Richmond (/ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond Region. Richmond was incorporated in 1742 and has been an independent city since 1871.
As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 204,214; in 2016, the population was estimated to be 223,170, making Richmond the fourth-most populous city in Virginia. The Richmond Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,260,029, the third-most populous metro in the state.
Richmond is located at the fall line of the James River, 44 miles (71 km) west of Williamsburg, 66 miles (106 km) east of Charlottesville, 100 miles (160 km) east of Lynchburg and 98 miles (158 km) south of Washington, D.C. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and encircled by Interstate 295 and Virginia State Route 288. Major suburbs include Midlothian to the southwest, Chesterfield to the south, Varina to the southeast, Sandston to the east, Glen Allen to the north and west, Short Pump to the west and Mechanicsville to the northeast.
The site of Richmond had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, and was briefly settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, and in 1610–1611. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780, replacing Williamsburg. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom written by Thomas Jefferson. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the second and permanent capital of the Confederate States of America. The city entered the 20th century with one of the world's first successful electric streetcar systems. The Jackson Ward neighborhood is a national hub of African-American commerce and culture.
Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government, with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area. The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Dominion Energy and WestRock, Fortune 500 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area.
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