Virginia Counties
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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County Education, Geography, and History

Fairfax County, Virginia Courthouse

Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 1,081,726,in 2014, the population was estimated to be 1,118,883.

 The county is also the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area

Etymology - Origin of Fairfax County Name

Fairfax is named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Fairfax County History

Fairfax County, Virginia formed from Prince William and Loudoun Counties. Loudoun gave only a small portions, possibly at a later date. It appears that there were further boundary changes ongoing between 1845 and 1847. [Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, originally published as Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Volume 9, January, April, July 1916, reprinted 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD.]

Fairfax County was named for Thomas Fairfax, sixth baron Fairfax of Cameron, proprietor of the Northern Neck. It was formed from Prince William County in 1742. Its area is 410 square miles, and the county seat is Fairfax. According to the 2000 census, its population is 969,749. Original wills and deeds as well as many other loose papers were destroyed during the Civil War; deed books for twenty-six of the fifty-six years between 1763 and 1819 are missing.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles (1,050 km2), of which 391 square miles (1,010 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.8%) is water.

Fairfax County is bounded on the north and southeast by the Potomac River. Across the river to the northeast is Washington, D.C., across the river to the north is Montgomery County, Maryland, and across the river to the southeast are Prince George's County, Maryland and Charles County, Maryland. The county is partially bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. It is bounded on the west by Loudoun County, and on the south by Prince William County.

Most of the county lies in the Piedmont region, with rolling hills and deep stream valleys such as Difficult Run and its tributaries. West of Route 28, the hills give way to a flat, gentle valley which stretches west to the Bull Run Mountains in Loudoun County. Elevations in the county range from sea level along the Potomac River to 200?#8364;"500 feet (60?#8364;"150 m) in the hills.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • City of Fairfax  -  surrounded by Fairfax County
  • Loudoun County  -  northwest
  • Prince William County  -  southwest
  • City of Falls Church  -  east
  • Arlington County  -  east
  • City of Alexandria  -  east
  • Charles County, Maryland  -  southeast
  • Prince George's County, Maryland  -  east
  • Montgomery County, Maryland  -  north


The county is served by the Fairfax County Public Schools system,

Fairfax County is also home to many Catholic elementary and middle schools. The schools fall under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington. The Oakcrest School is a Catholic school in Fairfax County, which is not run by the Diocese.

George Mason University is located just outside the city of Fairfax, near the geographic center of Fairfax County. Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) serves Fairfax County with campuses in Annandale and Springfield a center in Reston which is a satellite branch of the Loudoun campus. The NVCC Alexandria campus borders Fairfax County. The University of Fairfax is also headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine.

Virginia International University located at Village Drive Fairfax is a Non-Profit Organization provides Graduate, Undergraduate and Project Management Certifications.

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