Blacksburg, Virginia

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Blacksburg, Virginia

Introduction to Blacksburg, Virginia

Blacksburg is a Virginia town located in the county of Montgomery. Sitting approximately 45 miles southwest of the city of Roanoke to which it is connected by Interstate 81, Blacksburg is Virginia's largest town. The town's principal asset and dominant presence is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (better known as Virginia Tech), the state's largest university.

Incorporated as a town in 1871, Blacksburg was named for William Black, the original owner of the 38-acre tract on which the town was founded in 1798. The year 1872 saw the founding of a land-grant college named Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, which would later become Virginia Tech. As the years progressed, the development of the town of Blacksburg closely paralleled the growth and expansion of the university, which gradually evolved from an agricultural/military institution into a comprehensive research university with the largest full-time student population in Virginia. Today, Blacksburg is home to such major technological entities as the Corporate Research Center and Blacksburg Industrial Park, owing in large part to the presence of Virginia Tech within its boundaries.

Things to do in Blacksburg

Following is a list of some of the Blacksburg area's notable historic, cultural, and recreational attractions:

  • Peters Mountain Wilderness: 3,328 acres on the crest of Peters Mountain that features breathtaking views of the countryside
  • Mountain Lake Wilderness: An 11,113 acre wilderness which is the largest in the Jefferson National Forest
  • Historic Smithfield: Historic home of Revolutionary War patriot William Preston
  • Virginia Tech Geosciences Museum: Features an extensive mineral collection, gemstones, fossils, and area mining history exhibits
  • Cascades National Recreation Trail: Features hiking and trout fishing in the Little Stony Creek
  • Pandapas Pond: Man-made pond offering excellent warm water fishing and canoeing
  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Follows the Appalachian Mountain chain and features many kinds of wildlife and brilliant fall foliage
  • Claytor Lake State Park: Offers camping, fishing, hiking, swimming, boating, and picnicking
  • Blacksburg Skate Park
  • Blacksburg Aquatic Center

The Blacksburg sports scene is dominated by the Virginia Tech Hokies, participants in the NCAA's Division I-A of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports. The university switched its sports affiliation from the Big East Conference to the ACC in 2004. Originally known as the "Fighting Gobblers", the university's teams are now officially known as the "Hokies" although the school mascot (the Hokie Bird) retains the appearance of a turkey-like creature. Among the notable Hokie alumni is Michael Vick, the number 1 pick in the 2001 National Football League draft and now starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons.

Virginia is by far the largest state in terms of population without a major professional sports team. The nearest pro team to Blacksburg can be found in Lynchburg, about 95 miles away. The Lynchburg Hillcats of Minor League Baseball's Carolina League are a class High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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High Points

Blacksburg strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Virginia):

Category Trophy
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Blacksburg College Educated Adults
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Blacksburg Walking and Biking to Work
Public Transportation Use
(vs. State)
Top 4% trophy Blacksburg Public Transportation Use
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 4% trophy Blacksburg Short Commute Times
Low Property Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 8% Blacksburg Low Property Crime
Low Violent Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 17% Blacksburg Low Violent Crime
Median Family Income
(vs. State)
Top 19% Blacksburg Median Family Income

Comparative Profile of Blacksburg, Virginia

Comparing Blacksburg to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Virginia (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 10 10
Racial Diversity 5 7
Well-Paid Single Men 1 2
Senior Citizens 1 1
Female Share of the Population 1 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1
Age of the Population 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 3 7
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 5 9
People in Middle Class or Better 1 1
People Above Poverty 1 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Short Commute Times 10 10
Public Transportation Use 9 10
Working at Home 8 8


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Affordability of Property Taxes 8 3
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 8 9
Housing Recently Built 8 9
Affordability of Rents 8 3
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 6 4
People Living Alone 6 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 10 8
Low Violent Crime 9 6

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Blacksburg Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 25 miles W of Roanoke, Virginia (center to center)
Nearest Large City 140 miles N of Charlotte, North Carolina
County Montgomery
Standard Zip Codes 24060
P.O. Box Zip Codes 24062, 24063
Company Zip Codes 24061
Phone Area Codes 540
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.229
Longitude -80.414

Blacksburg Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 2 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 41 F
Apr Temp 37 to 63 F
Jul Temp 60 to 83 F
Oct Temp 38 to 65 F
Annual Precip 42.6 inches
Station UNION 3 SSE
Distance 23.1 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 40 F
Apr Temp 36 to 63 F
Jul Temp 58 to 84 F
Oct Temp 37 to 66 F
Annual Precip 36.1 inches
Distance 25.4 miles
Jan Temp 27 to 45 F
Apr Temp 44 to 68 F
Jul Temp 65 to 88 F
Oct Temp 45 to 69 F
Annual Precip 42.4 inches
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Blacksburg Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 39,573 100%
Male 22,140 55.9%
Female 17,433 44.1%
Under 18 3,821 9.7%
18+ 35,752 90.3%
65+ 1,950 4.9%
Median Age 21.9
Average Family Size 2.79
White 33,394 84.4%
African-American 1,738 4.4%
Asian 3,087 7.8%
American Indian & Alaskan 45 0.1%
Other 355 0.9%
Mixed Race 932 2.4%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 920 2.3%

Estimated Blacksburg Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 39,130
Growth -443
Growth % -1.1%

Blacksburg Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 19.7%
German 16.7%
English 11.2%
Irish 10.8%
Italian 6.9%
US/American 6.6%
Scotch-Irish 3.6%
Scottish 3.3%
Polish 2.4%
European 2%
French (except Basque) 1.6%
British 1.2%
Norwegian 1.1%
Russian 1%
Swedish 0.9%
Dutch 0.8%
Welsh 0.6%
Hungarian 0.6%
French Canadian 0.6%
Ukrainian 0.5%
Greek 0.5%
Palestinian 0.4%
Lebanese 0.4%
African 0.4%
Croatian 0.4%
Turkish 0.4%
Lithuanian 0.3%
Canadian 0.3%
Egyptian 0.3%
Slovak 0.3%
Swiss 0.3%
Eastern European 0.2%
Iranian 0.2%
Danish 0.2%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Czech 0.2%
Albanian 0.2%
Austrian 0.2%
Israeli 0.2%
Finnish 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Blacksburg 39,573 $51,810
Christiansburg 16,947 $47,428
Dublin 2,288 $37,100
Pearisburg 2,729 $39,938
Pembroke 1,134 $42,632
Radford 15,859 $46,332
Salem 24,747 $47,174

Blacksburg Hospitals

(540) 951-1111
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Blacksburg

(As of 2005)
880 University City Blvd.
Kent Square
202 South Main Street
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Blacksburg High Schools (2004)

Serves 1,168 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.2

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Pullman, Washington 91.9   31.2% 4.5% 65.3% 13 $46,165 4.2% 16.9% 24,675 37.5% 22.1 0.2% 1
2. West Lafayette, Indiana 91.2   32.6% 7.7% 69.7% 15 $71,510 2.5% 16.7% 28,778 38.3% 17 0.2% 0.9
3. Amherst, Massachusetts 90.5   28.7% 6.6% 68.7% 19 $61,237 2.8% 20.7% 34,874 20.2% 11.3 0.7% 1.6
4. Mount Pleasant, Michigan 88.6   28.9% 7.4% 40.3% 14 $43,927 3.4% 10.9% 25,946 37.2% 24.8 0.4% 2.7
5. Moscow, Idaho 87.7   29.6% 7.8% 53.9% 14 $46,331 4.9% 7.8% 21,291 22.4% 28.7 0.3% 1
6. Kent, Ohio 85.7   32.1% 7.5% 37% 22 $44,440 5% 13.9% 27,906 25.2% 27.5 0.2% 2.8
7. Brockport, New York 85.4   28.2% 7.7% 36.5% 19 $50,828 3.2% 8.2% 8,103 19.2% 20.2 0.4% 2.3
8. Whitewater, Wisconsin 85.2   32.6% 8.9% 31.8% 19 $48,185 3.2% 7.8% 13,437 27.4% 20.9 0.2% 1.5
9. Cedar Falls, Iowa 81   25.4% 11.9% 39.2% 15 $56,158 4.4% 4.9% 36,145 16.7% 23.7 0.2% 2.6
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