Richmond-Petersburg (also known as the Greater Richmond Region) is a region located in a central part of the state of Virginia in the United States. As of 2007, it had a population of 1,212,977 making it the 43rd largest MSA in the country. It straddles the fall line, the meeting zone of the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont on the James River at Richmond and the Appomattox River at Petersburg, each of which were established as ports in the 17th century.

From 2000 to 2006, the Greater Richmond metro area experienced continuous population growth adding about 100,000 residents, a growth of nearly 9 percent [ [ Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006 ] ] .

Richmond, VA MSA is a U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in Virginia as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as of June, 2003. Currently, the area covered by the MSA coincides precisely with the Richmond-Petersburg region of Virginia.

Political subdivisions and communities

Independent cities

Since a state constitutional change in 1871, all cities in Virginia are independent cities and they are not legally located in any county. The OMB considers these independent cities to be county-equivalents for the purpose of defining MSAs in Virginia. Each MSA is listed by its counties, then cities, each in alphabetical order, and not by size.

The area is composed of four independent cities (listed in order of population):
*Colonial Heights

The three smaller cities (Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights) are located near each other in an area south of Richmond, and are known collectively as the "tri-cities."


* Charles City
* Chesterfield
* Dinwiddie
* Goochland
* Hanover
* Henrico
* New Kent
* Powhatan
* Prince George

Additional counties (cities) within Metropolitan Statistical Area

These counties (cities) are parts of the Richmond, MSA dictated by the OMB.

*Amelia County
*Caroline County
*Cumberland County
*King and Queen County
*King William County
*Louisa County
*Sussex County

Incorporated towns

*Town of Ashland (located in Hanover County)

Unincorporated towns and communities

The Richmond-Petersburg metropolitan area includes many unincorporated towns and communities.

"NOTE: this is only a partial listing"
*Bon Air
*Fair Oaks
*Glen Allen
*Highland Springs
*New Bohemia
*Prince George
*Short Pump
*Soloman's Store


The Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which includes 3 other cities (Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights), and adjacent counties is home to approximately 1,212,977 Virginians (July 1, 2007 US Census Bureau population estimate [ [ Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas ] ] ).

The region is located approximately equidistant from Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Lynchburg. The area is home to the state's center of gravity of population—which, in 1980, was located thirty miles west of Richmond near the Powhatan-Goochland County border.


The area benefits from an excellent position in reference to the state's transportation network.

Interstate Highways and freeways

Several of the most heavily traveled highways in the state transverse the area, which includes the junctions of Interstate 64 (which runs east-west), and Interstate Highways 85 and 95 (which run north-south). The area is also served by a comprehensive network of Interstate bypasses and spurs, and several non-interstate expressways. Several of these local roads are funded by tolls, although tolls have long-been been removed from the area's first limited access highway, the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, which opened in 1958, and now forms a portion of I-95 and I-85. I-295 opened in 1992, was the last segment of Virginia's interstate system and forms an eastern bypass of Richmond and Petersburg.

Rail, seaport, and airport facilities

The Richmond-Petersburg region is also located along several major rail lines operated by CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway.

The area has three passenger stations served by Amtrak. The Department of Rail and Public Transportation of the State of Virginia has studies underway for extending high speed passenger rail service to the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads areas with a rail connection at Richmond to service along both the Northeast Corridor and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor. [] .

Another project, known as Transdominion Express, would extend from Richmond west to Lynchburg and from Washington, DC (Alexandria) south via an existing Virginia Railway Express route to Manassas, extending on south to Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Bristol on the Tennessee border. []

An international deepwater terminal is located at the Port of Richmond on the James River which is navigable for shipping to Hampton Roads and the Atlantic Ocean. Richmond International Airport is located in Henrico County.


The applicable Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Richmond-Petersburg region is the Richmond, VA MSA, which as of 2006 is identical to the region defined in this article. The Richmond MSA provides employment for a total of approximately 472,000 workers. In order of the number of workers, the major employment categories of the region are services; retail trade; manufacturing; state government; finance, insurance and real estate; local government; construction; wholesale trade; transportation and public utilities and federal government. Within the manufacturing category of some 63,700 employees, the largest category of workers is in the tobacco industry. Other important manufacturing categories are chemicals, printing and publishing, paper, and wood manufactures.

This economic diversity, which is typical of the entire Richmond-Petersburg region, helps to insulate it from hardship due to economic fluctuation in particular sectors of the economy. The region's central location also allows it to benefit from growth in other regions of Virginia and the state as a whole.

ee also

*List of U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in Virginia


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