The Commonwealth of Virginia is an American state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. It borders North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, Kentucky to the west, West Virginia to the northwest, and Maryland and the District of Columbia to the northeast.
The state is named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who, never having married, was known as the 'Virgin Queen'. The state is also known as the "Old Dominion" and sometimes "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents.
The roots of modern Virginia trace back to the founding of the Virginia Colony in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London. Agriculture, colonialism and slavery played significant roles in Virginia's early economy and politics. It was the first permanent New World English colony and became one of the thirteen colonies that would take part in the American Revolution, and subsequently became the heart of the Confederacy in the American Civil War.
The capital of the commonwealth is Richmond, while Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision.
In 2006, the population of Virginia was estimated to be 7,642,884.Although traditionally conservative and historically part of the South, modern Virginia is a politically competitive state for both major national political parties.Virginia has an economy with several important foundations, including the Department of Defense's Pentagon and other federal agencies in Northern Virginia, military bases in Hampton Roads, as well as significant agricultural production.
The Historic Triangle includes the popular heritage tourism destinations of Jamestown, Yorktown and the living museum of Colonial Williamsburg. The growth of the technology sector has made computer chips the state's leading export, with the industry based on the strength of Virginia's public schools and universities.