These currently include Fairfax, Franklin, Richmond, and Roanoke. In the past they also included Norfolk and Alexandria, whose counties changed their names, ostensibly to end some of the confusion; as well as Bedford, where a city was surrounded by a county of the same name from 1968 until 2013, when the city reverted to town status. A city and county that share a name may be completely unrelated in geography. For example, Richmond County is nowhere near the City of Richmond, and Franklin County is even farther from the City of Franklin.

More Virginia counties are named for women than in any other state.[3]

Virginia's postal abbreviation is VA and its FIPS state code is 51.

List of the 95 counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia (links shown under FIPS County Code are for the U.S. Census Bureau Statistics Info Page for that county):

Clickable map[edit]

Virginia counties and independent citiesAlexandria, VirginiaBristol, VirginiaBuena Vista, VirginiaCharlottesville, VirginiaChesapeake, VirginiaColonial Heights, VirginiaCovington, VirginiaDanville, VirginiaEmporia, VirginiaFairfax, VirginiaFalls Church, VirginiaFranklin, VirginiaFredericksburg, VirginiaGalax, VirginiaHampton, VirginiaHarrisonburg, VirginiaHopewell, VirginiaLexington, VirginiaLynchburg, VirginiaManassas, VirginiaManassas Park, VirginiaMartinsville, VirginiaNewport News, VirginiaNorfolk, VirginiaNorton, VirginiaPetersburg, VirginiaPoquoson, VirginiaPortsmouth, VirginiaRadford, VirginiaRichmond, VirginiaRoanoke, VirginiaSalem, VirginiaStaunton, VirginiaSuffolk, VirginiaVirginia Beach, VirginiaWaynesboro, VirginiaWilliamsburg, VirginiaWinchester, VirginiaArlington County, VirginiaAlexandria, VirginiaFairfax County, VirginiaPrince William County, VirginiaLoudoun County, VirginiaFrederick County, VirginiaClarke County, VirginiaStafford County, VirginiaFauquier County, VirginiaShenandoah County, VirginiaWarren County, VirginiaRappahannock County, VirginiaCulpeper County, VirginiaKing George County, VirginiaPage County, VirginiaRockingham County, VirginiaMadison County, VirginiaGreene County, VirginiaOrange County, VirginiaSpotsylvania County, VirginiaWestmoreland County, VirginiaNorthumberland County, VirginiaAccomack County, VirginiaNorthampton County, VirginiaYork County, VirginiaHampton, VirginiaNewport News, VirginiaJames City County, VirginiaRichmond County, VirginiaLancaster County, VirginiaMathews County, VirginiaMiddlesex County, VirginiaEssex County, VirginiaCaroline County, VirginiaKing and Queen County, VirginiaKing William County, VirginiaGloucester County, VirginiaNew Kent County, VirginiaHanover County, VirginiaHenrico County, VirginiaRichmond, VirginiaHighland County, VirginiaAugusta County, VirginiaAlbemarle County, VirginiaLouisa County, VirginiaCharles City County, VirginiaFluvanna County, VirginiaGoochland County, VirginiaChesterfield County, VirginiaSurry County, VirginiaPrince George County, VirginiaBath County, VirginiaAlleghany County, VirginiaCraig County, VirginiaBotetourt County, VirginiaRoanoke County, VirginiaMontgomery County, VirginiaPulaski County, VirginiaGiles County, VirginiaRockbridge County, VirginiaBland County, VirginiaTazewell County, VirginiaBuchanan County, VirginiaDickenson County, VirginiaWise County, VirginiaLee County, VirginiaScott County, VirginiaRussell County, VirginiaWashington County, VirginiaWythe County, VirginiaSmyth County, VirginiaGrayson County, VirginiaCarroll County, VirginiaFloyd County, VirginiaPatrick County, VirginiaHenry County, VirginiaFranklin County, VirginiaBedford County, VirginiaPittsylvania County, VirginiaCampbell County, VirginiaHalifax County, VirginiaCharlotte County, VirginiaNelson County, VirginiaMecklenburg County, VirginiaLunenburg County, VirginiaPrince Edward County, VirginiaAmherst County, VirginiaAppomattox County, VirginiaBuckingham County, VirginiaCumberland County, VirginiaPowhatan County, VirginiaAmelia County, VirginiaNottoway County, VirginiaDinwiddie County, VirginiaBrunswick County, VirginiaGreensville County, VirginiaSussex County, VirginiaSouthampton County, VirginiaIsle of Wight County, VirginiaSuffolk, VirginiaPortsmouth, VirginiaNorfolk, VirginiaVirginia Beach, VirginiaChesapeake, Virginia
Virginia counties and independent cities

List of counties[edit]

FIPS code[4] County seat[5][6] Est.[5] Origin Etymology Population[7] Area[5] Map
Accomack County 001 Accomac 1663 Accomac Shire was established in 1634 as one of the original eight shires of Virginia. In 1642, it was renamed Northampton County. Then in 1663, Northampton County was divided into two counties. The southern half remained Northampton County while the northern half became Accomac County -- later renamed Accomack with a "k." From the Native American word Accawmack, meaning "on the other side", referencing the county's position across Chesapeake Bay 33,191 455 sq mi
(1,178 km2)
State map highlighting Accomack County
Albemarle County 003 Charlottesville 1744 In 1744, the Virginia General Assembly created Albemarle County by taking the northern portion of Goochland County. Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, colonial proprietary governor 114,534 723 sq mi
(1,873 km2)
State map highlighting Albemarle County
Alleghany County 005 Covington 1822 Formed from parts of Bath and Botetourt counties as well as Monroe County (now in WV) Alleghany Mountains 14,835 446 sq mi
(1,155 km2)
State map highlighting Alleghany County
Amelia County 007 Amelia 1735 Formed from Brunswick and Prince George counties Princess Amelia Sophia, second daughter of George II of Great Britain 13,455 357 sq mi
(925 km2)
State map highlighting Amelia County
Amherst County 009 Amherst 1761 From Albemarle county Jeffery Amherst, British conqueror of Quebec during the Seven Years' War and colonial governor of Virginia 31,589 475 sq mi
(1,230 km2)
State map highlighting Amherst County
Appomattox County 011 Appomattox 1845 From Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte and Prince Edward counties Appomattox River 16,748 334 sq mi
(865 km2)
State map highlighting Appomattox County
Arlington County 013 Arlington 1846 Annexed from the District of Columbia, having previously been part of Fairfax County prior to the district's formation Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, originally called Alexandria County; renamed in 1920 234,000 26 sq mi
(67 km2)
State map highlighting Arlington County
Augusta County 015 Staunton 1738 From Orange County Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the Princess of Wales 78,064 971 sq mi
(2,515 km2)
State map highlighting Augusta County
Bath County 017 Warm Springs 1791 From Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier counties May 1, 1791 Bath, England 4,049 532 sq mi
(1,378 km2)
State map highlighting Bath County
Bedford County 019 Bedford 1754 From Lunenburg county John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, British politician and one of the head negotiators of the Peace of Paris 80,848 755 sq mi
(1,955 km2)
State map highlighting Bedford County
Bland County 021 Bland 1861 From Giles, Tazewell, and Wythe counties Richard Bland, member of the Continental Congress and publisher of the American Revolutionary War-era tract An Inquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies 6,148 359 sq mi
(930 km2)
State map highlighting Bland County
Botetourt County 023 Fincastle 1770 From Augusta county. Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt, colonial governor of Virginia 34,135 543 sq mi
(1,406 km2)
State map highlighting Botetourt County
Brunswick County 025 Lawrenceville 1720 From Prince George county. Parts of Surry and Isle of Wight counties were added in 1732 (when the county's government was established.) Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, from which the current line of British monarchs hailed 15,921 566 sq mi
(1,466 km2)
State map highlighting Brunswick County
Buchanan County 027 Grundy 1858 From Russell and Tazewell counties James Buchanan, fifteenth U.S. President 19,352 504 sq mi
(1,305 km2)
State map highlighting Buchanan County
Buckingham County 029 Buckingham 1761 From Albemarle county Duke of Buckingham 16,982 581 sq mi
(1,505 km2)
State map highlighting Buckingham County
Campbell County 031 Rustburg 1782 From Bedford county William Campbell, Revolutionary War general 55,141 504 sq mi
(1,305 km2)
State map highlighting Campbell County
Caroline County 033 Bowling Green 1728 From Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties Caroline of Ansbach, wife of King George II of Great Britain 31,957 533 sq mi
(1,380 km2)
State map highlighting Caroline County
Carroll County 035 Hillsville 1842 From Grayson county Charles Carroll of Carrollton 29,147 476 sq mi
(1,233 km2)
State map highlighting Carroll County
Charles City County 036 Charles City 1634 Colonial division before 1635[8] King Charles I of England 6,605 182 sq mi
(471 km2)
State map highlighting Charles City County
Charlotte County 037 Charlotte Court House 1765 From Lunenburg county Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III of Great Britain 11,475 475 sq mi
(1,230 km2)
State map highlighting Charlotte County
Chesterfield County 041 Chesterfield 1749 From Henrico County Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, British politician and Lord of the Bedchamber 378,408 426 sq mi
(1,103 km2)
State map highlighting Chesterfield County
Clarke County 043 Berryville 1836 From Frederick County George Rogers Clarke, Revolutionary War general 15,266 177 sq mi
(458 km2)
State map highlighting Clarke County
Craig County 045 New Castle 1851 Formed from Botetourt, Roanoke, Giles, and Monroe (in present-day West Virginia) Counties Robert Craig, U.S. Representative from Virginia 4,847 330 sq mi
(855 km2)
State map highlighting Craig County
Culpeper County 047 Culpeper 1749 Culpeper County was established in 1749 from Orange County, Virginia. Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper, colonial proprietary governor 54,381 381 sq mi
(987 km2)
State map highlighting Culpeper County
Cumberland County 049 Cumberland 1749 Goochland County Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, British general, politician, and son of King George II 9,746 298 sq mi
(772 km2)
State map highlighting Cumberland County
Dickenson County 051 Clintwood 1880 Formed from parts of Buchanan, Russell, and Wise Counties William J. Dickinson, member of the Virginia House of Delegates 13,725 333 sq mi
(862 km2)
State map highlighting Dickenson County
Dinwiddie County 053 Dinwiddie 1752 From Prince George County Robert Dinwiddie, colonial lieutenant governor of Virginia 28,161 504 sq mi
(1,305 km2)
State map highlighting Dinwiddie County
Essex County 057 Tappahannock 1692 From the original Rappahannock County, Virginia, commonly known as Old Rappahannock County, which was split to form Essex and Richmond counties. Essex, United Kingdom 10,630 258 sq mi
(668 km2)
State map highlighting Essex County
Fairfax County 059 Fairfax 1742 From Prince William County Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only British noble resident in Virginia 1,138,331 396 sq mi
(1,026 km2)
State map highlighting Fairfax County
Fauquier County 061 Warrenton 1759 From Prince William County Francis Fauquier, colonial lieutenant governor of Virginia 74,664 650 sq mi
(1,683 km2)
State map highlighting Fauquier County
Floyd County 063 Floyd 1831 From Montgomery County John Floyd, governor of Virginia 15,619 382 sq mi
(989 km2)
State map highlighting Floyd County
Fluvanna County 065 Palmyra 1777 From Henrico County From the Latin name for the James River, which itself translates to "Annie's River" in honor of Queen Anne 28,159 287 sq mi
(743 km2)
State map highlighting Fluvanna County
Franklin County 067 Rocky Mount 1786 Formed from parts of Bedford and Henry Counties Benjamin Franklin, publisher, orator, scholar, and U.S. Founding Father 55,074 692 sq mi
(1,792 km2)
State map highlighting Franklin County
Frederick County 069 Winchester 1738 From Orange County Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of George II 95,051 415 sq mi
(1,075 km2)
State map highlighting Frederick County
Giles County 071 Pearisburg 1806 Formed from Montgomery, Monroe, Wythe, and Tazewell Counties William Branch Giles, U.S. Senator from Virginia 16,453 358 sq mi
(927 km2)
State map highlighting Giles County
Gloucester County 073 Gloucester 1651 From York County Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester 39,493 217 sq mi
(562 km2)
State map highlighting Gloucester County
Goochland County 075 Goochland 1728 From Henrico County William Gooch, colonial lieutenant governor of Virginia 26,109 284 sq mi
(736 km2)
State map highlighting Goochland County
Grayson County 077 Independence 1793 From Wythe County William Grayson, U.S. Senator from Virginia 15,343 443 sq mi
(1,147 km2)
State map highlighting Grayson County
Greene County 079 Stanardsville 1838 From Orange County Nathanael Greene, Revolutionary War general 21,107 157 sq mi
(407 km2)
State map highlighting Greene County
Greensville County 081 Emporia 1781 From Brunswick County Richard Grenville, commander of the English expedition to found Roanoke Colony 11,226 296 sq mi
(767 km2)
State map highlighting Greensville County
Halifax County 083 Halifax 1752 From Lunenburg County George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, President of the Board of Trade 33,644 814 sq mi
(2,108 km2)
State map highlighting Halifax County
Hanover County 085 Hanover 1721 From the area of New Kent County called St. Paul's Parish Electorate of Hanover, from which the current line of British monarchs hailed 112,938 473 sq mi
(1,225 km2)
State map highlighting Hanover County
Henrico County 087 Laurel 1617 Original county of the Colony under England Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, oldest son of James I of England 333,962 238 sq mi
(616 km2)
State map highlighting Henrico County
Henry County 089 Martinsville 1777 From Pittsylvania County, it was initially named Patrick Henry County Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia and U.S. Founding Father 49,906 382 sq mi
(989 km2)
State map highlighting Henry County
Highland County 091 Monterey 1847 From Bath and Pendleton Counties[9] Mountainous topography 2,301 416 sq mi
(1,077 km2)
State map highlighting Highland County
Isle of Wight County 093 Isle of Wight 1634 Original county of the Colony under England, initially named Warrosquyoake Shire Isle of Wight, England 40,151 316 sq mi
(818 km2)
State map highlighting Isle of Wight County
James City County 095 Williamsburg 1617 Original county of the Colony under England King James I of England 81,199 143 sq mi
(370 km2)
State map highlighting James City County
King and Queen County 097 King and Queen 1691 King and Queen County was established in 1691 from New Kent County, Virginia. King William III and Queen Mary II 6,718 316 sq mi
(818 km2)
State map highlighting King and Queen County
King George County 099 King George 1721 From Richmond County George I of Great Britain 27,856 180 sq mi
(466 km2)
State map highlighting King George County
King William County 101 King William 1702 English colonists formed King William County in 1702 out of King and Queen County, Virginia. William III of England 18,492 275 sq mi
(712 km2)
State map highlighting King William County
Lancaster County 103 Lancaster 1651 Lancaster County was established in 1651 from Northumberland and York counties. Lancaster, United Kingdom 10,750 133 sq mi
(344 km2)
State map highlighting Lancaster County
Lee County 105 Jonesville 1793 From Russell County Light Horse Harry Lee, Revolutionary War general and governor of Virginia 21,982 437 sq mi
(1,132 km2)
State map highlighting Lee County
Loudoun County 107 Leesburg 1757 From Fairfax County John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, British Commander-in-Chief, North America during the Seven Years' War 432,085 520 sq mi
(1,347 km2)
State map highlighting Loudoun County
Louisa County 109 Louisa 1742 From Hanover County Princess Louise, youngest daughter of George II 40,116 498 sq mi
(1,290 km2)
State map highlighting Louisa County
Lunenburg County 111 Lunenburg 1746 From Brunswick County Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, from which the current line of British monarchs hailed 12,031 432 sq mi
(1,119 km2)
State map highlighting Lunenburg County
Madison County 113 Madison 1793 From Orange County James Madison, Congressman from Virginia, principal author of the U.S. Constitution, and future U.S. President 14,000 322 sq mi
(834 km2)
State map highlighting Madison County
Mathews County 115 Mathews 1791 From Gloucester County Thomas Mathews, Revolutionary War general. 8,490 86 sq mi
(223 km2)
State map highlighting Mathews County
Mecklenburg County 117 Boydton 1765 From Lunenburg County Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III 30,508 624 sq mi
(1,616 km2)
State map highlighting Mecklenburg County
Middlesex County 119 Saluda 1673 From Lancaster County Middlesex, United Kingdom 10,943 130 sq mi
(337 km2)
State map highlighting Middlesex County
Montgomery County 121 Christiansburg 1777 From Fincastle County Richard Montgomery, Revolutionary War general 98,915 388 sq mi
(1,005 km2)
State map highlighting Montgomery County
Nelson County 125 Lovingston 1808 From Amherst County Thomas Nelson Jr., governor of Virginia and signer of the Declaration of Independence 14,652 472 sq mi
(1,222 km2)
State map highlighting Nelson County
New Kent County 127 New Kent 1654 New Kent County was established in 1654 from York County, Virginia. Kent County, England 24,986 210 sq mi
(544 km2)
State map highlighting New Kent County
Northampton County 131 Eastville 1634 Original county of the Colony under England, initially named Accomac Shire. In 1642, it was renamed Northampton County. However, in 1663, Northampton County was divided into two counties. The southern half remained Northampton County while the northern half once again became Accomac County -- later spelled Accomack. Northamptonshire, England 11,900 207 sq mi
(536 km2)
State map highlighting Northampton County
Northumberland County 133 Heathsville 1648 The county was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1648 during a period of rapid population growth and geographic expansion. Northumberland, United Kingdom 12,302 192 sq mi
(497 km2)
State map highlighting Northumberland County
Nottoway County 135 Nottoway 1789 From the area of Amelia County called Nottaway Parish Nodawa tribe 15,559 315 sq mi
(816 km2)
State map highlighting Nottoway County
Orange County 137 Orange 1734 Settlers established the legal entity of Orange County in 1734 from a portion of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. William IV, Prince of Orange, to celebrate his marriage to the Royal Princess Anne of the House of Hanover, England on March 25, 1734. The county was formed on August 8, 1734 37,991 342 sq mi
(886 km2)
State map highlighting Orange County
Page County 139 Luray 1831 From Shenandoah and Rockingham counties John Page, governor of Virginia 23,750 311 sq mi
(805 km2)
State map highlighting Page County
Patrick County 141 Stuart 1791 From Patrick Henry County Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia and U.S. Founding Father 17,643 483 sq mi
(1,251 km2)
State map highlighting Patrick County
Pittsylvania County 143 Chatham 1767 From Halifax County William Pitt, British Prime Minister 59,952 978 sq mi
(2,533 km2)
State map highlighting Pittsylvania County
Powhatan County 145 Powhatan 1777 From Cumberland County Powhatan tribe 31,489 261 sq mi
(676 km2)
State map highlighting Powhatan County
Prince Edward County 147 Farmville 1754 From Amelia County Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, brother of George III 21,927 353 sq mi
(914 km2)
State map highlighting Prince Edward County
Prince George County 149 Prince George 1703 From Charles City County Prince George of Denmark, the husband of Queen Anne 43,134 266 sq mi
(689 km2)
State map highlighting Prince George County
Prince William County 153 Manassas 1731 From Stafford and King George counties Prince William Augustus, son of George II 486,943 338 sq mi
(875 km2)
State map highlighting Prince William County
Pulaski County 155 Pulaski 1839 From Montgomery and Wythe counties Kazimierz Pulaski, Polish-born Revolutionary War general 33,706 321 sq mi
(831 km2)
State map highlighting Pulaski County
Rappahannock County 157 Washington 1833 From Culpeper County. The original Rappahannock County, known as Old Rappahannock County, was created in 1656 from part of Lancaster County. Old Rappahannock County became extinct in 1692 when it was split to create Essex and Richmond counties. Rappahannock River 7,502 267 sq mi
(692 km2)
State map highlighting Rappahannock County
Richmond County 159 Warsaw 1692 From the original Rappahannock County, better known as Old Rappahannock County, which was split to form Richmond and Essex counties. Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of King Charles II 9,080 192 sq mi
(497 km2)
State map highlighting Richmond County
Roanoke County 161 Salem 1838 From the southern part of Botetourt County Roanoke River 96,914 251 sq mi
(650 km2)
State map highlighting Roanoke County
Rockbridge County 163 Lexington 1778 From parts of Augusta and Botetourt counties Natural Bridge 22,593 600 sq mi
(1,554 km2)
State map highlighting Rockbridge County
Rockingham County 165 Harrisonburg 1778 From Augusta County Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, British Prime Minister 85,397 851 sq mi
(2,204 km2)
State map highlighting Rockingham County
Russell County 167 Lebanon 1786 From a section of Washington County William Russell, frontiersman and state representative 25,448 475 sq mi
(1,230 km2)
State map highlighting Russell County
Scott County 169 Gate City 1814 Formed from parts of Washington, Lee, and Russell Counties Winfield Scott, War of 1812 and later Mexican-American War general 21,476 537 sq mi
(1,391 km2)
State map highlighting Scott County
Shenandoah County 171 Woodstock 1772 Formed from non-county territory; originally named for Governor John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, but renamed in 1778. Shenandoah River 44,968 512 sq mi
(1,326 km2)
State map highlighting Shenandoah County
Smyth County 173 Marion 1832 From Washington and Wythe counties Alexander Smyth, Congressman from Virginia 29,449 452 sq mi
(1,171 km2)
State map highlighting Smyth County
Southampton County 175 Courtland 1749 Most of it from part of Warrosquyoake Shire Disputed; either Southampton, England or Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, one of the founders of the Virginia Company 17,932 600 sq mi
(1,554 km2)
State map highlighting Southampton County
Spotsylvania County 177 Spotsylvania Courthouse 1721 Spotsylvania County was established in 1721 from Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. Alexander Spotswood, colonial lieutenant governor of Virginia 146,688 401 sq mi
(1,039 km2)
State map highlighting Spotsylvania County
Stafford County 179 Stafford 1664 From part of Westmoreland County Stafford, England 163,380 270 sq mi
(699 km2)
State map highlighting Stafford County
Surry County 181 Surry 1652 From part of James City County Surrey, United Kingdom 6,527 279 sq mi
(723 km2)
State map highlighting Surry County
Sussex County 183 Sussex 1754 From Surry County Sussex, United Kingdom 10,680 491 sq mi
(1,272 km2)
State map highlighting Sussex County
Tazewell County 185 Tazewell 1800 From portions of Wythe and Russell counties Henry Tazewell, U.S. Senator from Virginia 39,821 520 sq mi
(1,347 km2)
State map highlighting Tazewell County
Warren County 187 Front Royal 1836 From Frederick and Shenandoah counties Joseph Warren, Revolutionary War general 41,440 214 sq mi
(554 km2)
State map highlighting Warren County
Washington County 191 Abingdon 1777 From Fincastle County George Washington, Revolutionary War commander, U.S. Founding Father, and future U.S. President 53,958 564 sq mi
(1,461 km2)
State map highlighting Washington County
Westmoreland County 193 Montross 1653 From Northumberland County Westmoreland, United Kingdom 18,712 229 sq mi
(593 km2)
State map highlighting Westmoreland County
Wise County 195 Wise 1856 From Lee, Scott, and Russell Counties Henry Alexander Wise, governor of Virginia 35,421 403 sq mi
(1,044 km2)
State map highlighting Wise County
Wythe County 197 Wytheville 1790 From Montgomery County George Wythe, legal scholar and signer of the Declaration of Independence 28,111 463 sq mi
(1,199 km2)
State map highlighting Wythe County
York County 199 Yorktown 1634 Formed in 1634 as one of the eight shires of Virginia. It was originally called Charles River Shire. James Stuart, Duke of York, the future King James II 71,341 106 sq mi
(275 km2)
State map highlighting York County

List of independent cities[edit]

FIPS code[4] Seat[5] Est.[5] Origin Etymology Population[10] Area[5] Map
Alexandria 510 N/A 1870[11] From Alexandria County[12] Phillip & John Alexander, brothers and area plantation owners 155,525 15 sq mi
(39 km2)
State map highlighting Alexandria
Bristol 520 N/A 1890[12] From Washington County[12] Bristol, England 16,975 12 sq mi
(31 km2)
State map highlighting Bristol
Buena Vista 530 N/A 1892[12] From Rockbridge County[12] from the Buena Vista Company, which founded an iron mine in the area and established the town for its laborers 6,591 7 sq mi
(18 km2)
State map highlighting Buena Vista
Charlottesville 540 N/A 1888[12] From Albemarle County[12] Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III 45,373 10 sq mi
(26 km2)
State map highlighting Charlottesville
Chesapeake 550 N/A 1963 Formed out of consolidation of Norfolk County (extinct) and City of South Norfolk (extinct)[13] Chesapeake tribe 252,488 341 sq mi
(883 km2)
State map highlighting Chesapeake
Colonial Heights 570 N/A 1948 From Chesterfield County From the actions of Revolutionary War general Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette; his soldiers, nicknamed the "Colonials", placed an artillery on high ground overlooking Petersburg 18,294 8 sq mi
(21 km2)
State map highlighting Colonial Heights
Covington 580 N/A 1952 From Alleghany County Leonard Covington, hero of the Siege of Fort Recovery and Congressman from Maryland 5,679 4 sq mi
(10 km2)
State map highlighting Covington
Danville 590 N/A 1870[12] From Pittsylvania County[12] Dan River 42,229 43 sq mi
(111 km2)
State map highlighting Danville
Emporia 595 N/A 1967 From Greensville County Emporia, Kansas 5,481 7 sq mi
(18 km2)
State map highlighting Emporia
Fairfax 600 N/A 1961 From Fairfax County Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, only British noble resident in colonial Virginia 24,835 6 sq mi
(16 km2)
State map highlighting Fairfax
Falls Church 610 N/A 1948 From Fairfax County The Falls Church 14,586 2.1 sq mi
(5 km2)
State map highlighting Falls Church
Franklin 620 N/A 1961 From Southampton County Benjamin Franklin, publisher, scholar, orator, and U.S. Founding Father 8,247 8 sq mi
(21 km2)
State map highlighting Franklin
Fredericksburg 630 N/A 1870[12] From Spotsylvania County[12] Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II 28,757 10 sq mi
(26 km2)
State map highlighting Fredericksburg
Galax 640 N/A 1953 From Grayson County and Carroll County the galax shrub 6,730 8 sq mi
(21 km2)
State map highlighting Galax
Hampton 650 N/A 1908 Founded 1610. Current city formed by consolidation of Elizabeth City County and City of Hampton in 1952[13] Disputed; either Southampton, England or Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, one of the founders of the Virginia Company 138,037 52 sq mi
(135 km2)
State map highlighting Hampton
Harrisonburg 660 N/A 1916 From Rockingham County[12] Thomas Harrison, pioneering settler and town founder 51,158 18 sq mi
(47 km2)
State map highlighting Harrisonburg
Hopewell 670 N/A 1916 From Prince George County[12] The Hopewell, a ship that carried some of the early English settlers to Virginia 22,962 10 sq mi
(26 km2)
State map highlighting Hopewell
Lexington 678 N/A 1966 From Rockbridge County Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington 7,457 2.5 sq mi
(6 km2)
State map highlighting Lexington
Lynchburg 680 N/A 1786 From Campbell County[12] John Lynch, ferry operator and constructor of the first bridge across the James River in the area 79,287 49 sq mi
(127 km2)
State map highlighting Lynchburg
Manassas 683 N/A 1975 From Prince William County Manassas Gap Railroad 42,642 10 sq mi
(26 km2)
State map highlighting Manassas
Manassas Park 685 N/A 1975 From Prince William County Manassas Gap Railroad and Manassas National Battlefield Park 16,703 2.5 sq mi
(6 km2)
State map highlighting Manassas Park
Martinsville 690 N/A 1928 From Henry County Joseph Martin, Revolutionary War general 13,725 11 sq mi
(28 km2)
State map highlighting Martinsville
Newport News 700 N/A 1896[12] From Warwick County[12] Captain Christopher Newport, English privateer[14] 184,306 68 sq mi
(176 km2)
State map highlighting Newport News
Norfolk 710 N/A 1845[15] Founded 1682.[16] Incorporated as City in 1845 from Norfolk County (extinct)[13] Norfolk, England 232,995 54 sq mi
(140 km2)
State map highlighting Norfolk
Norton 720 N/A 1954 From Wise County Eckstein Norton, president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad 3,609 7 sq mi
(18 km2)
State map highlighting Norton
Petersburg 730 N/A 1870[12] From Prince George and Dinwiddie Counties[12] Peter Jones, early settler and merchant 33,394 23 sq mi
(60 km2)
State map highlighting Petersburg
Poquoson 735 N/A 1975 From York County An Algonquin term roughly translating to "great marsh" or "flat land" 12,582 16 sq mi
(41 km2)
State map highlighting Poquoson
Portsmouth 740 N/A 1858[13] Founded 1752.[17] Incorporated as City in 1858 from Norfolk County (extinct)[13] Portsmouth, England 96,700 33 sq mi
(85 km2)
State map highlighting Portsmouth
Radford 750 N/A 1892[12] From Montgomery County[12] John Blair Radford, owner of a plantation that included that town's lands 16,738 10 sq mi
(26 km2)
State map highlighting Radford
Richmond 760 N/A 1870[12] From Henrico County[12] Richmond, Surrey, England 229,395 60 sq mi
(155 km2)
State map highlighting Richmond
Roanoke 770 N/A 1884[12] From Roanoke County[12] Roanoke River 97,847 43 sq mi
(111 km2)
State map highlighting Roanoke
Salem 775 N/A 1968 From Roanoke County After Salem, New Jersey, home of town founder William Bryan 25,523 15 sq mi
(39 km2)
State map highlighting Salem
Staunton 790 N/A 1870[12] From Augusta County [12] Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of colonial Lieutenant Governor William Gooch 25,904 20 sq mi
(52 km2)
State map highlighting Staunton
Suffolk 800 N/A 1910[18] Founded 1742.[18] Incorporated as City in 1910 from Nansemond County (extinct)[18] Suffolk, England 99,179 400 sq mi
(1,036 km2)
State map highlighting Suffolk
Virginia Beach 810 N/A 1963 Founded 1906 around existing community of Seatack. Incorporated as City in 1963 from Princess Anne County (extinct)[13] The city's coastal location 455,618 248 sq mi
(642 km2)
State map highlighting Virginia Beach
Waynesboro 820 N/A 1948 From Augusta County Anthony Wayne, Revolutionary War general 22,808 14 sq mi
(36 km2)
State map highlighting Waynesboro
Williamsburg 830 N/A 1902[12] From James City County William III of England 15,909 9 sq mi
(23 km2)
State map highlighting Williamsburg
Winchester 840 N/A 1874[12] From Frederick County [12] Winchester, England 27,936 9 sq mi
(23 km2)
State map highlighting Winchester

Top 10 most populated cities in Virginia (2010)

Virginia counties and cities by population density (population/ square mile) in 2015

Virginia counties and cities by population in 2010

Smithsonian Trinomial Abbreviations[edit]

List of County Abbreviations[19][edit]

Code County Name Code County Name Code County Name Code County Name
AC Accomack CU Cumberland KQ King and Queen PU Pulaski
AG Alleghany DK Dickenson KW King William PW Prince William
AH Amherst DW Dinwiddie LA Lancaster RA Rappahannock
AL Albemarle ES Essex LE Lee RB Rockbridge
AM Amelia FD Frederick LD Loudoun RC Richmond
AP Appomattox FL Floyd LO Louisa RH Rockingham
AR Arlington County FQ Fauquier LU Lunenburg RO Roanoke
AU Augusta FR Franklin MA Madison RU Russell
BA Bath FV Fluvanna MI Middlesex SC Scott
BD Bedford FX Fairfax MK Mecklenburg SH Shenandoah
BK Buckingham GI Giles MO Montgomery SM Smyth
BL Bland GL Gloucester MT Mathews SO Southampton
BO Botetourt GO Goochland NK New Kent SP Spotsylvania
BR Brunswick GR Greene NL Nelson ST Stafford
BU Buchanan GV Greensville NO Northampton SU Surry
CA Carroll GY Grayson NT Nottoway SX Sussex
CB Campbell HE Henry NU Northumberland TZ Tazewell
CC Charles City HI Highland OR Orange WA Washington
CG Craig HN Hanover PA Page WE Westmoreland
CH Chesterfield HR Henrico PE Prince Edward WI Wise
CK Clarke HX Halifax PG Prince George WR Warren
CL Caroline IW Isle of Wight PK Patrick WY Wythe
CP Culpeper JC James City PO Powhatan YO York
CR Charlotte KG King George PT Pittsylvania

List of Independent City Abbreviations[19][edit]

Code City Name Code City Name Code City Name Code City Name
ALX Alexandria EMP Emporia LYN Lynchburg RAD Radford
BED Bedford FAL Falls Church MAN Manassas RIC Richmond
BRI Bristol FAX Fairfax MAR Martinsville ROA Roanoke
BVA Buena Vista FRD Fredericksburg MPK Manassas Park SAL Salem
CHE Chesapeake FRK Franklin NNS Newport News STA Staunton
CHR Charlottesville GLX Galax NOR Norfolk SUF Suffolk
CHS Colonial Heights HAM Hampton NRT Norton VAB Virginia Beach
CLF Clifton Forge HAR Harrisonburg PET Petersburg WIL Williamsburg
COV Covington HOP Hopewell POQ Poquoson WIN Winchester
DAN Danville LEX Lexington POR Portsmouth WNB Waynesboro

Largest cities[edit]

Fictional counties[edit]

  • The historical drama TV series The Waltons is set in Jefferson County, specifically in the fictional community of Walton's Mountain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population and Area of All Virginia Local Governments, 1790-2010". Archived 2017-05-25 at the Wayback Machine Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development website. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Former Second Class Cities in Virginia". Archived 2014-10-11 at the Wayback Machine Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development website. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan; Aiken, Charles Curry (2005). The American Counties: Origins of County Names, Dates of Creation, and Population Data, 1950-2000. Scarecrow Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8108-5036-1.
  4. ^ a b "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  6. ^ Virginia Commission on Local Government. "County Seats" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census 2022 population estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  8. ^ "Virginia Historical Counties" Archived 2004-08-04 at the Wayback Machine. Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Chicago: Newberry Library. Retrieved 2010-07-10. Select the map for December 31, 1634 (the earliest date available).
  9. ^ "About Us: History". Highland County. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "2022 U.S. Census Quickfacts website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  11. ^ "Virginia Historical Counties" Archived 2004-08-04 at the Wayback Machine. Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. Chicago: Newberry Library. Retrieved 2010-07-09. Compare the maps for July 9 and July 10, 1902.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Census Office (1920), Fourteenth Census of the United States
  13. ^ a b c d e f Durman, George W. "Current Virginia Counties & Independent Cities". Germanna Colonies. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  14. ^ King, Lauren. "What's in a name? | Newport News".
  15. ^ City of Norfolk. "19th Century History". City of Norfolk History. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  16. ^ City of Norfolk. "17th Century History". City of Norfolk History. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  17. ^ City of Portsmouth. "City of Portsmouth, Virginia - History". City of Portsmouth. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c City of Suffolk. "All About Suffolk: History". Suffolk: Community. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  19. ^ a b "County List". Retrieved April 12, 2023.