How Do You Read a Map of Counties in Virginia?


Quick Answer

A Virginia county map defines all counties visually by colors and boundaries; the Virginia county maps available from sources such as Geology.com, Digital Topo Maps and the United States Census Bureau provide keys to independent cities in Virginia, considered county equivalents for census purposes. For example, to read the United States Census Bureau map, locate the number for each independent city in the key and then find the corresponding number's location on the map.

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Full Answer

Both Geology.com and Digital Topo Maps provide a map of the county boundaries superimposed over a satellite image of Virginia. Both sources also provide a full listing of the counties in Virginia, with information such as the county population, number of housing units, the county seat and the area of the county in square miles. Several counties and cities have the same name, but are separate political entities, such as Franklin, Richmond, Roanoke and Fairfax.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has 95 counties and 38 independent cities. As of 2015, the official United States Census Bureau map of Virginia's counties does not reflect the fact that both Bedford and Clifton Forge are now towns and no longer independent cities. In Virginia, towns are part of counties while cities and counties have co-equal levels of government, though some county seats are not a part of the county they serve.

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