Virginia Beach by the numbers in the Jim Spore era

Virginia Beach is far more illuminated and quite a bit older than how outgoing City Manager Jim Spore found it nearly a quarter century ago.

That’s indisputable, according to the cold, hard facts: The number of street lights in the city and the median age of its residents have both risen sharply since Spore became the Beach’s top administrator in 1991.

Thursday is Spore’s last day with the title. He is leaving his post with the city to lead a regional economic development initiative. The City Council has interviewed candidates for Spore’s successor. Deputy City Manager Doug Smith will fill in until one is appointed.

“I look back on it and it just does not seem possible,” Spore said Dec. 8 about the city’s growth during his time.

It was his final City Council meeting — the last of 1,152, he said.

Here are more numbers that show how Virginia Beach has changed during Spore’s tenure. The figures come from the city’s comprehensive annual financial reports and the U.S. Census Bureau.

1991 2015
Population 401,409 454,247
Median age 28.3 35.9
Registered voters 139,689 287,538
Assessed value of taxable real property $16 billion $51.5 billion
Developed parks 157 198
Street lights 31,844 48,788
Permanent full-time (1991) and full-time equivalent (2015) city workers (minus schools) 4,254 6,990
Top 5 principal taxpayers 1) Virginia Power

2) C & P Telephone Company

3) R.G. Moore

4) Lynnhaven Mall

5) Christian Broadcasting Network

1) E.D. & A.F. Ruffin and Bruce Thompson

2) Armada Hoffler

3) Ramon W. Breeden Jr.

4) Virginia Electric & Power Company

5) Lynnhaven Mall

Per capita income                    $21,404                                           $30,873*

Fire stations                               18                                                     19

Elementary schools                  49                                                     54


* Number estimated from U.S. Census Bureau data.


Have a story idea or news tip? Contact city hall reporter Judah Taylor at or 757-490-2750.

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