Norfolk is the second-most populous city in Hampton Roads Virginia, behind neighboring Virginia Beach. In 2013 the population was estimated to be 246,392 and the median household income was $42,644.
Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, notable for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and also shares land borders with the cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. One of the oldest of the cities in Hampton Roads, Norfolk is considered to be the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region.
The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. The largest Navy base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk along with one of NATO’s two Strategic Command headquarters. The city also has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America’s principal Class I railroads, and regional headquarters for Maersk Line Limited, which manages the world’s largest fleet of US-flag vessels. It is home to Old Dominion University, a dynamic research institution. Bordered by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of river and bayfront properties, including beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. It is linked to its neighbors by an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges and tunnels.