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Westmoreland County, Virginia facts for kids

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Westmoreland County
Westmoreland County Courthouse in Montross
Westmoreland County Courthouse in Montross
Official seal of Westmoreland County
Map of Virginia highlighting Westmoreland 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
Named for Westmorland
Seat Montross
Largest town Colonial Beach
 • Total 253 sq mi (660 km2)
 • Land 229 sq mi (590 km2)
 • Water 24 sq mi (60 km2)  9.3%
 • Total 18,477
 • Density 73.03/sq mi (28.20/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Westmoreland County is a county located in the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population sits at 18,477. Its county seat is Montross.


Nomini Hall Westmoreland County Virginia
Nomini Hall, Carter family plantation in Westmoreland County. Built in 1730 by Robert Carter II on land purchased from heirs of Nicholas Spencer by Robert "King" Carter

As originally established by the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses, it was separated out of Northumberland County in 1653, and the territory of Westmoreland County encompassed much of what later became the various counties and cities of Northern Virginia, including the city of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Prince William County. These were part of Westmoreland until 1664, when Stafford County was formed.

Westmoreland County was the birthplace of George Washington, the first President of the United States (at the former settlement of Bridges Creek, Virginia); of James Monroe, the fifth President; and of General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate armies.

The county was the place of residence for Colonel Nicholas Spencer (1633-1689), who patented the land at Mount Vernon in 1674 with his friend Lt. Col. John Washington, ancestor of George Washington. Spencer, who served as President of the Council and acting Governor of the Colony of Virginia, was the cousin of, and agent for, the Barons Colepeper, proprietors of the Northern Neck. Spencer lived at his plantation, Nomini, which his descendants later sold to Robert Carter I. Robert Carter's grandson, Robert Carter III, voluntarily freed almost 500 slaves from Nomini Hall beginning in 1791 and settled many on lands he gave them. His manumission is the largest known release of slaves in North America prior to the American Civil War and the largest number ever manumitted by an individual in the U.S.


Westmoreland County water tower
Rural Westmoreland County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 253 square miles (660 km2), of which 229 square miles (590 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (9.3%) is water. The county is located on the Northern Neck and is part of the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA winemaking appellation.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 6,901
1830 8,396 21.7%
1840 8,019 −4.5%
1850 8,080 0.8%
1860 8,282 2.5%
1870 7,682 −7.2%
1880 8,846 15.2%
1890 8,399 −5.1%
1900 9,243 10.0%
1910 9,313 0.8%
1920 10,240 10.0%
1930 8,497 −17.0%
1940 9,512 11.9%
1950 10,148 6.7%
1960 11,042 8.8%
1970 12,142 10.0%
1980 14,041 15.6%
1990 15,480 10.2%
2000 16,718 8.0%
2010 17,454 4.4%
2020 18,477 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Westmoreland County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 11,087 11,758 63.52% 63.64%
Black or African American alone (NH) 4,855 4,470 27.82% 24.19%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 64 67 0.37% 0.36%
Asian alone (NH) 91 146 0.52% 0.79%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 3 11 0.02% 0.06%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 14 68 0.08% 0.37%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 338 908 1.94% 4.91%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,002 1,049 5.74% 5.68%
Total 17,454 18,477 100.00% 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.




The county's economy is largely based on agriculture. Tourism is another significant economic driver, related to historical sites such as George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Robert E. Lee's birthplace, Stratford Hall Plantation, and the Westmoreland County Museum as well as gambling activities available in Colonial Beach. The county is also an extended exurb of Washington, D.C.

Northern Neck Coca-Cola Bottling Inc. (makers of Northern Neck Ginger Ale) and the weekly Westmoreland News are located in Montross.

Notable residents

Stratford Hall .entrance Westmoreland Virginia
View of the main facade, Stratford Hall, ancestral home of the Lee family of Virginia, Westmoreland County

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Westmoreland (Virginia) para niños

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