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Henrico County, Virginia facts for kids

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Henrico County, Virginia
Seal of Henrico County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Henrico County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the USA highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1634
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

245 sq mi (635 km²)
237.65 sq mi (616 km²)
7.35 sq mi (19 km²), 3% (approx)
 - (2015)
 - Density

1,334/sq mi (515/km²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Named for: Citie of Henricus
County flag Flag of Henrico County, Virginia

Henrico County (formerly Henrico Shire) /hɛnˈrk/, officially the County of Henrico, is in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 306,935. In 2015, the population was estimated to be 320,717, making it the fifth-most populous county in Virginia and the sixth-most populous county-equivalent in Virginia. Henrico County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

Named after the Citie of Henricus, Henrico became one of the eight original Shires of Virginia in 1634. It is one of the oldest counties in the United States. The City of Richmond was officially part of Henrico County until 1842, when it became a fully independent city.

The present-day Henrico County curves around the City of Richmond, surrounding it to the west, the north, and the east. The county is bounded by the Chickahominy River to the north and the James River and Richmond to the south.

Richmond International Raceway is in the central portion of Henrico County near Mechanicsville, just north of the Richmond city limits. Additionally, Richmond International Airport is located in the eastern portion of Henrico County in Sandston. Top private employers in the county include Capital One, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, and Anthem.


In 1611, Thomas Dale founded the Citie of Henricus on a peninsula in the James River that is now called Farrar's Island. Henricus was named for Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales and was destroyed during the Indian massacre of 1622.

In 1634, Henrico Shire became one of the eight original Shires of Virginia established by the British in the Virginia Colony. Since then, 10 counties and 3 independent cities have been formed from the original territory of Henrico Shire.

County/City Year Founded
Goochland County 1728
Albemarle County 1744
Chesterfield County 1749
Cumberland County 1749
Amherst County 1761
Buckingham County 1761
Fluvanna County 1777
Powhatan County 1777
Nelson County 1807
City of Richmond 1842
Appomattox County (part) 1845
City of Charlottesville 1888
City of Colonial Heights 1948

Since becoming independent in 1842, the City of Richmond has successfully annexed portions of Henrico five times. Chesterfield County annexed the site of Henricus in 1922.

Richmond attempted to completely merge with Henrico in 1961, but 61% of the votes in a referendum in Henrico voted against the merger. In 1965, Richmond attempted to annex 145 square miles of Henrico County. However, after a lengthy court battle, the city was only given permission to annex 17 square miles. Since the city would have had to reimburse Henrico a hefty $55 million, Richmond opted to not annex the 17 square miles.

In 1981, the Virginia General Assembly placed a moratorium on all annexations throughout the state. Henrico's borders have not changed since Richmond's 1942 annex.

County seat

The original county seat was at Varina, at the Varina Farms plantation across the James River from Henricus. John Rolfe built this plantation, where he lived with his wife, Pocahontas. Henrico's government was located at Varina from around 1640 until 1752.

In 1752, Henrico relocated its seat to a more central location inside the city Richmond between Church Hill and what is now Tobacco Row. The county seat remained at 22nd and Main St in Richmond even after the city's government became fully independent of the county in 1842. It was not until 1974 when the county moved out of the Old Henrico County Courthouse to a complex in the western portion of the county at the intersection of Parham Road and Hungary Springs Road in Laurel.

In addition to the 1974 complex, in 1988 the county opened its Eastern Government Center to be more convenient to county residents in the Eastern portion of the county. It is located on Nine Mile Road.

American Civil War battle sites

Malvern Cannons , Civil War Battlefield, RIchmond National Battlefield - Stierch
Cannons at the site of the Battle of Malvern Hill

During the Civil War, in 1862 Henrico County was the site of the following numerous battles during the Peninsula Campaign:

  • Seven Pines,
  • Savage's Station,
  • Oak Grove,
  • Garnett's and Golding's Farms,
  • White Oak Swamp,
  • Glendale, and
  • Malvern Hill.

Additional significant battles took place in 1864 during the Overland Campaign prior to and during the Siege of Petersburg, which led to the fall of Richmond. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded in Henrico County at the Battle of Yellow Tavern on May 12, 1864.


Henrico County is one of only two counties in Virginia that maintains its own roads, with the other being Arlington County. This special status was due to the existence of county highway departments prior to the creation of the state agency that is now VDOT in 1927, and the assumption of local roads in most counties by that agency in 1932. (Henrico and Arlington were grandfathered and allowed to continue pre-existing arrangements.) The control of the roads system is considered a powerful advantage for community urban planners, who can require developers to contribute to funding needed for road needs serving the planners' projects.

Henrico County is the site of Richmond International Airport. It also hosts an Amtrak rail passenger station and purchases public bus route services from Greater Richmond Transit Company, an FTA-funded public service company that is owned equally by the City of Richmond and neighboring Chesterfield County.

Some old roads continue to be in use today, such as Horsepen Rd., Three Chopt Rd., and Quiocassin Rd.

Interstate highways include:

Other major highways include:

  • US 1 (Brook Road)
  • US 33 (Staples Mill Road)
  • US 60 (Williamsburg Road)
  • US 250 (Broad Street)
  • US 301 (Chamberlayne Road)
  • US 360 (Mechanicsville Turnpike)

As well as:

  • SR 2 (Chamberlayne Road)
  • SR 5 (Old Osborne Turnpike, New Market Road)
  • SR 6 (Patterson Avenue)
  • SR 33 (Nine Mile Road, Williamsburg Road)
  • SR 73 (Parham Road (between I-95 and US 1))
  • SR 147 (River Road, Huguenot Road)
  • SR 150 (Chippenham Parkway)
  • SR 156 (New Market Road, Willis Church Road, Charles City Road, Elko Road, Williamsburg Road, Airport Drive)
  • SR 157 (Springfield Road, Pemberton Road, Quioccasin Road, Gaskins Road)
  • SR 161 (Lakeside Avenue, Hilliard Road)
  • SR 197 (Westwood Avenue)
  • SR 271 (Pouncey Tract Road)
  • SR 356 (Hilliard Road)
  • SR 895 (Pocahontas Parkway)


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 245 square miles (630 km2), of which 234 square miles (610 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (4.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Richmond National Battlefield Park (part)


Henrico County is located in the Humid Subtropical Climate Zone and has hot and humid summers with moderately cold winters. Henrico County on average has 8 snow days. Henrico County has 68 days when the low falls below freezing, 50 days when the high exceeds 90 degrees, 8 days when the high does not exceed freezing.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Avg
Hi 45 49 58 69 77 84 87 86 80 70 60 49 67.8
Lo 24 27 34 43 52 61 65 64 57 45 36 28 44.6



Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 12,000
1800 14,886 24.1%
1810 19,680 32.2%
1820 23,667 20.3%
1830 28,797 21.7%
1840 33,076 14.9%
1850 43,572 31.7%
1860 61,616 41.4%
1870 66,179 7.4%
1880 82,703 25.0%
1890 103,394 25.0%
1900 30,062 −70.9%
1910 23,437 −22.0%
1920 18,972 −19.1%
1930 30,310 59.8%
1940 41,960 38.4%
1950 57,340 36.7%
1960 117,339 104.6%
1970 154,364 31.6%
1980 180,735 17.1%
1990 217,881 20.6%
2000 262,300 20.4%
2010 306,935 17.0%
Est. 2015 325,155 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
2014 Estimate

As of the census of 2000, there were 262,300 people, 108,121 households, and 69,846 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,102 people per square mile (425/km²). There were 112,570 housing units at an average density of 473 per square mile (183/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 61.3% (194,304) White, 21.76% (68,973) Black or African American, 0.35% (1109) Native American, 8.51% (26,974) Asian, 0.03% (95) Pacific Islander, 0.98% (3106) from other races, and 1.42% (4,501) from two or more races. About 6.0% (19,018) of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 1.87% (5,940) of the population is Arab American, which is categorized as White in the US Census.

The largest ancestry groups in Henrico County are: Black or African American (25%), English American (14%), German (11%), Irish (10%) and Italian (4%)

There were 108,121 households out of which 31.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.30% were married couples living together, 13.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.40% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 32.90% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,114 and the median income for a family was $75,140. Males had a median income of $40,203 versus $29,795 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,410. About 4.50% of families and 6.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.10% of those under age 18 and 4.50% of those age 65 or over.


There are no existing incorporated towns, and no new municipalities can be created within the county. Henrico was the third Virginia county (after Arlington and Fairfax counties) to be affected by a state law that prohibits the creation of any new towns or cities within the boundaries of a county with a population density of 1,000 or more per square mile.

Census-designated places

Other communities

Former towns

Prior to 1870, the Town and later City of Richmond was located within Henrico County. Under a new Virginia state constitution in 1870, and as further clarified by rewritten one in 1902, Richmond became an independent city.

At the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century, several small incorporated towns were chartered by Acts of Assembly, primarily in areas of the county near to, but outside of, the city limits. As listed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, these included:

  • Barton Heights, incorporated 1896, annexed by the City of Richmond in 1914.
  • Fairmount, incorporated 1902, annexed by the City of Richmond in 1914.
  • Ginter Park, annexed by the City of Richmond.
  • Highland Park, annexed by the City of Richmond in 1914.
  • North Richmond, annexed by the City of Richmond.


For many years, the United States Postal Service considered most of Henrico County to be unincorporated Richmond, and the majority of locations in the county had a Richmond address. However, in 2008 county residents won the right to recognize Henrico County as the locality to which they pay the majority of their taxes. As of October 1, 2008, the primary mailing address for the majority of the county was officially changed to Henrico. It was estimated that the county would recover $5 million in misdirected tax dollars due to the address change. This move has set a precedent causing many other localities in Virginia who are officially recognized by the United States Postal Service as the nearest major city to consider petitioning the United States Postal Service for their own official mailing address bearing the name of the locality to which residents actually pay their taxes.

Henrico County is the location of Richmond International Raceway, home to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races twice a year.

Henrico County is the county that handles hazardous material spills and related problems (with three HAZMAT Teams) for the entire Central Virginia Region. Partly because of this, Central Virginia has total interoperability of Emergency Communications (Police, Fire, Recreation and Parks, Volunteer Rescue Squads, etc.) between the cities and more than ten counties.

Henrico County has the highest bond rating (Triple, triple-A) from the three bond rating agencies in the United States, which means Henrico is known nationwide for its solid fiscal responsibility.

Henrico County residents are served by the Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services, which has a CARF three-year accreditation. All fees for services rendered are based on financial need, providing mental health and recovery support services to thousands who otherwise would not be able to afford this due to their own limited financial resources. Nobody is denied service due to an inability to pay.

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