New Kent County
|Named for||Kent, England|
|• Total||222 sq mi (570 km2)|
|• Land||210 sq mi (500 km2)|
|• Water||14 sq mi (40 km2) 6.1%|
|• Density||100/sq mi (40/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
New Kent County is a county in the eastern part the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 United States Census, its population was 22,945. Its county seat is New Kent.
New Kent County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.
New Kent County was established in 1654, using territory annexed from York County, and was organized and settled by William Claiborne. The county's name originated because several prominent inhabitants, including William Claiborne, recently had been forced from their settlement at Kent Island, Maryland, by Lord Baltimore upon the formation of Maryland. Claiborne had named the island for his birthplace in Kent, England.
New Kent County is the birthplace of two US presidents' wives - Martha Washington and Letitia Christian Tyler. The church where George and Martha Washington are believed to have been wed, St. Peter's, still holds services today. The Chickahominy Indians frequented this area, as well as nearby Charles City County, and two tribes are still well-established in this area.
Among the earliest settlers of New Kent County was Nicholas Gentry, who settled in New Kent in 1684. The parish register books of St. Peter's Parish show that Nicholas Gentry's daughter was baptized in the church in 1687. The records also reflect other Gentrys, probably Nicholas Gentry's relations, Peter and Samuel Gentry. As the result of arson confessed to by John Price Posey and Tho Green, and allegedly involving "a negro boy belonging to W. Chamberlayne" on July 15, 1787, many later county records were burned, making identifying relationships between family members difficult.
Due to the "many Inconveniencys" suffered by the "Upper Inhabitants by reason of their Great distance from the Court house and other places usually appointed for publick meetings", New Kent County was divided "into Two distinct Countys and that that part of the County lyeing below the parish of Saint Paul shall for Ever thereafter be called and knowne by the Name of New Kent County And that that part of the County which lyeth in the parish of Saint Paul Shall be called and knowne by the Name of Hannover County". In 1720, a portion of New Kent County known then as St. Paul's Parish was formed into a separate county, now Hanover County.
In 2006, the US Census Bureau rated New Kent County among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in the U.S.
The northeast border of the county is defined by the meanderings of the Pamunkey River, and the southwest county border is similarly defined by the Chickahominy River. The county terrain consists of rolling hills, either wooded or devoted to agriculture, and carved by drainages. The terrain slopes to the east and south, with its highest point on the west border at 174' (53m) ASL. The county has a total area of 223 sq mi (579 km2), of which 210 sq mi (543 km2) are land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (6.23%) are covered by water.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||14,804||17,818||80.33%||77.66%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||2,474||2,714||13.42%||11.83%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||185||225||1.00%||0.98%|
|Asian alone (NH)||159||223||0.86%||0.97%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||2||8||0.01%||0.03%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||21||102||0.11%||0.44%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||394||1,124||2.14%||4.90%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||390||731||2.12%||3.19%|
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
As of the 2010 United States Census, 18,429 people were living in the county; 81.7% were White, 13.5% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% of some other race, and 2.3% of two or more races. About 2.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). By ancestry, 15.2% were of English, 11.7% American, 10.6% German, and 9.4% Irish descent.
At the 2000 United States Census, 13,462 people, 4,925 households and 3,895 families were residing in the county. The population density was 64.1/sqmi (24.8/km2). The 5,203 housing units averaged 24.8 per sq mi (9.57/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.26% White, 16.20% African American, 1.29% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.54% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. About 1.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 4,925 households, 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.60% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were not families. About 16.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65, and the average family size was 2.97.
The county's age distribution was 25.00% under 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 32.00% from 25 to 44, 27.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who were 65 or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.90 males.
The median income for a household was $53,595, and for a family was $60,678. Males had a median income of $40,005 versus $28,894 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,893. About 4.90% of the population and 3.40% of families were below the poverty line. Of the people living in poverty, 7.40% were under the age of 18 and 7.00% were 65 or older.
New Kent County has four schools within its school system. The two elementary schools are New Kent Elementary and George W. Watkins Elementary. The school system also includes New Kent Middle School and New Kent High School. All four schools are fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. At the high-school level, various honors and advanced-placement courses are available, along with dual enrollment through Rappahannock Community College. Gifted and enrichment programs are offered in all grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
The roughly 430 employees include 220 licensed teachers, seven guidance counselors, four media specialists, four principals, five assistant principals, and a central office staff composed of one superintendent and five directors. As of 2018, the superintendent is Brian Nichols, and the assistant superintendent is Ed Smith.
New Kent County received a new site for Rappahannock Community College in 2015, located at the renovated "historic" New Kent High School site. The site offers engineering, nursing, and basic college-level courses in New Kent.
No passenger rail stations are in New Kent County. The nearest Amtrak service is at stations in Williamsburg and Richmond.
New Kent Winery & Vineyards opened on May 31, 2008, and is located just off Interstate 64.
New Kent County is the hub of golf in central Virginia. Three courses are available:
No towns in New Kent County are incorporated. Unincorporated towns and communities include:
New Kent County is traditionally Republican. In only one national election since 1972 has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate.
((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)