Newport News is an independent city located in Virginia. It is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending to its mouth Hampton Roads. The name of Newport News has long been a puzzle to those curious about the origin of place names. To this day nobody really knows how the city got its name.
First settled in the early 17th century, it was an unincorporated town without formal boundaries in Warwick County for over 250 years, until 1896. In 1900, 19,635 people lived in Newport News, Virginia; in 1910, 20,205; in 1920, 35,596; and in 1940, 37,067. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 180,150. A more recent 2005 estimate indicates the city's population has grown to 195,347. In modern times, it is one of Virginia's larger cities.
Among the city's major industries are Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company and the large coal piers supplied by railroad giant CSX Transportation. Miles of the waterfront can be seen by automobiles crossing the James River Bridge and Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. Recovered artifacts from the USS Monitor are displayed at the Mariners' Museum, and American Civil War battle sites near historic Lee Hall and several plantations have been protected along the roads leading to Yorktown and Williamsburg of the Historic Triangle. In July 1989, Newport News City Council adopted via resolution Newport News' official city song, "Newport News," written by native Ronald W. Bell. The song voices the community's links to both the nation's earliest beginnings and its longstanding maritime heritage:
NEWPORT NEWSHarbor of a thousand shipsForger of a nation's fleetGateway to the New WorldWhere ocean and river meetStrength wrought from steelAnd a people's fortitudeSuch is the timeless legacy (chorus)Of a place called Newport NewsNestled in a blessed landGifted with a special viewForever home for ev'ry manWith a spirit proud and true(repeat chorus).
Newport News is located at 37°4'15" North, 76°29'4" West (37.071046, -76.484557).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 308.3 km2 (119.1 mi2). 176.9 km2 (68.3 mi2) of it is land and 131.5 km2 (50.8 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 42.64% water.
Newport News entered a Sister City relationship with Neyagawa, Osaka-fu, Japan in 1982. Newport News has a second sister city in Taizhou which is in the Jiangsu Province in China and possibly in the near future a relationship with Greifswald, Germany.
As of the census of 2000, there are 180,150 people, 69,686 households, and 46,341 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,018.5/km2 (2,637.9/mi2). There are 74,117 housing units at an average density of 419.0/km2 (1,085.3/mi2). The racial makeup of the city is 53.50% White, 39.07% African American, 0.42% Native American, 2.33% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 2.77% from two or more races. 4.22% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 69,686 households out of which 35.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% are married couples living together, 17.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% are non-families. 27.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 3.04.
The age distribution is: 27.5% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $36,597, and the median income for a family is $42,520. Males have a median income of $31,275 versus $22,310 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,843. 13.8% of the population and 11.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.6% of those under the age of 18 and 9.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Newport News is served by two airports. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, located in Newport News, and Norfolk International Airport, in Norfolk, both cater to passengers from Hampton Roads. The primary airport for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The Airport is experiencing a 4th year of record, double-digit growth, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In January, the airport reported having served 1,058,839 passengers. Along with this record growth, there has been increased talk of a possible Newport News-UK direct flight after UK-based Wolseley plc decided to put its North American headquarters in Newport News. Speculation further increased when the news was considered against the backdrop of the Jamestown 2007 commemorations.