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Lancaster County, Virginia facts for kids

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Lancaster County
Central Lancaster, the county seat, with the county courthouse visible
Central Lancaster, the county seat, with the county courthouse visible
Map of Virginia highlighting Lancaster 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 1651
Seat Lancaster
Largest town Kilmarnock
 • Total 231 sq mi (600 km2)
 • Land 133 sq mi (340 km2)
 • Water 98 sq mi (250 km2)  42.4%
 • Total 10,919
 • Density 47.27/sq mi (18.25/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Lancaster County is a county located on the Northern Neck in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population sits at 10,919. Its county seat is Lancaster.

Located on the Northern Neck near the mouth of the Rappahannock River, Lancaster County is part of the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace wine-growing region recognized by the United States as an American Viticultural Area. Lancaster County is the most densely populated county in the Northern Neck. The largest town in Lancaster County is Kilmarnock, Virginia. The county's area code is 804.


St marys whitechapel
The historic church of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, in Lancaster County, St. Mary's parish was the birthplace of Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington

Lancaster County was established in 1651 from Northumberland and York counties. It was home to Robert King Carter in the 18th century, and remaining buildings from that time include Christ Church and St. Mary's, Whitechapel. Other historic attractions open to the public include the Lancaster Courthouse Historic District including the Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library, Belle Isle State Park, and the Village of Morattico Historic District.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 231 square miles (600 km2), of which 133 square miles (340 km2) is land and 98 square miles (250 km2) (42.4%) is water.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 5,638
1800 5,375 −4.7%
1810 5,592 4.0%
1820 5,517 −1.3%
1830 4,801 −13.0%
1840 4,628 −3.6%
1850 4,708 1.7%
1860 5,151 9.4%
1870 5,355 4.0%
1880 6,160 15.0%
1890 7,191 16.7%
1900 8,949 24.4%
1910 9,752 9.0%
1920 9,757 0.1%
1930 8,896 −8.8%
1940 8,786 −1.2%
1950 8,640 −1.7%
1960 9,174 6.2%
1970 9,126 −0.5%
1980 10,129 11.0%
1990 10,896 7.6%
2000 11,567 6.2%
2010 11,391 −1.5%
2020 10,919 −4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,567 people, 5,004 households, and 3,412 families residing in the county. The population density was 87 people per square mile (34/km2). There were 6,498 housing units at an average density of 49 per square mile (19/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 69.95% White, 28.88% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,004 households, out of which 21.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.00% under the age of 18, 5.00% from 18 to 24, 19.60% from 25 to 44, 28.00% from 45 to 64, and 28.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 86.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.50 males.

Type of workers for this country are: Private wage or salary (72%); Government (15%); and Self-employed (12%). The median income for a household in the county was $33,239, and the median income for a family was $42,957. Males had a median income of $30,592 versus $23,039 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,663. Approximately 9.90% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.00% of those under age 18 and 11.20% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Outskirts of Lively, in Lancaster County

Other unincorporated communities

Landmarks and attractions

Lancaster County is home to the historic church of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, founded in 1669. Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington, was born in the parish of St. Mary's. Rappahannock General Hospital is in Kilmarnock, it is the only hospital on the Northern Neck. Other attractions are:

  • King Carter Golf Course,
  • Golden Eagle Golf Course,
  • Irvington Steamboat Museum,
  • Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club,
  • The Tides Inn Resort Hotel,
  • White Stone Beach,
  • Windmill Point Beach,
  • Chesapeake Boat Basin Marina,
  • Belle Isle State Park,
  • Chilton Woods State Forest,
  • Kellum Seafood Oyster House,
  • Rappahannock River Yacht Club,
  • Ampro Shipyard,
  • Historic Christ Church,
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