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(nôr`fək), county (1991 pop. 736,700), 2,054 sq mi (5,320 sq km), E England. The county seat is NorwichNorwich
, city (1991 pop. 32,664) and district, county seat of Norfolk, E England, on the Wensum River just above its confluence with the Yare. Norwich is a principal city market for cattle and grain. It is also a center for shopping and entertainment, as well as administration.
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. Administratively, Norfolk is divided into the districts of Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk, Broadland, Norwich, South Norfolk, Breckland, and King's Lynn and West Norfolk. The region is one of flat, fertile farmlands, with a long, low coast bordering on the North Sea and the Wash. The principal rivers are the Ouse, the Bure, the Yare and its tributary the Wensum, and the Waveney. A series of connected shallow lakes, known as the Broads, occupies the eastern portion of the county.

Norfolk produces cereal and root crops and supports extensive breeding of cattle and poultry. Fishing, the manufacture of agricultural machinery, and light industries are also important. Numerous vestiges of habitation dating from prehistoric times remain. After the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England, Norfolk became a part of the kingdom of East AngliaEast Anglia
, kingdom of Anglo-Saxon England, comprising the modern counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. It was settled in the late 5th cent. by so-called Angles from northern Germany and Scandinavia.
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, the home of the "north folk" of that region (thus its name). In 1974, Norfolk was reorganized as a nonmetropolitan county, and a small area of NE East Suffolk was added to it.


(1, 2 nôr`fək; 2 nôr`fôk'). 1 City (1990 pop. 21,476), Madison co., NE Nebr., on the Elkhorn River; inc. 1881. A trade and railroad center in a fertile farming region, it has a livestock market. Its industries produce animal feeds, food and beverages, and electronic products.

2 City (1990 pop. 261,229), independent and in no county, SE Va., on the Elizabeth River and the southern side of Hampton Roads; founded 1682, inc. as a city 1845. It is a port of entry and a major commercial, industrial, shipping, and distribution center. With PortsmouthPortsmouth.
1 City (1990 pop. 25,925), Rockingham co., SE N.H., a port of entry with a good harbor and a state-owned port terminal at the mouth of the Piscataqua River opposite Kittery, Maine; inc. 1653.
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 and Newport NewsNewport News,
independent city (1990 pop. 170,045), SE Va., on the Virginia peninsula, at the mouth of the James River, off Hampton Roads, near Norfolk; inc. 1896. It is a port for transatlantic and intracoastal shipping; commodities handled include coal, oil, tobacco, grain,
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, it forms the Port of Hampton Roads, one of the world's best natural harbors. The city has 50 mi (80 km) of waterfront and an extensive maritime trade, exporting coal, grain, tobacco, seafood, and farm products. Industries include shipbuilding, meat and seafood processing, and the manufacture of lumber, steel, sheet metal, leather products, farm implements, textiles, trucks, and furniture.

Norfolk is also a major military center; with Portsmouth the city forms an extensive naval complex. The headquarters of the 5th Naval Dist., the Atlantic Fleet, the 2d Fleet, and the Supreme Allied Command are there. The operating base is the largest in the United States and includes a naval air station and other facilities. The Norfolk navy yard is in Portsmouth.

Of interest in Norfolk are St. Paul's Church (1738; only building to survive the burning of 1776); Fort Norfolk (1794); the Gen. Douglas MacArthurMacArthur, Douglas,
1880–1964, American general, b. Little Rock, Ark.; son of Arthur MacArthur. Early Career

MacArthur was reared on army posts and attended military school in Texas.
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 Memorial, where the general is buried; and many old homes. Norfolk is home to Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk State Univ., Virginia Wesleyan College, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. A national maritime center is there, and the city hosts an international arts festival. Bridge-tunnels link Norfolk with the Delmarva Peninsula and with Hampton, Va.

A rallying point for Tory forces at the start of the American Revolution, Norfolk was attacked (1776) by Americans and in the ensuing battle caught fire and was nearly destroyed. In the Civil War it was first a Confederate naval base; the battle between the Monitor and MerrimackMonitor and Merrimack,
two American warships that fought the first engagement between ironclad ships. When, at the beginning of the Civil War, the Union forces abandoned the Norfolk Navy Yard at Portsmouth, Va., they scuttled the powerful steam frigate Merrimack.
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 was fought in Hampton Roads. Norfolk fell to Union forces in May, 1862.

Norfolk (Independent City), Virginia

810 Union St Rm 1101
Norfolk, VA 23510
Phone: (757) 664-4242
Fax: (757) 664-4239

In southeastern VA on the Elizabeth River just south of Hampton Roads. Established 1682; incorporated as a town in 1736; as a city in 1845. Major port; distribution center for nearby coal-mining regions. Site of Norfolk Naval Base, largest naval installation in the U.S.; headquarters of the Atlantic Command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Site of Old Dominion University. Name Origin: For the county in England, former home of Adam Thoroughgood, an early settler

Area (sq mi):: 96.30 (land 53.73; water 42.58) Population per square mile: 4317.00
Population 2005: 231,954 State rank: 7 Population change: 2000-20005 -1.00%; 1990-2000 -10.30% Population 2000: 234,403 (White 47.00%; Black or African American 44.10%; Hispanic or Latino 3.80%; Asian 2.80%; Other 4.80%). Foreign born: 5.00%. Median age: 29.60
Income 2000: per capita $17,372; median household $31,815; Population below poverty level: 19.40% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $23,546-$25,895
Unemployment (2004): 5.40% Unemployment change (from 2000): -0.30% Median travel time to work: 21.70 minutes Working outside county of residence: 33.50%
Cities with population over 10,000:
  • Norfolk County seat (237,835)

  • See other counties in .



    a county in Great Britain, in eastern England, situated along the North Sea and the Wash, in the basins of the Yare and Ouse rivers. Area, 5,300 sq km. Population, 616,000 (1971). The capital of Norfolk is Norwich. The county is part of East Anglia, an important agricultural region. Local industries include fishing, food processing, and footwear. Norfolk also has enterprises producing agricultural machinery and electrical equipment. Natural gas is drilled along the coast.



    a city in the state of Virginia, in the southern USA. Population, 308,000 (1970); Norfolk-Portsmouth metropolitan area, 680,000.

    Norfolk is a port on Hampton Roads. In 1972 it handled 42 million tons of freight, chiefly exports of coal and tobacco. Norfolk is the country’s most important tobacco export center. There are 20,000 workers employed in industry. The city has a major shipyard, an automobile assembly plant, a chemical plant, and a fertilizer plant. Food processing is also among the city’s main industries (peanuts, cottonseed, and meat). Norfolk was founded in the 1680’s.



    a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, 1,500 km east of Australia. Area, 36 sq km. Population, 1,400 (1969).

    Norfolk is an external territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. Most of the island’s inhabitants are descendants of English settlers. The highest elevation is 316 m. The climate and vegetation are tropical. Citrus fruits, bananas, and vegetables are cultivated. Tourism is important to the island’s economy. Norfolk Island was discovered by J. Cook in 1774.


    1. a county of E England, on the North Sea and the Wash: low-lying, with large areas of fens in the west and the Broads in the east; rich agriculturally. Administrative centre: Norwich. Pop.: 810 700 (2003 est.). Area: 5368 sq. km (2072 sq. miles)
    2. a port in SE Virginia, on the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads: headquarters of the US Atlantic fleet; shipbuilding. Pop.: 241 727 (2003 est.)
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