Lynchburg is the home of Randolph-Macon Women's College, Lynchburg College, and Liberty University.
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 128.9 km² (49.8 mi²). 127.9 km² (49.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.74% water.
Lynchburg was established by charter in 1786 at the site of Lynch's Ferry on the James River. It was a center of commerce and manufacture in the 19th Century. Chief industries were tobacco and iron and steel. Transportation facilities included the James River and Kanawha Canal and, later, four railroads. In the American Civil War, Lynchburg was approached within 1 mile by the Union forces of General David Hunter as he drove south from the Shenandoah Valley. Hunter was driven back by the forces of Confederate General Jubal Early on June 18, 1864.
As of the census of 2000, there are 65,269 people, 25,477 households, and 15,591 families residing in the city. The population density is 510.2/km² (1,321.5/mi²). There are 27,640 housing units at an average density of 216.1/km² (559.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 66.63% White, 29.70% African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 25,477 households out of which 27.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% are married couples living together, 16.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% are non-families. 32.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 2.92.
In the city the population is spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 79.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $32,234, and the median income for a family is $40,844. Males have a median income of $31,390 versus $22,431 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,263. 15.9% of the population and 12.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 22.4% are under the age of 18 and 10.7% are 65 or older.