Hampton Roads, also known as “Tidewater Virginia”, encompasses the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA . The area is known for its large military presence, world’s largest natural harbor, shipyards, shipping piers, and miles of waterfront property and beaches. All of which contribute to the diversity and stability of the region’s economy and quality of life. With a population of over 1.7 million, Hampton Roads is the 37th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
The Southside of Hampton Roads consists of the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, while the Peninsula includes the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg. The metro area also includes the five incorporated towns of Claremont, Dendron, Surry, Smithfield and Windsor and the counties of Isle of Wight, Surry, James City, York, Gloucester, Mathews and Currituck in NC.
The region has extensive natural areas, including 26 miles of Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay beaches, the Great Dismal Swamp, numerous state parks, wildlife refuges, botanical gardens, Lake Drummond and miles of waterfront property along the various rivers and waterways. All this plus much more, make Hampton Roads a truly unique and wonderful place to live.
Hampton Roads’ individual cities and counties administer their own K-12 education for their localities. In addition to public education, area residents have many private and religious school options.
Almost 80% of the region’s economy is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, as well as NASA, the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs. The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads.