Economy of Virginia State

June 29, 2010US State Economiesby EconomyWatch

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Overview of Virginia

With a population of nearly 8 million, Virginia is the 12th most-populous state but is the 35th in terms of size, at 110,785 square kilometers. It borders the Atlantic on the East, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, Kentucky and West Virginia to the west, and Maryland to the north.

Virginia Colony was the first permanent Britsh colony, and was founded in 1607. 250 years later, it was one of the northern-most confederate states in the Civil War.

It was at this time that the state's western counties refused to secede, and as a result West Virginia became a state of its own.

Virginia's capital is Richmond, and its largest city is Virginia Beach. It borders Washington, DC (District of Columbia) which is the capital of the US and is not a state.

The northern area around Washington DC is most densely populated due to the heavy concentration of high-tech, consulting, software, and communication companies. The south hosts more traditional industry such as peanut and tobacco farming as well as livestock, particularly cattle.

The south also is home to military bases and facilities, though the CIA and Department of Defense are located in the north, with other government bodies like the US Patent and Trademark Office, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Geological Survey.

Virginia Demography And Social Indicators

Virginia is home to a variety of demographic bacgrounds and races, most notably those of German, English, and African descent. There are also considerable Asian populations (Vietnamese and Filipinos).

Many of those of African descent came to Virginia as slaves from the Niger River Delta.

Following is a breakdown of racial percentages in Virginia:

74.94% are Caucasian, 20.65% are black, 5.20% are Asian, and the rest are American Indian, Alaskan Natives, or Pacific Islanders (2005).

Business and Economy of Virginia

Virgina's economy amounts to $397 billion (2008). About of third of its workers are in the service industry, while around a fifth of the state's jobs are in agriculture. Virginia has the 10th most Fortune 500 companies of any other state, at 18.

Virginia's economic roots are in agriculture, and it still remains an important farming area, especially in the Shenandoah Valley. The Chesapeake Bay is the source of seafood and fishing, mainly oysters. Coal, slate, gravel and other natural minerals are also part of Virginia's natural resources, amounting to $2 billion in revenue per year.

The federal agencies based in Virginia attract some of the brightest and best-educated in the US. In fact, Virginia is home to the county with the highest median household income (2007), Loudoun County. Loudon County is also the fastest-growing county in the US.

NATO's military command, Langley Air Force Base, Naval Station Norfolk along with NASA's Langley Research Center and The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility make Hampton Roads in southeastern Virgina one of the most densely populated areas of military facilities in the world.

United States Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, NASA, Marines, and Army facilities, shipyards, coal piers, and hundreds of miles of waterfront property and beaches, all of which contribute to the diversity and stability of the region's economy.

Nearly 800,000 veterans live in Virginia, which is more than live in any other state in the US. Virginia is second only to Alaska in defense spending.

Tourist Attractions Of Virginia

  • Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Civil War Reenactments
  • Historic Richmond
  • The Virginia Arts Festival
  • Jamestown Settlement
  • Alexandria Black History Resource Center
  • Boyhood Home of Robert E. Lee
  • John F Kennedy's Grave
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Tomb of the Unknown Dead of the Civil War
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Mast of the Battleship Maine
  • Women in Military Service for America Memorial
  • Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum
  • National Museum of the Marine Corps

Colleges, Schools and Universities In Virginia

Virginia is home to at least 60 private and public colleges and universities:

  • Appalachian College of Pharmacy
  • Appalachian School of Law
  • Averett University
  • Bluefield College
  • Bridgewater College
  • Christendom College
  • Christopher Newport University
  • College of William and Mary
  • Eastern Mennonite University
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Emory and Henry College
  • Ferrum College
  • Founders College
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University Virginia Campus
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • Hampton University
  • Hollins University
  • Institute of Textile Technology
  • James Madison University
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences
  • John Leland Center for Theological Studies
  • Liberty University
  • Longwood University
  • Lynchburg College
  • Marine Corps University
  • Mary Baldwin College
  • Marymount University
  • Norfolk State University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Patrick Henry College
  • Radford University
  • Randolph College
  • Randolph-Macon College
  • Regent University
  • Roanoke College
  • Saint Paul's College
  • Shenandoah University
  • Southern Virginia University
  • Stratford University
  • Sweet Briar College
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of Northern Virginia
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Virginia's College at Wise
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Community College System
  • Virginia Intermont College
  • Virginia International University
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
  • Virginia State University
  • Virginia Union University
  • Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary (Springfield Extension)
  • Westwood College Of Technology

Further Readings