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Covington is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,961, making it the third-least populous city in Virginia. It is surrounded by Alleghany County, of which it is also the county seat. Located at the confluence of Jackson River and Dunlap Creek, Covington is one of three cities (with Roanoke and Salem) in the Roanoke Regional Partnership. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Covington with Alleghany county for statistical purposes.
The population of Covington has gradually declined since reaching its peak of 11,062 in 1960. The population decline has mainly resulted from losses of manufacturing jobs in the area. One major loss of manufacturing jobs occurred after a fire at the Hercules plant in June 1980, causing $23 million in damage and worker layoffs. As of the census of 2000, there were 6,303 people, 2,835 households, and 1,740 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,111.3 people per square mile (429.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.06% White, 13.14% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 1.59% from two or more races. 0.63% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.