10 Largest Cities In Virginia

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 16th 2024
Virginia is an excellent state to raise a family, thanks to its excellent schools and close-knit communities. The state also has a lot of great cities to live in. Here are the ten biggest cities in Virginia by population. 

hash-mark10 Largest Cities In Virginia (2024)

  1. Virginia Beach
  2. Chesapeake
  3. Arlington 
  4. Norfolk
  5. Richmond
  6. Newport News
  7. Alexandria
  8. Hampton
  9. Roanoke
  10. Portsmouth

hash-mark1. Virginia Beach (Population: 455,618)

The largest city in Virginia is Virginia Beach, which has a population of 455,618. This oceanic town has become a major tourist location as well as one of the most expansive cities in Virginia. It’s easy to see why. There are many things to do here, from fine dining to nights out by the seaside. If you are a fan of picturesque views, this place is it. It’s also relatively safe as far as cities go, though it’s not the most population-dense. 

hash-mark2. Chesapeake (Population: 252,488)

The second biggest city in Virginia by population is Chesapeake. Chesapeake has a population of 252,488 and is hard to ignore if you visit Virginia as a tourist. The name is everywhere. The city named after the Chesapeake Bay is also one of the state’s hottest pieces of real estate, with prices booming in recent years. 

If you are a fan of seafood, this is a great place to be. Chesapeake has lovely restaurants and even more beautiful views to take in. It’s currently the 10th largest city on the Mid-Atlantic grid, so it’s definitely large, even if it has more of a small-town feel. 

hash-mark3. Arlington (Population: 238,643)

With a population of around 238,643, Arlington is also one of the biggest cities in Virginia by population. This Virginia city does not feel like a city by any means. It feels more like a large, semi-crowded town. But it’s highly dense and also a major city.

If you want to live here, watch out. This has a high price tag and a high quality of living. It’s known for having tons of American patriot spots. People note that it’s a great place to live.

hash-mark4. Norfolk (Population: 238,001)

Norfolk is also one of the largest cities in Virginia. Out of all the cities on this list, Norfolk is one of the only cities to experience negative population growth in recent years. But don’t let that stop you. Norfolk is a friendly city that tops the charts with a population of 238,001. 

This coastal city boasts a perfect blend of homey and professional—all with a noticeable urban bent. The population density is high. Oh, and if you are a fan of museums, don’t worry. Norfolk has several museums in and around the city outskirts. 

hash-mark5. Richmond (Population: 229,395)

Richmond is the capital of Virginia, and is also one of the biggest cities in Virignia by population. Richmond is home to 229,395 residents and is a great place to live if you want to enjoy the state’s history as a former capital of the United States. 

Lots of museums and picturesque parks dot the area here. You'll enjoy the Richmond area if you are looking for a good balance of history, fun, and good schools. (Oh, and political interns are amazingly advantaged here!)

hash-mark6. Newport News (Population: 184,306)

It’s hard to say “Newport News” and not sound like you are bragging. This city boasts a population of around 184,306, making it a fairly large city by most standards. It’s not surprising, either. 

Most people love living here because of the balmy Southern weather, the highly-rated schools, and the low unemployment rate. It’s been rated one of the best places to live in Virginia. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a hotspot for people who come from highly esteemed families. 

hash-mark7. Alexandria (Population: 155,525)

Nestled in the heart of Virginia, Alexandria is also one of the largest cities in Virginia by population. This city currently has a population slightly above 155,000, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still a reasonably populous city with a lot of “big city” life. 

A good restaurant scene, proximity to nightlife hotspots, and decent schools. Despite its low population, it’s also fairly urban. Its high population density means that you will feel like you’re right in the heart of Brooklyn without the crazy price tag. 

hash-mark8. Hampton (Population: 138,037)

With a population of 138,037, Hampton is also one of the largest cities in Virginia. This beachside city happens to have a lot in common with Newport News. That really shouldn’t surprise you. It’s right next to Newport News, right on the water. 

Hampton has tons of great things to see, including a gorgeous boardwalk and great restaurants. Most people in the area prefer to live here due to the plentiful festivals and lively arts district. Hampton is a great place to live your dreams if you want to unlock your creative side. 

hash-mark9. Roanoke (Population: 100,015)

Roanoke is the last city on our list of the biggest cities in Virginia that is home to over 100,015 residents. It also happens to be named after the lost settlement that was loosely based in the same part of Virginia back when the first group of European settlers came to America. Spooky, right?

Well, there’s no need to be scared in this town. Though this is a city, it definitely has a fairly suburban feel thanks to its many trails and rolling hills. You might also recognize Roanoke for its Mill Mountain Star or Mill Mountain Zoo. Yep, it’s still tourist-friendly.

hash-mark10. Portsmouth (Population: 97,029)

Where to begin with Portsmouth? As the 10th largest city in the state of Virginia by population, Portsmouth has just short of 100,000 people. (97,029, to be precise.) This small city has a lot to offer families who want to have a high-class life without the high-end price tag.

Portsmouth offers plenty of beautiful trails, a decent unemployment rate, and friendly locals. Maybe that’s why most people agree that it’s one of the best places for kids to grow up in.