What Is The Ethnic Composition Of Virginia?

Virginia has a multicultural population.
Virginia has a multicultural population.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was established in 1607 by the London Company as the first permanent New World English colony. It was among the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against the British in favor of the United States. The population of Virginia is about 8.52 million representing a 6.46% increase since 2010. The figure includes half a million people who migrated into the state from outside the country and 155,000 who moved into the state from within the country. Although Non-Hispanic white remains the largest ethnic group in the state, Virginia also has large populations of varying ethnic groups.

Largest Ethnic Groups in Virginia

Non-Hispanic White - 62%

Non-Hispanic white is the largest ethnic group in the state, but the dominance has declined from 76% in the 1990s to 62% in 2019. White Americans are involved in about 51% of the births in the state, but 49.1% of children below the age of one have at least a parent who is not white. Of the white population, 11% is of German ancestry, 10% American, 9.8% English and a further 9.5% is Irish. The remaining white descend from the other European lineages. Those who identify as of American ancestry are actually of English descent, but their ancestors have been living in North America long enough for them to simply identify as American.

African-American - 20%

African American account for 20% of the population. Most African-Americans in the state are descendants of the Africans who were brought as slaves to work in cotton, tobacco and hemp plantations. However, a large percentage of African Americans have Native American and European ancestry. Virginia has the highest number of black-white interracial marriage in the country but only 2.9% of Virginians identify as biracial because most children born out the relationship identify as African.

Other Minority Groups

Hispanics or Latinos account for 9.5%, Asians make up 7% of the population, while 0.5% of the population identify as Alaska Native or American Indian.


Roughly 86% of Virginians speak English as the primary language, while 6.4% speaks Spanish. About 2% speak Asian languages, predominantly Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Approximately 14% of the population aged above five years speak a different native language other than English. Although Virginia adopted English as the official language of the state in 1981 and 1996, it is not enshrined in the state constitution.


Christianity is the dominant religion in Virginia. The central part of the state is considered to be part of the Bible Belt region. About 58% of the population identify as Protestant, 12% Catholic, and 2% Mormon while 20% of the population does not identify with any specific religion.


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