What Is the Capital of Virginia?

Richmond, the capital city of Virginia.
Richmond, the capital city of Virginia.

The capital of the state of Virginia is Richmond, which was founded in 1737 by "The Father of Richmond" also known as William Byrd II. Richmond is the third city to be the state capital of the Virginia Commonwealth; it was preceded by Jamestown and Williamsburg. Like many cities in Virginia, Richmond is a free city, meaning it is not politically part of any county, even though it is located within a county. Richmond gained its status as a free city in 1871; it became the capital of Virginia in 1780. The city is located at an altitude of 167 feet above sea level, and it has an estimated population of 233,170 and covers an area of 62.5 square miles in size.

History of Richmond

In April 1607, the first English speakers settled in Jamestown in Virginia who were explorers led by Captain Christopher Newport and later moved up the James River to a new settlement in the area which is the present day Richmond.In 1737, William Byrd II requested Major William Mayo to design the town grid, and he named the city Richmond after the Richmond town in England near London. The reason was that the view of James River was similar to the view of River Thames on Richmond Hill in the UK. Byrd had spent time in England when he was a youth. The settlement that was laid down was later incorporated as a town in 1742.


The population in Richmond is predominantly African American who constitutes about 44% of the population, Caucasians form 44% of the population while those reporting a mixed origin form 3.46%, and Asians make up 2.25% of the population. The population in Richmond is relatively young with the median age being approximately 33 years, and 55% of the males and 49% of the females in the area have never been married.


The racial diversity is reflected in the cuisine in Richmond. The food is a mix of African-American, Asian and South American cuisines. Richmond and other parts of Virginia have its own tradition, which includes Smithfield ham, which is called Virginian ham. It is a unique country ham which receives protection from the law of the state. Barbecue Richmond and the while of Virginia is the same as the North Carolina’s barbecue. The barbecue is primarily made from pork and vinegar based sauce. There is the famous marble cake, the shoofly pie, fried peaches, which is simmered in butter with brown sugar and served with vanilla ice. Richmond was voted one of the places to travel for food by the National Geographic Traveler in 2016. The city has an array of spots to have a bite that ranges from casual for the usual fast food such as cookout, Chick A Fil, Fire Gus among others. The Italian specialties are served at Sub Rosa, Mama Zu, and Edo Squid. Sub Rosa also serves French pastry as well.


The population in Metro Richmond stands at 1,272,600, and the major industries include technology, Bio-sciences, and financial services. The median household income is $62,898, and the gross GDP is $77.8 billion, and the unemployment rate is 3.9%. According to Forbes, Richmond has ranked the 49th best places for business and careers. The economy of Richmond is driven by government, finance, and Law including banking, and legal firms in the downtown region. Richmond is home to the great Turning Basin for boats, the only triple crossing rail lines in the world and the intersection of two main interstates. Richmond is a strong manufacturing hub boasting of having Philip Morris, the tobacco manufacturing firm. There is also an influx of semiconductor firms in the area that has boosted the economy of Richmond.


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