Norfolk is located in the Southside of Hampton Roads, with a population of 234,403 as of the 2000 census it is Virginia’s second-largest incorporated city, and is also one of few urban areas in Virginia showing a resurgence in population, with an estimated population of 238,832 in 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Norfolk is named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay. It also shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east. One of the oldest of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads, Norfolk is considered to be the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region.
The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point. Norfolk is home to both the Norfolk Naval Base, the world’s largest naval base, and the corporate headquarters of the Norfolk Southern Railway, principal Class I railroads. As it is surrounded by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property. It is linked with its neighbors by an extensive network of Interstate highways, bridges, tunnels, and bridge-tunnel complexes.