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List of cities in Virginia


List of cities in Virginia

This is a complete list of cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States.

Since 1871, all cities in Virginia have been independent cities, which are administratively independent of any county. As of 2014, 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. Eight independent cities—including Bedford, which gave up its city charter in 2013 and became a town—had 2010 populations of less than 10,000 with the smallest, Norton, having a population of only 3958.[1] In 2010, the largest towns were Blacksburg (with 42,620 people) and Leesburg (42,616). Four 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 towns 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 included 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 which 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]

Virginia counties and independent cities
Independent City Population
in 2010 [3]
1 Virginia Beach 447,021
2 Norfolk 245,782
3 Chesapeake 228,417
4 Richmond 210,309
5 Newport News 180,726
6 Alexandria 146,294
7 Hampton 136,836
8 Roanoke 97,469
9 Portsmouth 96,470
10 Suffolk 85,181
11 Lynchburg 77,113
12 Harrisonburg 50,981
13 Charlottesville 43,956
14 Danville 42,996
15 Manassas 40,605
16 Petersburg 31,973
17 Fredericksburg 27,307
18 Winchester 26,881
19 Salem 24,970
20 Staunton 23,921
21 Fairfax 23,461
22 Hopewell 22,348
23 Waynesboro 21,107
24 Bristol 17,662
25 Colonial Heights 17,479
26 Radford 16,685
27 Manassas Park 15,798
28 Williamsburg 15,167
29 Martinsville 13,733
30 Falls Church 13,229
31 Poquoson 12,097
32 Franklin 8,528
33 Lexington 6,998
34 Galax 6,908
35 Buena Vista 6,707
36 Covington 5,771
37 Emporia 5,740
38 Norton 4,068


  1. ^ a b "Population and Area of All Virginia Local Governments, 1790-2010". 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". Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development website. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  3. ^

External links

  • Functions of Counties, Cities and Towns
  • List of Former Second Class Cities in Virginia
  • Virginia Commission on Local Government

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