Virginia Beach, a coastal city in southeastern Virginia, is renowned for its beaches, boardwalk, and military presence. With an estimated population of 455,618 in 2022, it stands as the most populated city in the state.
Despite boasting a relatively high median household income of $78,136, Virginia Beach has pockets of poverty and low-income areas. Below, we highlight five of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods, based on the percentage of residents living below the poverty level:
Seatack, a historic neighborhood dating back to the 17th century, was initially established as a settlement for free African Americans. Located near the bustling Oceanfront district, Seatack presents a stark contrast in terms of income and development.
With a poverty rate of 30.6%, nearly four times higher than the city’s average of 7.8%, the median household income in Seatack is just $39,167, less than half of the city median. Furthermore, the neighborhood grapples with a high unemployment rate of 13.9%, while the city average stands at 4.7%.
Bayside encompasses the northern part of the city and is known for its diversity. Comprising several sub-neighborhoods, including Lake Edward, Diamond Springs, and Pembroke Manor, Bayside’s poverty rate of 18.9% is more than double the city average.
The median household income in Bayside is $50,722, roughly two-thirds of the city median, and the neighborhood boasts a relatively low homeownership rate of 40.9%, compared to the citywide rate of 65%.
3. Green Run
Green Run, a suburban neighborhood developed in the 1970s and 1980s, is situated in the central part of the city, close to Lynnhaven Mall and Oceana Naval Air Station. With a poverty rate of 15.8%, twice as high as the city average, Green Run’s median household income is $54,406, around 70% of the city median.
The neighborhood also contends with a higher crime rate, with 38.6 incidents per 1,000 residents compared to the citywide rate of 21.8 per 1,000 residents.
Kempsville, an old and historic neighborhood that was once an independent town in Princess Anne County, is located in the southwestern part of Virginia Beach, near Interstate 64 and Regent University. The neighborhood reports a poverty rate of 14%, nearly twice the city’s average.
The median household income in Kempsville is $58,917, roughly 75% of the city median. Furthermore, educational attainment in the area is relatively low, with only 28.6% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the city’s rate of 38.6%.
5. Princess Anne
Princess Anne, a rural and agricultural neighborhood covering the southernmost part of the city, includes various sub-neighborhoods like Pungo, Blackwater, and Sandbridge. Princess Anne’s poverty rate stands at 13%, higher than the citywide average of 7.8%.
The median household income in Princess Anne is $62,500, approximately 80% of the city median. Additionally, the neighborhood has a lower population density, with 144 people per square mile compared to the city’s density of 1,759 people per square mile.
In conclusion, Virginia Beach offers a mix of attractions and opportunities but also grapples with disparities and challenges. Certain neighborhoods face higher levels of poverty and lower incomes, impacting residents’ quality of life. By addressing these issues, Virginia Beach can work towards becoming a more equitable and prosperous city for all its inhabitants.