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Accomack County, Virginia facts for kids

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Accomack County
Accomack County Courthouse
Accomack County Courthouse
Official seal of Accomack County
Map of Virginia highlighting Accomack County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Virginia
Founded 1671
Seat Accomac
Largest town Chincoteague
 • Total 1,310 sq mi (3,400 km2)
 • Land 450 sq mi (1,200 km2)
 • Water 861 sq mi (2,230 km2)  65.7%
 • Total 33,413
 • Density 25.51/sq mi (9.85/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Accomack County is a United States county located in the eastern edge of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Together, Accomack and Northampton counties make up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which in turn is part of the Delmarva Peninsula, bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The Accomack county seat is the town of Accomac.

The Eastern Shore of Virginia was known as "Accomac Shire," until it was renamed Northampton County in 1642. The present Accomack County was created from Northampton County in 1663. The county and the original shire were named for the Accawmack Indians, who resided in the area when the English first explored it in 1603.

As of the 2020 census, the total population was 33,413 people. The population of Accomack has remained relatively stable over the last century, though Accomack is one of the poorest parts of Virginia.


Notice! Persons desiring to establish Supply Stores in the Counties of Accomac and Northampton, Va. Drummondtown, Virginia, 1864
Notice to persons "desiring to establish supply stores" in Accomac and Northampton Counties, Virginia, September 19, 1864

Members of an English voyage of exploration landed in the area in 1603, four years before the founding of the Jamestown Colony. Captain John Smith visited the region in 1608. The Accawmacke nation at the time numbered around 2000, and were governed by Debedeavon, a paramount chief called by the English the "Laughing King". He became a staunch ally of the English newcomers, granting them several large areas for their own use.

Accomac Shire was established in 1634 as one of the eight original shires of Virginia. The name comes from the native word Accawmack, which meant "on the other side". In 1642 the name was changed to Northampton, following a policy of eliminating "heathen names". Northampton was divided into two counties in 1663. The northern adopted the original name, while the south remained Northampton. In 1940, the General Assembly officially added a "k" to the end of the county's name to arrive at its current spelling. The name of "Accomack County" first appeared in the Decisions of the United States Board on Geographical Names in 1943.

In 1670, the Virginia Colony's Royal Governor William Berkeley abolished Accomac County, but the Virginia General Assembly re-created it in 1671.

Unlike most of Virginia, during the Civil War, the county was not under Confederate control, but held by the forces of the United States government.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,310 square miles (3,400 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 861 square miles (2,230 km2) (65.7%) is water. It is the largest county in Virginia by total area.

The state of Delaware is roughly 36 miles (58 km) away from the Virginia and Maryland state-line in Greenbackville.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 13,959
1800 15,693 12.4%
1810 15,743 0.3%
1820 15,966 1.4%
1830 16,656 4.3%
1840 17,096 2.6%
1850 17,890 4.6%
1860 18,586 3.9%
1870 20,409 9.8%
1880 24,408 19.6%
1890 27,277 11.8%
1900 32,570 19.4%
1910 36,650 12.5%
1920 34,795 −5.1%
1930 35,854 3.0%
1940 33,030 −7.9%
1950 33,832 2.4%
1960 30,635 −9.4%
1970 29,004 −5.3%
1980 31,268 7.8%
1990 31,703 1.4%
2000 38,305 20.8%
2010 33,164 −13.4%
2020 33,413 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Accomack County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 20,266 19,825 61.11% 59.33%
Black or African American alone (NH) 9,253 8,639 27.90% 25.86%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 97 65 0.29% 0.19%
Asian alone (NH) 177 249 0.53% 0.75%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 34 1 0.10% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 44 99 0.13% 0.30%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 443 1,105 1.34% 3.31%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,850 3,430 8.59% 10.27%
Total 33,164 33,413 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 33,164 people, 15,299 households, and 10,388 families residing in the county. The population density was 84 people per square mile (32/km2). There were 19,550 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile (17/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 65.3% White, 28.1% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. 8.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Black or African American (28%), English American (15%), German (9%), Irish (9%) and Mexican (4%).

There were 15,299 households, out of which 28.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.20% were married couples living together, 14.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 27.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

Accomack and adjacent Northampton County are the two poorest counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



  • Accomack County Airport

Major highways

  • US 13

  • US 13 Bus.
  • SR 175
  • SR 176
  • SR 178
  • SR 179
  • SR 180
  • SR 182
  • SR 187
  • SR 316



Census Designated Places


The county is served by Accomack County Public Schools.

High schools and K-12 schools in this district are:

  • Arcadia High School
  • Chincoteague High School
  • Nandua High School
  • Tangier Combined School

Eastern Shore Community College is located in Melfa.

Notable people

  • William Anderson, born in Accomack County, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Thomas Evans, (c.1755–1815), born in Accomack County, United States Congressman from Virginia
  • Lucy Virginia French (1825-1881), writer
  • George T. Garrison, (1835–1889), born in Accomack County, member of Virginia state legislature and United States Congressman from Virginia
  • James Hamilton, (c.1710–1783), born in Accomack County, lawyer and mayor of Philadelphia
  • James Henry, (1731–1804), born in Accomack County, lawyer and delegate to the Continental Congress
  • Ralph Northam, (1957-), born and raised in Accomack County, 73rd Governor of Virginia
  • David P. Weber (? -), resident of Accomack County, lawyer, professor and forensic accountant, who was a prominent whistleblower in the Bernard L. Madoff misconduct and Chinese Espionage matters
  • Henry A. Wise, (1806–1876), Minister to Brazil, Governor of Virginia and Confederate General

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Accomack para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American activists
Mary McLeod Bethune
Alberta Odell Jones
Audre Lorde
John Berry Meachum
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