Washington County, Virginia

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Washington County
Washington County Courthouse
Washington County Courthouse
Official seal of Washington County
Map of Virginia highlighting Washington County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°43′N 81°58′W / 36.72°N 81.96°W / 36.72; -81.96
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1776
Named forGeorge Washington
SeatAbingdon
Largest townAbingdon
Area
 • Total566 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Land561 sq mi (1,450 km2)
 • Water5 sq mi (10 km2)  0.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total53,935
 • Density95/sq mi (37/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th
Websitewww.washcova.com

Washington County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 53,935.[1] Its county seat is Abingdon.[2]

Washington County is part of the KingsportBristolBristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area, commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.

History[edit]

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples of varying cultures lived in the area. At the time of European encounter, the Chiska had a chief village near what is now Saltville, destroyed by the Spaniards in 1568. The Cherokee annexed the region from the Xualae around 1671, and ceded it to the Virginia Colony in 1770 at the Treaty of Lochaber.

The county was formed by Virginians in 1776 from Fincastle County. It was named for George Washington, who was then commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Washington County is among the first geographical regions to be named after the president of the United States.

Washington County was raided by the Chickamauga Cherokee during the Cherokee–American wars. In July, 1776, Chief Dragging Canoe led an attack on Black's Fort (renamed Abingdon in 1778). The area remained prone to attack until after Chickamauga leader Bob Benge was finally slain by settlers in Washington County in 1794.

As with many other frontier counties, the boundaries and territory changed over the years. In 1786 the northwestern part of Washington County became Russell County. In 1814 the western part of what remained of Washington County was combined with parts of Lee and Russell counties to form Scott County. In 1832 the northeastern part of Washington was combined with part of Wythe County to form Smyth County. Finally, with the incorporation of the town of Goodson as the independent city of Bristol in 1890, Washington County assumed its present size.

A farm in Washington County, Virginia

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 561 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (0.9%) is water.[3]

Districts[edit]

The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Harrison, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Taylor, Tyler, and Wilson.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17905,625
18009,53669.5%
181012,15627.5%
182012,4442.4%
183015,61425.5%
184013,001−16.7%
185014,61212.4%
186016,89215.6%
187016,816−0.4%
188025,20349.9%
189029,02015.1%
190028,995−0.1%
191032,83013.2%
192032,376−1.4%
193033,8504.6%
194038,19712.8%
195037,536−1.7%
196038,0761.4%
197040,8357.2%
198046,48713.8%
199045,887−1.3%
200051,10311.4%
201054,8767.4%
202053,935−1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
2010[7] 2020[8]

2020 census[edit]

Washington County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[7] Pop 2020[8] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 52,798 50,338 96.21% 93.33%
Black or African American alone (NH) 686 651 1.25% 1.21%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 90 91 0.16% 0.17%
Asian alone (NH) 202 334 0.37% 0.62%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 6 0 0.01% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 21 134 0.04% 0.25%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 349 1,496 0.64% 2.77%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 724 891 1.32% 1.65%
Total 54,876 53,935 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2000 Census[edit]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 51,103 people, 21,056 households, and 14,949 families residing in the county. The population density was 91 people per square mile (35/km2). There were 22,985 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.56% White, 1.32% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 21,056 households, out of which 28.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.10% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.00% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.80% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,742, and the median income for a family was $40,162. Males had a median income of $30,104 versus $21,307 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,350. About 8.10% of families and 10.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 14.20% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Colleges[edit]

Public high schools[edit]

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Farmland in Washington County near Friendship and Wideners Valley

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Several unincorporated portions of the county have Bristol addresses.

Notable people[edit]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Washington County, Virginia[10]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 21,679 75.58% 6,617 23.07% 389 1.36%
2016 19,320 74.75% 5,553 21.48% 973 3.76%
2012 18,141 70.77% 7,076 27.61% 415 1.62%
2008 16,077 65.62% 8,063 32.91% 360 1.47%
2004 14,749 65.51% 7,339 32.60% 426 1.89%
2000 12,064 59.66% 7,549 37.33% 609 3.01%
1996 9,098 50.07% 6,939 38.19% 2,132 11.73%
1992 9,150 48.17% 7,269 38.27% 2,576 13.56%
1988 10,722 63.45% 5,819 34.43% 358 2.12%
1984 12,132 68.06% 5,573 31.26% 121 0.68%
1980 8,402 53.87% 6,390 40.97% 805 5.16%
1976 6,865 48.98% 6,547 46.71% 603 4.30%
1972 8,805 72.70% 3,028 25.00% 278 2.30%
1968 6,665 51.16% 3,243 24.89% 3,121 23.95%
1964 4,146 44.94% 5,070 54.95% 10 0.11%
1960 4,473 53.59% 3,833 45.92% 41 0.49%
1956 4,651 56.38% 3,547 42.99% 52 0.63%
1952 3,810 57.74% 2,778 42.10% 11 0.17%
1948 2,972 52.20% 2,510 44.09% 211 3.71%
1944 2,792 49.29% 2,849 50.30% 23 0.41%
1940 2,697 45.13% 3,245 54.30% 34 0.57%
1936 2,047 43.98% 2,595 55.76% 12 0.26%
1932 1,774 38.34% 2,784 60.17% 69 1.49%
1928 3,449 56.40% 2,666 43.60% 0 0.00%
1924 2,848 47.30% 3,083 51.20% 90 1.49%
1920 2,672 54.14% 2,251 45.61% 12 0.24%
1916 1,717 47.84% 1,863 51.91% 9 0.25%
1912 590 17.80% 1,721 51.92% 1,004 30.29%


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Washington County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  8. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Washington County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°43′N 81°58′W / 36.72°N 81.96°W / 36.72; -81.96