Norfolk is Virginia’s second largest incorporated city. Located in the Hampton Roads region, Norfolk is one of nine cities and seven counties that make up the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads, Norfolk is the region’s historic, urban, financial, and cultural center.
As of 2000, Norfolk’s population was 234,403. In Norfolk, 48.36% of the residents are White, 44.11% are African American, 0.46% are Native American, 2.81% are Asian, 0.11% are Pacific Islander, 1.67% are from other races, 2.48% are multiracial, and 3.8% are Hispanic.
The median income for a household in Norfolk is $31,815 while the median income for a Norfolk family is $36,891. The per capita income for Norfolk is $17,372, and 15.5% of families and 19.4% of the Norfolk population live below the poverty line.
Norfolk’s deep-water channels serve as a major trade artery for the exchange of goods from across the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, and throughout the world. Norfolk is also a major military center, particularly for the Navy because of its vast waterways. The United States Navy set up Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station in the northwest corner of Norfolk. Norfolk houses several shipbuilding and ship repair businesses, which contract mostly with the naval base, but some private commercial repairs take place as well. Norfolk is also home to many cargo ports, which are the second largest and most important industry for the Norfolk area. Norfolk has also added a cruise ship pier in its downtown area.