The current city was formed in 1963, when the resort town of Virginia Beach absorbed the former Princess Anne County and reorganized as the City of Virginia Beach. It recently received major media attention when it hosted the first trial of accused Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad.
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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,288.1 km² (497.3 mi²). 643.1 km² (248.3 mi²) of it is land and 645.0 km² (249.0 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 50.07% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 425,257 people, 154,455 households, and 110,898 families residing in the city. The population density is 661.3/km² (1,712.7/mi²). There are 162,277 housing units at an average density of 252.3/km² (653.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 71.41% White, 18.95% African American, 0.38% Native American, 4.91% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 1.51% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. 4.18% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 154,455 households out of which 38.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% are married couples living together, 12.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% are non-families. 20.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.70 and the average family size is 3.14.
The age distribution is: 27.5% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $48,705, and the median income for a family is $53,242. Males have a median income of $33,756 versus $25,979 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,365. 6.5% of the population and 5.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.6% are under the age of 18 and 4.7% are 65 or older.