A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

South Boston, Virginia

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Census Data for South Boston ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave South Boston a population of 7,615 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave South Boston a population of 8,142 people.

The town of South Boston is located in Halifax County. The 2010 Census gave Halifax County; a population of 36,241 people. This means that South Boston had 22.47% of the county's total population, making it Halifax's most populous community.

At the same time, Virginia had a population of 8,001,024 people, meaning that South Boston had 0.1% of the total population of Virginia - making it the state's 46th most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for South Boston has a total area of 13.15 square miles [34.1 km²]. Of this total, a small amount of the area is covered by water (0.1 square miles [0.3 km²]).

Halifax County has a land area of 817 square miles [2,118.2 km²]. At 13.06 square miles [33.8 km²], South Boston has 1.6% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a town like South Boston, 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 South Boston reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of South Boston 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:   36° 42' 41"   (or 36.71°)
    • Lon:   -78° 54' 48"   (or -78.91°)
    • 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, South Boston had 3,866 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 8,142 people, this averages 2.11 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows South Boston had a land area of 13.06 square miles [33.8 km²]. This translates to 293.9 Housing Units per square mile [113.5 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: South Boston had 3,946 Housing Units, a population of 8,491 people and a land area of 12.22 square miles [31.7 km²]. This gives a density of 2.15 people per Housing Unit and 321.6 Housing Units per square mile [124.2 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for South Boston and you need to be careful when comparing values between the censuses. More information about the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Halifax County ...

The community of South Boston is located in Halifax County<4>.

The county had a population of 36,241 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 8,142 people, South Boston represented 22.47% of the county's total.

In addition, where the town of South Boston has a population density of 619 people per square mile [239 people/km²], Halifax County averages 44.31 people per square mile [17.11 people/km²].

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

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for South Boston, 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 South Boston. 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 South Boston 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 South Boston, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for South Boston.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   36.711666°   (or 36°42'41" N)
    • Lon:   -78.913486°   (or -78°54'48" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   36.707722°   (or 36°42'27" N)
    • Lon:   -78.903388°   (or -78°54'12" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 3,283 feet to the northwest<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 (#2391421) to South Boston. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of South Boston. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   36.714354°   (or 36°42'51" N)
    • Lon:   -78.911811°   (or -78°54'42" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 1,095 feet to the southwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for South Boston. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for South Boston.

Miscellaneous Information for South Boston ...

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 Halifax County or the town of South Boston:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to South Boston:
    • GNIS ID for South Boston: 2391421
    • GNIS ID for Halifax County: 1496705
    • GNIS ID for State of Virginia: 1779803
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • South Boston 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 South Boston.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community within Virginia

About Halifax County

About Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for South Boston:

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 Halifax, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 64 degrees and a distance of 3,283 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 153 degrees and a distance of 1,095 feet.






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This page was last modified: 19 Jul 2022