Capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg continues to rely on its important revolutionary role, with Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William & Mary, the nation’s second-oldest college, fueling most of the area’s economic activity.
In terms of year-round residents, Williamsburg is small, with a population of 14,068 as of 2010. William & Mary, the only colonial college in the American South, brings the city’s median age to 22.6, but a large proportion of Williamsburg’s residents are retirees. But every year, the city is flooded (not to say overrun) by visitors seeking a renewed connection to the country’s heritage. 4 million tourists visit the Historic Triangle each year, a trio of cities that have preserved their colonial heritage, not only in name but in appearance and character as well.
Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, in part because of their booming tourist economies, have attracted major investments from America’s oldest major beer manufacturer: Anheuser-Busch. Just outside the city of Williamsburg is a large brewery, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, with almost 3 million visitors a year, is one of the 20 largest theme parks in the country.
Is Tourism Good For Williamsburg?
Despite the impressive number of tourists who visit the Historic Triangle every year, Williamsburg’s economy is hurting.
Colonial Williamsburg, for its part, watched as visitors dropped from a peak of 1.1 million in 1985 to a low of 729,000 in 2004. Since then, the Historic Area’s numbers have risen, but largely because the Foundation running Colonial Williamsburg began counting more and more people, including ones who only rode the living history museum’s bus, as “tourists.” Despite the fact that Colonial Williamsburg is losing money, including a net loss of $42 million in 2014, it remains Virginia’s biggest tourist attraction by visitor attendance.
More than 18% of Williamsburg’s population lives in poverty, over 3% higher than the national rate. Nearly 30% of the city’s children under 18 live below the poverty line. Residents, speaking in the online forum at City-Data.com, suggest that the tourism business in Williamsburg may even be hurting the area’s year-round residents, raising living expenses to a point that can’t be sustained by the jobs available there. In Virginia, the median household is $63,907. In Williamsburg, it’s only $48,616.
Free Pregnancy Resources In Williamsburg
Many people in Williamsburg are struggling right now. Thankfully, through local free clinics and government assistance programs, expectant mothers in the area can find the help they need to stay healthy and provide the best start for their children.
In nearby Yorktown, the Lackey Clinic offers high-quality health care to low income and under- or uninsured people in the Historic Triangle, including residents of Williamsburg. This is by far one of the best, most state-of-the-art medical facilities helping people in under-served communities throughout the state of Virginia. Here’s their address:
- 1620 Old Williamsburg Road
Yorktown, VA 23690
You can also take advantage of the medical care offered by the Virginia Department of Public Health, which operates a clinic in Virginia Beach. Unfortunately, that’s the closest public health clinic to Williamsburg, and it’s more than an hour away by car. But their services are excellent, and wide-ranging, including pregnancy tests (for a low flat fee) and maternal health check-ups, which are offered on a sliding-scale basis, so you only pay what you can afford.
For expectant parents who are still considering their options, wondering whether parenting, abortion or adoption is the best choice for themselves and their child, Adoptions From The Heart offers free pregnancy counseling from our office in Chesapeake.
We want expectant mothers and fathers to make their best decision, not the decision that someone else thinks is right for them. That’s why we’re committed to providing honest, truthful and complete information on each possibility, all at no cost. We’re here to lend a caring ear, or be a teacher on these issues – whatever you need right now.