Virginia Counties
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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

Roanoke County, Virginia

Roanoke County Education, Geography, and History

Roanoke County, Virginia Courthouse

Roanoke County is a county located in the state of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 92,376. Its county seat is Salem.

Roanoke County is part of the Roanoke, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area and located within the Roanoke Region of Virginia.

Etymology - Origin of Roanoke County Name

Roanoke County: Roanoke is named for the Roanoke River, from a Native American word meaning shell money.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Roanoke County History

Roanoke County formed from Botetourt and Montgomery Counties. Montgomery County contributed small portions between 1848 and 1851. [Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, originally published as Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Volume 9, January, April, July 1916, reprinted 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD.]

Roanoke County was named for the Roanoke River. The name is an Indian word meaning shell money. The county was formed from Botetourt County in 1838, and part of Montgomery County was added later. Its area is 248 square miles, and the county seat is Salem.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 251 square miles (650 km2), of which, 251 square miles (650 km2) of it is land and 0 square miles (0 km2) of it (0.07%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Botetourt County, Virginia - northeast
  • Bedford County, Virginia - east
  • Franklin County, Virginia - southeast
  • Floyd County, Virginia - south-southwest
  • Montgomery County, Virginia - west
  • Craig County, Virginia - northwest
  • Salem, Virginia - center (enclave)
  • Roanoke, Virginia - center (enclave)


There are five high schools located in Roanoke County. They are Cave Spring High School, Glenvar High School, Hidden Valley High School, Northside High School, and William Byrd High School.

Hollins University, a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, is located in northern Roanoke County, near the Botetourt County border. Roanoke College, also a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, is located in the independent city of Salem within the boundaries of Roanoke County; the former county courthouse on Main Street is now a college academic building.

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