It’s got breathtaking sceneries, a rich history with a modern twist, miles of white sand beaches, scrumptious food, and award-winning wines. It’s got countless stores and boutiques to cater to your shopping needs. Oh, and the Old Dominion is also where 8 U.S. presidents were born. Keep on reading to learn 75 facts about the state of Virginia.
Fact 1: Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.
Fact 2: It’s nestled between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains.
Fact 3: Virginia was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States.
Fact 4: It is bordered by Maryland to the northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, Kentucky to the west, and West Virginia to the northwest. Its state capital is Richmond.
Fact 5: It was once called the “Old Dominion”.
Fact 6: Virginia was nicknamed the ‘Old Dominion’ for its loyalty to the exiled Charles II of England during the Puritan Commonwealth and Protectorate. It has one of the longest continuous histories among the American states, dating from the settlement of Jamestown in the early 17th century.
Fact 7: It was named for Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.
Fact 8: Under its original charter, Virginia was granted most of the lands stretching westward from the Atlantic seaboard settlements to the Mississippi River and beyond, which were territories yet to be unexplored by Europeans.
Fact 9: By the early 21st century, Virginia was among the most prosperous states in the South and in the country as a whole. Its northern counties reflect the cosmopolitan character of the country’s capital, Washington, D.C., which lies across the Potomac River to the north.
Fact 10: Before Virginia became a state of the United States of America, it was known as the Colony of Virginia.
Fact 11: History and nature make Virginia a leading tourist center. Within its borders lie many important historical monuments. They include colonial restorations and reconstructions, such as those at Williamsburg, the homes of Washington (Mount Vernon), Jefferson (Monticello), and other noted Virginians, and many of the battlefields of the American Revolution and Civil War.
Fact 12: Virginia was accepted into the Union that created the beginning of the United States of America on June 25, 1788. This was just over 6 months after the first state, Delaware, joined the union.
Fact 13: The state’s highest point is Mount Rogers, at an elevation of 1746 meters. The second-highest point in the state, the summit of Whitetop Mountain, is 1682.5 meters high. For comparison, the tallest mountain in the USA is Mount Denali in Alaska. Its peak stretches 6190.5 m into the sky. This makes it over 3.5 times taller than Virginia’s Mount Rogers.
Fact 14: There are a total of 134 Counties in the state of Virginia which make it the 3rd most populated state by county in the USA. For comparison, Texas is the state with the most counties with 254.
Fact 15: It was once filled with herds of native bison. At the time of European settlement of the Great Valley of Virginia in the early 18th century, large herds of native bison were prevalent along the banks of the Shenandoah River, but, as elsewhere, the bison populations were destroyed as settlers moved westward.
Fact 16: The largest county by land area in Virginia is the county of Pittsylvania with a total area of 2509.5 km2. The second-largest county by area is Augusta. At 2504.5 Km2, it is only 5 km2 smaller than Pittsylvania.
Fact 17: Chesapeake Bay is one of the world’s richest marine-life estuaries, noted for finfish, blue crabs, oysters, and clams. Although some yearly commercial and sport fishing catches have suggested generally plentiful stocks, concerns have been raised about overfishing and the diminishing populations of some species.
Fact 18: The most populated county in Virginia is Fairfax County with a total population of 1,143,529. To give you some idea of how that compares to the rest of the counties in the US, Los Angeles, which is classed as a county and city, is the most populated county in the US with a population of just over 10 million people.
Fact 19: Nearly three-fourths of Virginia’s residents are of white European descent.
Fact 20: Virginia also has a substantial minority of African Americans. About one-fifth of the population, serving as a reminder of the history of African slaves in the state.
Fact 21: The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
Fact 22: When the English colonists founded Jamestown, England’s first permanent settlement in North America in 1607, native people lived all around them. In the territory that now constitutes the state of Virginia, these people belonged primarily to three language families: the Algonquian, the Iroquoian, and the Siouan.
Fact 23: Jamestown was founded for the purpose of silk cultivation.
Fact 24: Jamestown served as the European colonial capital in the new world, America, from 1616 until 1699.
Fact 25: 8 United States presidents were born here. Virginia has produced the most U.S. presidents. The eight men that were born there are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.
Fact 26: The State of Virginia’s largest enclosed body of water, or lake, is Kerr lake. Officially known as the John H. Kerr reservoir, and unofficially as Bugg’s Island Lake, Kerr Lake is over 200 km2 in size. Additionally, a Dam called, Kerr Dam, they were very creative with these names, creates hydroelectric power for the surrounding counties.
Fact 27: Virginia has more than 100 historical societies and museums. Most notable is the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, which houses one of the most extensive collections of materials pertaining to colonial America and to the early republic.
Fact 28: Virginia’s shoreline has a total length of 11,608 km.
Fact 29: Millions of visitors are annually attracted to the state’s historical sites as well. Foremost among these is Colonial Williamsburg, a living museum staffed by highly trained historical interpreters. The interpreters are all dressed in period clothing, and reenact various aspects of colonial life in and around the town’s expertly restored 17th and 18th-century buildings.
Fact 30: Virginia’s smallest county, by the overall population, is Highland county. The diminutive county has only 2,214 people living in it. For comparison, the smallest county out of the entire United States is Kalawao County in Hawaii, with only 88 people living in it.
Fact 31: The capital of Virginia is the city of Richmond. It has a population of 228,783 people.
Fact 32: Mount Vernon was George Washington’s and Martha Washington’s plantation. The estate is situated on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, across from Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Fact 33: On March 9, 1862, two ironclad warships met in battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Battle of Hampton Roads, also referred to as the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia), or the Battle of Ironclads, was a famous and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War. It was fought over two days, March 8–9, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth and Nansemond rivers meet the James River just before it enters the Chesapeake Bay adjacent to the city of Norfolk.
Fact 34: Though Richmond is the capital city of the state it not the most populated city. That title is held by the coastal city Virginia Beach, which has a population of 454,846 people. Richmond has roughly half this population.
Fact 35: Virginia has had 3 capital cities over the years. They were Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond. Today, Richmond serves as the state’s main metropolis which became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780, replacing Williamsburg.
Fact 36: The total area of the state is 110,786 km2 which makes sit the 35th largest state in the United States of America.
Fact 37: It’s home to a number of stunning national parks. The natural beauty of Virginia offers much in the way of recreation. Shenandoah National Park, in the Blue Ridge, has an abundance of wildlife and unusual geological formations, while Assateague Island National Seashore, off the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula and divided between Virginia and Maryland, is especially noted for its wild horses.
Fact 38: Virginia’s FIPS state code is 51 and its postal abbreviation is VA.
Fact 39: The Shenandoah National Park, Virginia’s largest national park, has over 40% designated as natural wilderness that is untouched by man. That’s about 322 square kilometers to lose yourself among nature!
Fact 40: The total population of Virginia is 8,535,519. California is the most populated state with 39.5 million people.
Fact 41: 86% of all people speak English as their first language in the state. Another 6% speak Spanish as their first language, and the final 8% speak a mixture of languages from across the world.
Fact 42: The average elevation of the state is 290 meters above sea level. For comparison, Texas has an average elevation above sea level of 520 meters.
Fact 43: Virginia’s total Gross domestic product, or GDP, currently stand at around $480 billion. This makes it the 13th largest producer in the United States.
Fact 44: The Roanoke River, at 660 km long, is the longest river in the state of Virginia. It has two feeder rivers, the North Fork and South Fork, which both start in the Blue Ridge mountains.
Fact 45: There is 4888 km of railroads in the state of Virginia.
Fact 46: On average, 110 cm of rain falls across the state in any given year. For comparison, the wettest state in the USA, Hawaii, receives on average 162 cm of rain per year.
Fact 47: The Tidal range in Chesapeake bay is very low for an enclosed bay area. At an average tidal range of just 90 cm, it’s one of the lowest tidal ranges for this sort of topography in the world.
Fact 48: The Shenandoah National Park, Virginia’s largest national park, has over a million visitors a year.
Fact 49: Virginia accounts for approximately 900,000 state jobs. These Jobs vary from working for the US Geological Survey to the Department of Defense.
Fact 50: The dimension of the state is roughly 690 km long and 320 km wide. At 90 km/h, which is the speed limit on highways in Virginia, it would take you over 7.5 hours to travel, as the crow flies, along its length.
Fact 51: The Pentagon, the largest office building in the world and headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense, is found in Arlington County, northern Virginia.
Fact 52: The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest law-making body in the New World. It has been in continuous action since its foundation on the 30th of June 1619.
Fact 53: 28% of all the land in Virginia is dedicated to agriculture. This is the equivalent of 31,565 km2. A total of 43,225 farms fill this space which makes each Virginian farm only 0.73 km2 in size.
Fact 54: Virginia is the most populated U.S. state that doesn’t have a major professional sports team in any of the top leagues or sports in the United States. This has been blamed on a number of reasons including a lack of interest in sport and the lack of public funding to build major arenas.
Fact 55: The Shenandoah National Park is Virginia’s largest national park. It was created in 1935 and has a total area of 806 km2.
Fact 56: The first-ever peanuts grown in the USA were cultivated in the State of Virginia.
Fact 57: A state flag, The Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was first used at the beginning of the American Civil War in April 1861. It was later readopted by the state in 1912.
Fact 58: Washington, D.C. has over the years extended its southern suburbs outside the boundaries of the district of Columbia into the North-Eastern parts of Virginia.
Fact 59: In 1897, Virginia’s largest earthquake shook the surrounding land near the town Blacksburg in Montgomery County. The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9.
Fact 60: Over 2,200 of the 4,000 battles in the American Civil war were fought in Virginia.
Fact 61: The state has the 14th population density in out of the 50 states with a population density of 79.8 people per square kilometer.
Fact 62: The United States Navy’s home base for its Atlantic fleet can be found in Virginia.
Fact 63: The State of Virginia has over 34 state parks and 17 state forests.
Fact 64: There is 93,191 km of roads in Virginia. If you, for some unknown reason, decided to drive along all those roads at the Virginia highway limit of 90 km/h, it would take you 27 days of none stop driving to do it.
Fact 65: The state’s motto, that can be found on the state’s emblem and flag, is “Sic Semper Tyrannis” which means ‘Thus always to tyrants’.
Fact 66: The town of Bristol between the two states is split down the middle by the borderline between states of Virginia and Tennessee.
Fact 67: Virginia is the 12th most populated state in the united states with a population of over 8.5 million people.
Fact 68: There is no single point of land within the state of Virginia that is below sea level.
Fact 69: Virginia is predominantly Christian and Protestant state with over 26% of its population following Baptist denominations.
Fact 70: 35 million years ago, a meteor carved out a crater in what is now known as present-day eastern Virginia. The result was: Chesapeake Bay impact crater. This impact event likely played a major part in the geological formation of the bay.
Fact 71: The State of Virginia is home to a number of native carnivores that include black bears, skunks, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, and both red and grey foxes.
Fact 72: Part of the Blue Ridge Mountain range is located at the western end of Virginia. The highest peak in this range Mt. Mitchell which spears 2,037 meters into the sky.
Fact 73: At only 5 square kilometers, Falls Church county is the smallest county in Virginia. However, a massive 13,074 people squeeze themselves into that tiny little space which give the county a population density of 2614 people per square kilometer. That 32.6 times higher than Virginia’s average of 79.8 people per square kilometer.
Fact 74: Virginia has a humid and subtropical temperature. As you move south Easterly within the state, the climate becomes warmer and more humid.
Fact 75: At an average household income of $71,535, Virginian residents have the 10 highest average income out of all the states in the USA.
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