The City of Lynchburg is located near the geographic center of Virginia. In 1757, John Lynch established a ferry service on the James. The ferry service remained profitable for many years, and by the end of the American Revolution, the village at Lynch's Ferry had itself become an important center of trade. Lynch saw the possibilities of establishing a town on the hill overlooking the ferry site, and in late 1784 petitioned the General Assembly of Virginia for a town charter. In October, 1786, the charter was granted, founding the town of Lynchburg. Located on James River, the city has a land area of 48 square miles and is bordered on the west by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Bedford County, to the south by Campbell County, and to the North by Amherst County. According to the 2016 American Community Survey five year estimates, the City of Lynchburg has a population of 78,755, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 Census.
The city is a major highway and transportation hub that has contributed to its status as a broadly diversified manufacturing center. Lynchburg is 115 miles west of Richmond, the state capital; 52 miles east of Roanoke; 180 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.; and 200 miles west of the Port of Hampton Roads. Lynchburg is the central city of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which—according to the 2016 Census American Community Survey—has a total population of 258,062. Liberty University, a private coeducational Christian university, was founded in 1971 and encompasses 4,400 acres located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and south of James River. The U.S. Department of Education reports Liberty as the third largest university in the country with 80,494 total enrollment (Fall 2015). However, the majority of these students are enrolled in distance education, with roughly 15,000 living locally. The top five largest employers in Lynchburg ( aside from Liberty University) in 2019 are Centra Health Inc, J. Crew Outfitters, Areva NP Inc, University of Lynchburg , and GNA Corporation.
CVPDC HMP 2020