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Moving to Virginia


About Virginia - The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the original thirteen states of the virginiaUnited States that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution, and is part of the South. It is one of four states that use the name commonwealth. Virginia was the first part of the Americas to be colonized permanently by England. Virginia's U.S. postal abbreviation is VA, and its Associated Press abbreviation is Va.

Kentucky and West Virginia were part of Virginia at the time of the founding of the United States; but the former was admitted to the Union as a separate state in 1792, while the latter broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War.

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, more than any other state. Five of them were re-elected to a second term: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Woodrow Wilson. William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Zachary Taylor round out the list of American Presidents from the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Harrison and Taylor died while in office.)

Living in Virginia

People of Virginia - As of 2004, Virginia's population was estimated to be 7,459,827. The state had a foreign-born population of 679,500 (9.1% of the state population), of which an estimated 100,000 were illegal aliens (15% of the foreign-born).

The state's population increased by 1.3 million between 1990 and 2004, a growth of 21%.

Race and Ancestry
The racial makeup of the state:

  • 70.2% White non-Hispanic
  • 19.9% Black
  • 4.7% Hispanic
  • 3.7% Asian
  • 0.3% Native American
  • 2% Mixed race

The five largest reported ancestry groups in Virginia are: African American (19.6%), German (11.7%), American (11.2%), English (11.1%), Irish (9.8%).

Historically, as the largest and wealthiest colony and state and the birthplace of Southern and American culture, a large proportion (about half) of Virginia's population was made up of black slaves who worked the state's tobacco, cotton, and hemp plantations. The twentieth century Great Migration of blacks from the rural South to the urban North reduced Virginia's black population to about 20 percent.

Today Blacks are concentrated in the eastern and southern tidewater and piedmont regions where plantation agriculture was most dominant. The western mountains are populated primarily by people of British and American ancestry. People of German descent are present in sizable numbers in the northwestern mountains and Shenandoah Valley. And due to recent immigration, there is a rapidly growing population of Hispanics (particularly Central Americans) and Asians in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.

6.5% of Virginia's population were reported as under 5, 24.6% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.

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