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Virginia Population by Race and Ethnicity

Virginia, the twelfth-largest U.S. state by population has a racially and ethnically diverse population. As of 2020, White (Non-Hispanic) are the largest group in Virginia. Next comes African Americans followed by the Hispanic or Latino population.

also read about the population of Virginia

Ethnic and Racial Percentage

In 2020, the White alone (non-Hispanic) population was the largest racial or ethnic group in Virginia, comprising 58.6% of the total population. It was followed by the African American population whose share was 18.28%.

Hispanic or Latino was the third largest group at 10.53%. Asian population also has a good percentage in Virginia with a share of 7.07%. Two or more races are at 4.69%.

The ethnic composition of  Virginia is as follows

Race & OriginPopulationPercentage 2020
White (non-Hispanic) alone5,058,36358.6%
Black or African American alone1,578,09018.28%
Hispanic or Latino908,74910.53%
Asian alone610,6127.07%
Two or more races404,9104.69%
Some Other Race alone45,3940.53%
American Indians and Alaska Natives alone19,0800.22%
Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islanders alone6,1950.07%

also read about Religion in Virginia

*US Census recognized five racial categories (White, Black or African American, Asian American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as people of two or more races. It also classified respondents as "Hispanic or Latino" or "Not Hispanic or Latino", identifying Hispanic and Latino as an ethnicity (not a race), which comprises the largest minority group in the nation.

Ancestry in Virginia

As per Census Studies and estimate German, English, Irish and Italians have made the four largest ancestry groups in Virginia. 

In 2020, 10.7% of the population considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of English or Scotch-Irish descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long that they choose to identify as having “American” ancestry or do not know their ancestry. Some of their ancestry dates to the original thirteen colonies.

The Largest Ancestry in Virginia is as follows

6Subsaharan African226,1402.6%
9French (except Basque)133,8441.6%
17West Indian 45,8400.5%
19French Canadian31,3170.4%
European ancestry in Virginia

Non-Hispanic Whites account for nearly 58.6% of Virginia’s population. German, English and Irish Americans have made up three of the largest European ancestry groups in Virginia. As per the Census report, German Americans made up 9.7% of the population and numbered 829,760 members.

English Americans made up 8.7% of the population and numbered 745,594. Irish Americans made up 8.5% of the population and numbered 722,668 followed by Italian ancestry at 3.9% of the population and number 331,430.

For other Europeans ancestry percentage please refer table above.

African Americans in Virginia

The largest minority group in Virginia are Blacks and African Americans, who include about one-fifth of the population. As of 2020, those of African ancestry accounted for 18.28% of Virginia’s population. Most of Virginia’s Black population ancestry is from west-central Africa, primarily Angola, and Nigeria.

A substantial proportion of Virginia’s African American population resides in the metropolitan areas of Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Northern Virginia. Other urban areas, such as Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg, also host significant Black populations. Additionally, there are numerous Black residents living in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas across the state.

Hispanics and Latinos in Virginia

Hispanics and Latinos are the third-largest groups in Virginia. Around 10.53% of Virginia’s Population claims Hispanic or Latin American ethnicity.  56.5% of Latino Virginians are U.S. born (including those from Puerto Rico). Foreign-born Latinos are primarily from El Salvador and Mexico with growing numbers from Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

Asian Americans in Virginia

Asian Americans are a minority group in Virginia. Americans of Asian descent formed 7.07% of the population. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s; the majority are Filipinos, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, and Chinese.

Northern Virginia has a significant population of Vietnamese Americans, whose major wave of immigration followed the Vietnam War. The Filipino American community has about 45,000 in the Hampton Roads area, many of whom have ties to the U.S. Navy and armed forces.

Multi-Race in Virginia

Multiracial individuals are also a visible minority in Virginia. People identifying as multiracial form 4.69% of the population, and number around 404,910 people. 

also read about Counties and Cities in Virginia

Race and Ethnicity in Virginia 2024 | Ancestry in Virginia