Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

North America

According to top-mba-universities, Roanoke, Virginia is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the southwestern part of the state. The city lies at an elevation of 1,400 feet and is surrounded by rolling hills and valleys. Roanoke has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual temperature is around 60°F (15.5°C).

The city was founded in 1852 as Big Lick, and in 1882 it was renamed Roanoke after the river that runs through it. Roanoke has a rich history that includes being an important stop on the Great Wagon Road and later serving as a major railroad hub for the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. The city experienced significant growth during its industrial heyday in the late 1800s and early 1900s when it became known as “Magic City” for its rapid expansion.

Politically, Roanoke is a Democratic stronghold due to its large African-American population and liberal college students who attend nearby Virginia Tech University. In recent years, however, there has been some Republican growth due to a surge in population from areas such as Northern Virginia and Raleigh-Durham.

The economy of Roanoke is largely based on healthcare, education, finance, manufacturing, retail trade, construction, transportation services and government services. It also serves as an important hub for medical care with several hospitals located within city limits including Carilion Clinic Hospital System which serves as one of Virginia’s largest employers with over 8500 employees. Additionally there are many educational institutions ranging from community colleges to universities such as Hollins University which are located nearby offering higher education opportunities to local residents.

Roanoke also boasts many landmarks such as viewing towers located atop Mill Mountain or McAfee Knob which offer breathtaking views of downtown Roanoke or Tinker Cliffs respectively. Other landmarks include The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center which was built in 1882; Oakey’s Funeral Home which dates back to 1888; Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum; Harrison Museum of African American Culture; Valley View Mall; Riverwalk Trail along the banks of the Roanoke River; Taubman Museum of Art; Science Museum of Western Virginia; Mill Mountain Zoo; Explore Park; Green Ridge Recreation Center; Carvins Cove Natural Reserve Park; Wasena Park Skate Park; Elmwood Park Zoo and more!

Population: 94,911. Estimated population in July 2020: 92,631 (-2.4% change)
Males: 44,501 (46.9%), Females: 50,410 (53.1%)

Zip codes: 24011, 24012, 24013, 24014, 24015, 24016, 24017, 24018, 24019, 24020.

Median resident age: 37.6 years
Median household income: $30,719
Median house value: $80,300

Races in Roanoke:

  • White Non-Hispanic (68.8%)
  • Black (26.7%)
  • Two or more races (1.8%)
  • Hispanic (1.5%)
  • Other race (0.7%)
  • American Indian (0.7%)
  • Vietnamese (0.5%)

Ancestries: United States (12.5%), German (9.5%), English (9.1%), Irish (7.9%), Scotch-Irish (2.7%), Italian (1.8%).

Elevation: 940 feet

Land area: 42.9 square miles


Roanoke, Virginia is a vibrant city located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian region. As of 2019, the estimated population of Roanoke is 97,032 people. It is the largest city in western Virginia and is known for its rich history and cultural diversity. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Monacan, Tutelo, Saponi and Catawba nations. In the late 18th century, European settlers began to arrive in Roanoke and establish small farms and businesses. The city experienced rapid growth during the 19th century due to its location along a major railway line. By 1900, Roanoke had become an important industrial center with a diverse population that included African Americans, Native Americans, European immigrants and those from other parts of America.

Today’s Roanoke population reflects its diverse roots; it includes people from various backgrounds including African American (17%), Hispanic (6%), Asian (2%) and Native American (0.6%) communities. Additionally, there are many people who have immigrated to Roanoke from around the world including Mexico, China, India and Vietnam amongst others. The city also has a thriving LGBT community with many bars, restaurants and businesses catering to this demographic group. With so much cultural variety in one place it’s no wonder that Roanoke has become an increasingly popular destination for those seeking to experience all that this vibrant city has to offer!

For population 25 years and over in Roanoke

  • High school or higher: 76.0%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 18.7%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 6.6%
  • Unemployed: 5.8%
  • Mean travel time to work: 19.3 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Roanoke city

  • Never married: 27.4%
  • Now married: 46.0%
  • Separated: 3.5%
  • Widowed: 8.9%
  • Divorced: 14.3%

3.1% Foreign born (1.1% Asia, 1.0% Europe, 0.8% Latin America).

Population change in the 1990s: -1,865 (-1.9%).


Hospital/medical center in Roanoke:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Roanoke:

  • CATAWBA HOSPITAL (about 18 miles; CATAWBA, VA)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Roanoke:

  • ROANOKE REGIONAL/WOODRUM FIELD (about 3 miles; ROANOKE, VA; Abbreviation: ROA)
  • GREENBRIER VALLEY (about 50 miles; LEWISBURG, WV; Abbreviation: LWB)

Other public-use airports nearest to Roanoke:

  • SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE (about 29 miles; MONETA, VA; Abbreviation: W91)
  • VIRGINIA TECH (about 32 miles; BLACKSBURG, VA; Abbreviation: BCB)
  • NEW LONDON (about 44 miles; FOREST, VA; Abbreviation: W90)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/Universities in Roanoke:

  • VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 3,535; Location: 3095 COLONIAL AVE; Public; Website:
  • HOLLINS UNIVERSITY (Full-time enrollment: 911; Location: 7916 WILLIAMSON RD NW; Private, not-for-profit; Website:; Offers Master’s degree)
  • COMMUNITY HOSP OF ROANOKE VALLEY COLL OF HLTH SCI (Full-time enrollment: 432; Location: 920 S JEFFERSON ST; Private, not-for-profit; Website:
  • ECPI TECHNICAL COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 299; Location: 5234 AIRPORT RD; Private, for-profit; Website:
  • DOMINION COLLEGE (Full-time enrollment: 221; Location: 5372 FALLOWATER LN STE B; Private, for-profit; Website:
  • VIRGINIA CAREERS ACADEMY (Full-time enrollment: 92; Location: 3312 WILLIAMSON RD NW; Private, for-profit; Website: [email protected])
  • ATI HOLLYWOOD (Full-time enrollment: 57; Location: 3535 D FRANKLIN RD SW; Private, for-profit; Website: ATIHOLLYWOOD.COM)
  • CARILION ROANOKE MEMORIAL HOSP SCH OF PRACT NURS (Full-time enrollment: 35; Location: PO BOX 13367; Private, not-for-profit; Website:
  • CARILION MEDICAL CENTER SCHOOL OF CLINICAL LAB SCI (Full-time enrollment: 5; Location: BELLEVIEW AND JEFFERSON ST; Private, not-for-profit; Website:

Other colleges/universities with over 2000 students near Roanoke:

  • NATIONAL BUSINESS COLLEGE (about 9 miles; SALEM, VA; Full-time enrollment: 2,382)
  • VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIV (about 29 miles; BLACKSBURG, VA; Full-time enrollment: 25,754)
  • RADFORD UNIVERSITY (about 43 miles; RADFORD, VA; Full-time enrollment: 8,034)
  • WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY (about 49 miles; LEXINGTON, VA; Full-time enrollment: 2,063)
  • NEW RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 52 miles; DUBLIN, VA; Full-time enrollment: 2,262)
  • LIBERTY UNIVERSITY (about 52 miles; LYNCHBURG, VA; Full-time enrollment: 5,348)
  • CONCORD COLLEGE (about 74 miles; ATHENS, WV; Full-time enrollment: 2,723)


Public high schools in Roanoke:

  • PATRICK HENRY HIGH (Students: 1,821; Location: 2102 GRANDIN RD SW; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • WILLIAM FLEMING HIGH (Students: 1,393; Location: 3649 FERNCLIFF AVE NW; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • HIDDEN VALLEY HIGH (Students: 1,040; Location: 5000 TITAN TRAIL; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • NORTHSIDE HIGH (Students: 1,031; Location: 6758 NORTHSIDE HIGH SCH RD; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • CAVE SPRING HIGH (Students: 800; Location: 3712 CHAPARRAL DR SW; Grades: 09 – 12)
  • BLUE RIDGE TECHNICAL ACADEMY (Students: 87; Location: 108 N JEFFERSON ST; Grades: 08 – 12)
  • ROANOKE VALLEY GOV SCH (Location: 2104 GRANDIN RD SW; Grades: 09 – 12)

Private high schools in Roanoke:

  • ROANOKE CATHOLIC SCHOOL (Students: 577; Location: 621 N JEFFERSON STREET; Grades: PK – 12)
  • NORTH CROSS SCHOOL (Students: 571; Location: 4254 COLONIAL AVENUE SW; Grades: PK – 12)

Biggest public primary/middle schools in Roanoke:

  • HIDDEN VALLEY MIDDLE (Students: 848; Location: 4902 HIDDEN VAL SCH RD SW; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • NORTHSIDE MIDDLE (Students: 758; Location: 6810 NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL RD; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • WILLIAM RUFFNER MIDDLE (Students: 627; Location: 3601 FERNCLIFF AVE NW; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • CAVE SPRING MIDDLE (Students: 618; Location: 4880 BRAMBLETON AVE; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • WESTSIDE ELEM. (Students: 599; Location: 1441 WESTSIDE BLVD NW; Grades: PK – 05)
  • CAVE SPRING ELEM. (Students: 577; Location: 5404 SPRINGLAWN AVE SW; Grades: KG – 05)
  • FALLON PARK ELEM. (Students: 553; Location: 502 19TH ST SE; Grades: PK – 05)
  • WOODROW WILSON MIDDLE (Students: 551; Location: 1813 CARTER RD SW; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • JAMES MADISON MIDDLE (Students: 542; Location: 1160 OVERLAND RD SW; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • PENN FOREST ELEM. (Students: 525; Location: 6328 MERRIMAN RD; Grades: KG – 05)

Private primary/middle schools in Roanoke:

  • COMMUNITY SCHOOL (Students: 127; Location: 7815 WILLIAMSON RD; Grades: UG – UG)
  • GRACE ACADEMY (Students: 118; Location: 2731 EDGEWOOD STREET SW; Grades: PK – 5)
  • THE ACHIEVEMENT CENTER (Students: 87; Location: 615 NORTH JEFFERSON STREET; Grades: UG – UG)
  • FIRST WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN SCH (Students: 44; Location: 3706 PETERS CREEK RD NW; Grades: KG – 5)
  • NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Students: 41; Location: 5745 AIRPORT RD; Grades: PK – 5)
  • ROANOKE MONTESSORI SCHOOL (Students: 35; Location: 3379 COLONIAL AVENUE; Grades: PK – 4)
  • ROANOKE ADVENTIST PREPARATORY (Students: 30; Location: 1716 OXFORD AVE; Grades: KG – 8)
  • BLUE RIDGE MONTESSORI SCHL ROA (Students: 22; Location: 4249 APPLETON AVENUE NW; Grades: PK – KG)
  • MONTESSORI CHILDREN’S HOUSE OF (Students: 20; Location: 4523 BRAMBLETON AVENUE SW; Grades: PK – KG)


Libraries in Roanoke:

  • ROANOKE CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $3,342,486; Location: 706 S. JEFFERSON ST.; 326,546 books; 13,165 audio materials; 7,766 video materials; 373 serial subscriptions)
  • ROANOKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $2,262,219; Location: 3131 ELECTRIC ROAD S.W.; 372,866 books; 8,069 audio materials; 9,711 video materials; 963 serial subscriptions)
  • BOTETOURT COUNTY LIBRARY (Operating income: $557,078; Location: 28 AVERY ROW; 88,680 books; 3,872 audio materials; 5,116 video materials; 298 serial subscriptions)

Roanoke, Virginia