Henrico County, situated in Virginia, stands out as one of the state’s wealthiest regions, boasting a median household income of $78,868 in 2021. However, it’s essential to recognize that not all parts of the county share in this prosperity.
Some neighborhoods within the county face higher poverty rates, lower incomes, and diminished home values. In this article, we will delve into the five neighborhoods in Henrico County with the lowest economic indicators, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources.
1. Highland Springs
Highland Springs, located in eastern Henrico County, had a population of 16,673 in 2020. It grapples with a substantial poverty rate of 18.8%, the highest among all census-designated places (CDPs) in the county. The median household income in Highland Springs sits at $44,449, a significant 43.7% lower than the county’s average. The median home value in this neighborhood is $156,900, which is 41.6% less than the county average.
Highland Springs has a historical background as a railroad town and once served as a favored resort for affluent Richmond residents. However, its fortunes waned after World War II, as suburban development shifted elsewhere, leading to contemporary challenges such as crime, unemployment, and a lack of investment.
Montrose, another CDP in eastern Henrico County, housed 7,993 residents in 2020. It contends with an 18.4% poverty rate, making it the second-highest among county CDPs. The median household income in Montrose is $46,250, a significant 41.3% lower than the county’s average, with a median home value of $144,800, which is 46% below the county average.
Montrose was initially a rural farming community that urbanized after World War II. However, it experienced economic decline and social challenges as industries departed and crime rates increased. Montrose has a high percentage of renters (54.4%) and a low percentage of college graduates (12.9%).
3. East Highland Park
East Highland Park, a CDP in north-central Henrico County, counted 15,711 residents in 2020. It grapples with a 17% poverty rate, the third-highest among county CDPs. The median household income in East Highland Park is $47,813, a substantial 39.4% lower than the county’s average. Additionally, the median home value here stands at $153,600, 42.8% lower than the county average.
Developed as a streetcar suburb of Richmond in the early 20th century and annexed by Henrico County in 1970, East Highland Park boasts a diverse population, with a significant African American (64.8%) and Hispanic (17%) presence. It is home to historic landmarks such as the Battery Park Christian Church and the Six Points Innovation Center.
Sandston, situated in southeastern Henrico County, had a population of 8,499 in 2020. It faces a 13% poverty rate, the fourth-highest among county CDPs. The median household income in Sandston is $53,125, 32.7% lower than the county average. The median home value in this neighborhood is $173,400, 35.4% below the county average.
Established as a planned community for workers of the Richmond and Fairfield Railway Company in 1911, Sandston flourished during World War I and World War II. However, it experienced decline and stagnation post-war as transportation and manufacturing shifted elsewhere.
Lakeside, a CDP in northwestern Henrico County, was home to 12,377 residents in 2020. It contends with a 12% poverty rate, ranking fifth-highest among county CDPs. The median household income in Lakeside is $55,833, a substantial 29.2% lower than the county’s average, with a median home value of $198,300, which is 26.2% lower than the county average.
Lakeside emerged as a streetcar suburb of Richmond in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, named after the Jefferson Lakes, a series of artificial lakes created for recreation and irrigation. It boasts a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas and features natural attractions like the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Bryan Park.
Henrico County is a diverse and affluent region in Virginia, but certain areas face economic challenges, including poverty, low income, and diminished home values. These areas, primarily found in the eastern and central parts of the county, have experienced the negative effects of urbanization and industrialization. Nevertheless, they also possess historical and cultural significance and potential for future improvement and revitalization.