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Norton, Virginia
Independent city
A view overlooking Norton, Virginia
A view overlooking Norton, Virginia
Official seal of Norton, Virginia
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County None (Independent city)
Founded 1894
Named for Eckstein Norton
 • Total 7.5 sq mi (19 km2)
 • Land 7.5 sq mi (19 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 2,684 ft (818 m)
Population (2015)
 • Total 3,939
 • Density 529/sq mi (204/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 24273
Area code(s) 276
FIPS code 51-57688
GNIS feature ID 1485924

Norton is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,958, making it the least populous city in Virginia, along with the westernmost. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Norton with surrounding Wise County for statistical purposes.


The settlement was originally known as, "Prince's Flats", but in a bid to convince the Union Pacific Railroad to build a depot there, the town was renamed after the current head of the railroad, Mr. Eckstein Norton. Part of the Wilderness Trail blazed by Daniel Boone, and later extensively mapped and settled by Christopher Gest, Norton was a central hub for the timber trade until the coal boom of the 1930-40's.

The Hotel Norton is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Norton is located at 36°56′12″N 82°37′31″W / 36.936805°N 82.625146°W / 36.936805; -82.625146, along the Powell and Guest Rivers. The entire area of Norton lies within the confines of Wise County, but is not a part of the county.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19 km2), virtually all of which is land.

Major highways

  • US 23

  • US 58 Alt.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 654
1910 1,866 185.3%
1920 3,068 64.4%
1930 3,077 0.3%
1940 4,006 30.2%
1950 4,315 7.7%
1960 4,996 15.8%
1970 4,001 −19.9%
1980 4,757 18.9%
1990 4,247 −10.7%
2000 3,904 −8.1%
2010 3,958 1.4%
Est. 2015 3,939 −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2012

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,904 people, 1,730 households, and 1,067 families residing in the city. The population density was 518.5 people per square mile (200.2/km²). There were 1,946 housing units at an average density of 258.4 per square mile (99.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.57% White, 6.15% Black, 0.08% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

There were 1,730 households out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% 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 2.88.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,788, and the median income for a family was $30,889. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $23,229 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,024. About 19.1% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.7% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

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