Hampton is an independent city in Virginia, and therefore not part of any Virginia county. As one of the seven major cities that comprise the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, bordering on Hampton Roads harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. It is the sixth most populous city in Virginia, the most populous settlement with the name, and one of the oldest cities in the United States, tracing its history to the year 1610. As of the 2000 U.S. census, the city population was 146,437, but the census estimate for 2005 showed that the city's population was down slightly to 145,579. Hampton hosts Fort Monroe, Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Air and Space Center, historic Hampton University and features a wide array of business and industrial enterprises, retail and residential areas, historical sites, and miles of waterfront and beaches.