Norfolk (/nrfk/ (listen) NOR-fuk) is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Incorporated in 1705, it had a population of 238,005 at the 2020 census, making it the third-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, and the 94th-largest city in the nation.
Norfolk holds a strategic position as the historical, urban, financial, and cultural center of the Hampton Roads region, which has more than 1.8 million inhabitants and is the thirty-third largest Metropolitan Statistical area in the United States. Officially known as Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA, the Hampton Roads region is sometimes called "Tidewater" and "Coastal Virginia"/"COVA," although these are broader terms that also include Virginia's Eastern Shore and entire coastal plain. Named for the eponymous natural harbor at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads has ten cities, including Norfolk; seven counties in Virginia; and two counties in North Carolina.
Bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay, the city shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. With coastline along multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, including beaches on the Chesapeake Bay.
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