MSA Description and Data
Hampton Roads, named for Southeastern Virginia’s famous harbor, is the nation’s 34th largest market and the largest metropolitan area between Washington DC and Atlanta.
As of 2009, the Virginia Beach–Norfolk–Newport News Metropolitan Statistical Area is home to approximately 1.7 million people.
The accompanying Map shows the sixteen cities and counties that belong to the Hampton Roads Planning District. The MSA includes all of these as well as Mathews County and Currituck County in North Carolina, but it excludes Southampton County and Franklin.
This Southeastern corner of Virginia has two main parts:
The Virginia Peninsula, the section north of the James River, includes:
Cities: Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Poquoson
Counties: York, James City, Gloucester, Mathews
Tidewater or South Hampton Roads, the section south of the James River, includes:
Cities: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Franklin
Counties: Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry
All of the above Virginia localities, except Mathews County, are members of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and Hampton Roads Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Virginia structure of local government is unique in the United States, as its cities and counties are completely separate from each other.