An overview of Hampton Roads
With a population of 1.79 million people in 17 localities, Hampton Roads is the second most populated region of Virginia, just behind Northern Virginia. Virginia Beach, with approximately 457,000 residents, is the commonwealth’s biggest city by population, and neighboring Norfolk has the highest density in the region, with 4,467 people per square mile, according to 2020 U.S. Census data.
The region also is a major economic driver, as the home of the Port of Virginia; Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest Navy base; Naval Air Station Oceana, the Navy’s East Coast master jet base; Huntington Ingalls Industries, including its Newport News Shipbuilding division; and the $9.8 billion offshore wind farm being built 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Also underway is the $3.8 billion expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the state’s largest-ever highway project.
As for higher education, the region’s institutions include Christopher Newport University, Regent University, Virginia Wesleyan University, William & Mary, Old Dominion University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, three community colleges and ECPI University, which is headquartered in Virginia Beach.