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Census Data for Rocky Mount

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave Rocky Mount a population of 4,722 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Rocky Mount a population of 4,799 people.

The town of Rocky Mount is located in Franklin County. The 2010 Census gave Franklin County; a population of 56,159 people. This means that Rocky Mount had 8.55% of the county's total population, making it Franklin's most populous community.

At the same time, Virginia had a population of 8,001,024 people, meaning that Rocky Mount had 0.06% of the total population of Virginia - making it the state's 66th most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Rocky Mount has a total area of 6.87 square miles [17.8 km²]. Of this total, a small amount of the area is covered by water (0.03 square miles [0.1 km²]).

Franklin County has a land area of 690 square miles [1,788.2 km²]. At 6.84 square miles [17.7 km²], Rocky Mount has 0.99% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like Rocky Mount, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the town.
    • Things like population, area and housing for Rocky Mount reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Rocky Mount might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
    • Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
    • Lat:   37° 0' 17"   (or 37°)
    • Lon:   -79° 53' 2"   (or -79.88°)
    • More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Rocky Mount had 2,249 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 4,799 people, this averages 2.13 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows Rocky Mount had a land area of 6.84 square miles [17.7 km²]. This translates to 327.5 Housing Units per square mile [126.4 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: Rocky Mount had 1,796 Housing Units, a population of 4,066 people and a land area of 4.59 square miles [11.9 km²]. This gives a density of 2.26 people per Housing Unit and 391.6 Housing Units per square mile [151.2 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 Census and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Rocky Mount and you need to be careful when comparing results between the censuses. More information about the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Franklin County ...

Rocky Mount is located in Franklin County<4> and is the County Seat for Franklin County.

The county had a population of 56,159 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 4,799 people, Rocky Mount represented 8.55% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of Rocky Mount has a population density of 698 people per square mile [269.8 people/km²], Franklin County averages 81.3 people per square mile [31.41 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Franklin County.

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Rocky Mount, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Rocky Mount. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • Although we don't have specific information about the shape of the polygon for Rocky Mount or how it changed has over time, there is some information that can give us some hints. For example, since the shape of the sampling area is directly related to the shape of the polygon, any change to area probably indicates a new shape for the polygon.
    • If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Rocky Mount, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Rocky Mount.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   37.004871°   (or 37°0'17" N)
    • Lon:   -79.884131°   (or -79°53'2" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   36.999855°   (or 36°59'59" N)
    • Lon:   -79.889673°   (or -79°53'22" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 2,438 feet to the northeast<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2391395) to Rocky Mount. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Rocky Mount. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   37.004384°   (or 37°0'15" N)
    • Lon:   -79.885396°   (or -79°53'7" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 408.9 feet to the northeast<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Rocky Mount. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Rocky Mount.

Miscellaneous Information for Rocky Mount ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Franklin County or the town of Rocky Mount:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Rocky Mount:
    • GNIS ID for Rocky Mount: 2391395
    • GNIS ID for Franklin County: 1494434
    • GNIS ID for State of Virginia: 1779803
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • Rocky Mount is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Rocky Mount.

The official website for Rocky Mount:

The official website for Franklin County:

The official website for State of Virginia:

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2019.
<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.
<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).
<4>If you're interested in how the shape of Virginia's counties, including Franklin, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 318 degrees and a distance of 2,438 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 295 degrees and a distance of 408.9 feet.


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This page was last modified/updated: 07 Apr 2024