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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fairfax County, Virginia
Seal of Fairfax County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Fairfax County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Seat Fairfax
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

407 sq mi (1,053 km²)
395 sq mi (1,023 km²)
12 sq mi (30 km²), 2.85%
PopulationEst.
 - (2008)
 - Density

1,015,302
2,571/sq mi (993/km²)
Founded 1742
Named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.fairfaxcounty.gov

Fairfax County is a county in Northern Virginia, in the United States. As of April 2008, the estimated population of the county is 1,015,302,[1] making it by far the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with about 13% of Virginia's population, and the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Fairfax was the first county to reach a six-figure median household income, and has the second-highest median household income of any jurisdiction in the United States after neighboring Loudoun County.[2]

Contents

History

Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County. It was named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), proprietor of the Northern Neck.[3]

The headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley

The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were located along the Potomac River. George Washington settled in Fairfax County and built his home, Mount Vernon, facing the river. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason is located nearby. Modern Fort Belvoir is partly located on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only member of the British nobility ever to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley. The Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire immediately after the Revolutionary War in 1783, and George Washington noted the plantation complex gradually deteriorated into ruins.[4]

In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789, part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, and renamed Arlington County in 1920. The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948.[5] The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961.[6]

Located near Washington, D.C., Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War. The Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county; Bull Run straddles the border between Fairfax and Prince William County.

The growth of the federal government in the years during and after World War II spurred rapid growth in the county. As a result, the once rural county began to become increasingly suburban. Other large businesses continued to settle in Fairfax County and the opening of Tysons Corner Center spurred the rise of Tysons Corner itself. The technology boom and a steady government-driven economy also created rapid growth and an increasingly growing and diverse population. The economy has also made Fairfax County one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.[7]

Piney Branch Mill, southeast of city of Fairfax, Historic American Buildings Survey

Geography

Map of Fairfax County and neighboring jurisdictions

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.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 407 square miles (1,053 km²), of which, 395 square miles (1,023 km²) of it is land and 12 square miles (30 km²) of it (2.85%) is water.

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Adjacent jurisdictions

National protected areas

Geology

Eleven square miles of the county are known to be underlain with natural asbestos.[8] Much of the asbestos is known to emanate from fibrous tremolite or actinolite. Approximately 20 years ago, when the threat was discovered, the county established laws to monitor air quality at construction sites, control soil taken from affected areas, and require freshly developed sites to lay 6 inches (150 mm) of clean, stable material over the ground.[9] For instance, during the construction of Centreville High School a large amount of asbestos-laden soil was removed and then trucked to Vienna for the construction of the I-66/Nutley Street interchange. Fill dirt then had to be trucked in to make the site level. Marine clays can be found in widespread areas of the county east of Interstate 95, mostly in the Lee and Mount Vernon districts. These clays contribute to soil instability, leading to significant construction challenges for builders.[10]

Government and politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democrat
2008 38.9% 200,914 60.1% 310,359
2004 45.9% 211,980 53.3% 245,671
2000 48.9% 202,181 47.5% 196,501
1996 48.2% 176,033 46.6% 170,150
1992 44.3% 170,488 41.6% 160,186
1988 61.1% 200,641 38.3% 125,711
1984 62.9% 183,181 36.8% 107,295
1980 57.4% 137,620 30.8% 73,734
1976 53.6% 110,424 44.7% 92,037
1972 66.3% 112,135 32.4% 54,844
1968 49.0% 57,462 38.2% 44,796
1964 38.7% 30,755 61.2% 48,680
1960 51.7% 26,064 48.1% 28,006

The county is governed by a Board of Supervisors, composed of nine members elected from single-member districts and a chairman elected at-large. The districts are named Braddock, Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Providence, Springfield, and Sully.

Fairfax County's Government Center is west of the City of Fairfax in an unincorporated area.[11] Fairfax County contains an exclave unincorporated area located in the central business district of the City of Fairfax, in which many county facilities (including the courthouses and jail) are located.[12][13]

Fairfax County was once considered a strong Republican bastion in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. However, Democrats have in the past decade made significant inroads, gaining control of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board (officially nonpartisan) as well as the offices of Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney. Democrats also control the majority of Fairfax seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate.

Following the election of November 2008, Republicans hold just one of the three congressional seats that include parts of Fairfax County. Communities closer to Washington, D.C. generally favor Democrats by a larger margin than do the outlying communities. In elections in 2000, 2001, and 2005, Fairfax County supported Democrats for U.S. Senate and governor. In 2004, John Kerry won the county, becoming the first Democrat to do so since Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 landslide (the last time Democrats carried the state until 2008). Kerry defeated George W. Bush in the county 53% to 46%.

Democratic Governor Tim Kaine carried Fairfax County with over 60% of the vote in 2005, leading him to win 51.7% of votes statewide. On November 7, 2006, U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D) carried the county with about 58.9% of the votes.

In the state and local elections of November 2007, Fairfax Democrats picked up one seat in the House of Delegates, two seats in the Senate, and one seat on the Board of Supervisors, making their majority there 8-2.

On November 4, 2008, Fairfax County continued its shift towards the Democrats, with Barack Obama and Mark Warner each garnering over 60% of the vote for president and U.S. Senate, respectively. Also, the Fairfax-anchored 11th District United States House of Representatives seat held by Thomas M. Davis for 14 years was won by Gerry Connolly, the Democratic Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Braddock supervisor Sharon Bulova won a special election on February 3, 2009 to succeed Gerry Connolly as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, continuing a Democratic hold on the office of chairman that dates back to 1995. In November, 2009, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell won Fairfax County with 51% of the vote. Delegate David Marsden won a special election on January 12, 2009 to succeed Ken Cuccinelli in the 37th State Senate district.[14] Following this election, Fairfax County is now represented in the Virginia State Senate by an all Democratic delegation.[15]

County Board of Supervisors
Position Name Party First Election District
  Chairman Sharon Bulova Democratic Party 2009 At-Large
  Member John Cook Republican Party 2009 Braddock
  Member John Foust Democratic Party 2007 Dranesville
  Member Cathy Hudgins Democratic Party 1999 Hunter Mill
  Member Jeff McKay Democratic Party 2007 Lee
  Member Penelope Gross Democratic Party 1995 Mason
  Member Gerald Hyland Democratic Party 1988 Mount Vernon District, VA
  Member Linda Smyth Democratic Party 2003 Providence
  Member Pat Herrity Republican Party 2007 Springfield
  Member Michael Frey Republican Party 1991 Sully
Representatives to the Virginia House of Delegates
Office Name Party and District First Election Next Election
Delegate Barbara Comstock Republican Party (34) 2009 2011
  Delegate Mark Keam Democratic Party (35) 2009 2011
  Delegate Ken Plum Democratic Party (36) 1977 2011
  Delegate David Bulova Democratic Party (37) 2005 2011
  Delegate Kaye Kory Democratic Party (38) 2009 2011
  Delegate Vivian E. Watts Democratic Party (39) 1995 2011
  Delegate Tim Hugo Republican Party (40) 2001 2011
  Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn Democratic Party (41) 2005 2011
  Delegate Dave Albo Republican Party (42) 1993 2011
  Delegate Mark Sickles Democratic Party (43) 2003 2011
  Delegate Scott Surovell Democratic Party (44) 2009 2011
  Delegate David L. Englin Democratic Party (45) 2005 2011
  Delegate Charniele Herring Democratic Party (46) 2009 2011
  Delegate Adam Ebbin Democratic Party (49) 2003 2011
  Delegate Jim Scott Democratic Party (53) 1991 2011
  Delegate James LeMunyon Republican Party (67) 2009 2011
  Delegate Tom Rust Republican Party (86) 2001 2011
Representatives to the Virginia State Senate
Office Name Party and District First Election Next Election
Senator Patsy Ticer Democratic Party (30) 1995 2011
Senator Mary Margaret Whipple Democratic Party (31) 1995 2011
Senator Janet Howell Democratic Party (32) 1991 2011
Senator Mark Herring Democratic Party (33) 2006 2011
Senator Chap Petersen Democratic Party (34) 2007 2011
Senator Richard L. Saslaw Democratic Party (35) 1980 2011
Senator Toddy Puller Democratic Party (36) 2000 2011
Senator Dave Marsden Democratic Party (37) 2010 2011

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 18,580
1910 20,536 10.5%
1920 21,943 6.9%
1930 25,264 15.1%
1940 40,929 62.0%
1950 98,557 140.8%
1960 275,002 179.0%
1970 455,021 65.5%
1980 595,754 30.9%
1990 818,584 37.4%
2000 969,749 18.5%
Est. 2008 1,015,302 4.7%
sources:[16][17]

As of the census[18] of 2000, there were 969,749 people, 350,714 households, and 250,409 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,455 people per square mile (948/km²). There were 359,411 housing units at an average density of 910 per square mile (351/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

11.03% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race. Fairfax County is home to people from diverse backgrounds, including significant numbers of people of Korean,[citation needed] Indian,[citation needed] Pakistani,[citation needed] Iranian,[citation needed] Vietnamese[citation needed] and Jewish[citation needed] ancestry.

In 2000 there are 350,714 households, of which 36.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.20.

The age distribution was 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 33.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $81,050, and the median income for a family was $92,146; in a 2007 estimate, these figures rose to $102,460 and $120,804, respectively.[19] Males had a median income of $60,503 versus $41,802 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,888. About 3.00% of families and 4.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.20% of those under age 18 and 4.00% of those age 65 or over. A more recent report from the 2007 American Community Survey indicated that poverty in Fairfax County, Virginia had risen to 4.9%.[20]

Judged by household median income, Fairfax County is among the highest-income counties in the country, and was first on that list for many years. However, in the 2000 census it was overtaken by Douglas County, Colorado. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2005, it had the second-highest median household income behind neighboring Loudoun County, at $94,610. In 2007, Fairfax County reclaimed its position as the richest county in America, in addition to becoming the first jurisdiction in American history to have a median household income in excess of $100,000.[21] In 2008, Loudoun County reclaimed the first position, with Fairfax County a close second (although the U.S. Census Bureau notes that the difference is statistically insignificant).

Education

The county is served by the Fairfax County Public Schools system, to which the county government allocates 52.2% of its fiscal budget.[22] Including state and federal government contributions, along with citizen and corporate contributions, this brings the 2008 fiscal budget for the school system to $2.2 billion.[23] The school system has estimated that, based on the 2008 fiscal year budget, the county will be spending $13,407 on each student.[24]

The Fairfax County Public School system contains the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor's School. TJHSST consistently ranks at or near the top of all United States high schools due to the extraordinary number of National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists, the high average SAT scores of its students, and the number of students who annually perform nationally recognized research in the sciences and engineering.

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 recently constructed a medical campus wing at Inova Fairfax Hospital in order to allow third and fourth year medical students to study at other state-of-the-art facilities in the Northern Virginia region.[25]

Economy

Fairfax County is, along with Washington, a "core" employment jurisdiction of the Washington Metropolitan Area as indicated by this map. A U.S. Department of Labor study published in 2007 described Fairfax County as the second "economic pillar" of the Washington-area economy, along with the District of Columbia. The county has been described in Time as "one of the great economic success stories of our time."[26]

The economy of Fairfax County is a robust service economy. Many residents work for the government or for contractors of the federal government. The government is the largest employer, with Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax being the county's single largest employer. The economy of Fairfax County is larger than that of Vietnam.[27]

Fairfax County also is home to large companies such as CSC (formerly Computer Sciences Corporation), Gannett, Capital One, General Dynamics, and NVR. The county is home to seven Fortune 500 company headquarters [28]. The county is also home to 11 Hispanic 500 companies,[29] a ninth of the number found in the state of California.[30] Volkswagen Group of America, CSC, and Hilton Hotels Corporation have announced plans to move to Fairfax County after the county lost homegrown company headquarters AOL and Nextel.[31] Volkswagen of America is headquartered in an unincorporated area in the county.[32][33] ExxonMobil has various industry operations in Annandale, at a site that was formerly the headquarters of Mobil Oil.[34][35]

The economy of the county is supported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which provides services and information designed to promote Fairfax County as a leading business and technology center.[36] The FCEDA is the largest non-state economic development authority in the nation.[37] Fairfax County is also home to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, a trade association for local technology companies. It is the largest technology council in the nation, with technology industry figures such as Bill Gates and Meg Whitman speaking at various local banquets.[38][39] Fairfax County has a higher concentration of high-tech workers than the Silicon Valley.[40]

Tysons Corner

The Tysons Corner CDP of Fairfax County is Virginia's largest office market and the largest suburban business district in the nation with 25,700,000 square feet (2,390,000 m2) of office space.[41][42] It is the country's 12th-largest business district, and is expected to grow substantially in the decades to come.[43] It contains a quarter of county's total office space inventory, which totaled 105,200,000 square feet (9,770,000 m2) at year-end 2006, which is about the size of Lower Manhattan.[44][45]

Every weekday, Tysons Corner draws over 100,000 workers from around the region. It also draws 55,000 shoppers every weekday as it is home to neighboring super-regional malls Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.[46] In comparison, Washington, D.C. draws 15 million visitors annually, or the equivalent of 62,500 per weekday.[47]

After years of stalling and controversy, the $5.2 billion expansion of Washington Metro in Virginia from Washington, D.C. to Dulles International Airport received funding approval from the Federal Transit Administration in December 2008.[48] The new line, informally dubbed the Silver Line, will add four stations in Tysons Corner, including a station between Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.

Along with the expansion of Washington Metro, Fairfax County government has a plan to "urbanize" the Tysons Corner area. The plan calls for a private-public partnership. It would use a grid-like street system to make Tysons Corner a more urban environment, tripling available housing to allow for more workers to live near where they work. The goal is to have 95% of Tysons Corner within 1/2-mile from a metro station.[49]

Employment

The average weekly wage in Fairfax County during the first quarter of 2005 was $1,181, 52% more than the national average.[50] By comparison, the average weekly wage was $1,286 for Arlington – the Washington metropolitan area's highest – $1,277 for Washington, D.C., and $775 for the United States as a whole.[50] The types of jobs available in the area make it very attractive to highly-educated workers. The relatively high wages may be partially due to the high cost of living in the area.[50]

In early 2005, Fairfax County had 553,107 total jobs, up from 372,792 in 1990. In the area, this is second to Washington's 658,505 jobs in 2005 (down from 668,532 in 1990).[50]

As of the 2002 Economic Census, Fairfax County has the largest professional, scientific, and technical service sector in the Washington, D.C. area – in terms of the number of business establishments; total sales, shipments, and receipts; payrolls; and number of employees – exceeding the next largest, Washington, D.C., by roughly a quarter overall, and double that of neighboring Montgomery County.[51]

Arts and culture

The annual "Celebrate Fairfax!" festival is held in June at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax City.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts features a performing arts center situated outside the town of Vienna.

Fairfax County supports a summer concert series held in multiple venues throughout the county on various nights. The concert series are called Arts in the Parks, Braddock Nights, Lee District Nights, Mt. Vernon Nights, Nottoway Nights, Spotlight by Starlight, Sounds of Summer and Starlight Cinema.[52]

Transportation

Roads

Several major highways run through Fairfax County, including the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), Interstate 66, Interstate 95, and Interstate 395. The American Legion Bridge connects Fairfax to Montgomery County, Maryland. The George Washington Memorial Parkway, Dulles Toll Road, and Fairfax County Parkway are also major arteries. Other notable roads include Braddock Road, Old Keene Mill Road, Little River Turnpike, State Routes 7, 28, and 123, and US Routes 1, 29, and 50.

The county is in the Washington D.C. metro area, the nation's third most congested area.[53]

Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, is the third worst congested traffic area in the nation, in terms of percentage of congested roadways and time spent in traffic. Of the lane miles in the region, 44 percent are rated “F” or worst for congestion. Northern Virginia residents spend an average of 46 hours a year stuck in traffic.

[54] [55]

Major highways

I-395 South in Northern Virginia

Air

Washington Dulles International Airport lies partly within Fairfax County and provides most air service to the county. Fairfax is also served by two other airports in the Washington area, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Manassas Regional Airport, in neighboring Prince William County, is also used for regional cargo and private jet service.

Public transportation

Fairfax County contracts its bus service called the Fairfax Connector to Veolia Transportation. It is also served by WMATA's metrobus service. Fairfax County is served by the Washington Metro trains. The Orange, Blue, Yellow and the planned Silver lines all serve Fairfax County. In addition, VRE (Virginia Railway Express) provides commuter rail service with stations in Lorton and Franconia-Springfield. VRE's Fairfax County stations are Lorton and Franconia/Springfield on the Fredericksburg line, and Burke Centre, Rolling Road, and Backlick Road on the Manassas line.[57]

Biking and walking

The county maintains many miles of bike trails running through parks, adjacent to roads and through towns such as Vienna and Herndon. The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail runs through Fairfax County, offering one of the region's best, and safest, routes for recreational walking and biking. In addition, nine miles (14 km) of the Mount Vernon Trail runs through Fairfax County along the Potomac River.

However, compared to other regions of the Washington area, Fairfax County has a dearth of designated bike lanes for cyclists wishing to commute in the region. On May 16, 2008, Bike-to-Work Day, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation released the first countywide bicycle route map.[58]

The Fairfax Cross County Trail runs from Great Falls National Park in the northern end of the county to Occoquan Regional Park in the southern end. Consisting of mostly dirt paths and short asphalt sections, the trail is used mostly by recreational mountain bikers, hikers, and horse riders.

Parks and recreation

In addition to the Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax County is part of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Fairfax County contains large amounts of park land, a total of over 390 parks on more than 23,000 acres (93 km2).[59]

The Reston Zoo is in the Reston CDP in an unincorporated area.[60][61]

Towns, independent cities, and other localities

Map of Fairfax County showing incorporated cities and CDPs.
Herndon
McLean
Reston

Three incorporated towns, Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna, are located entirely within Fairfax County.[62]

The independent cities of Falls Church and Fairfax were formed out of areas formerly under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County, but are politically separate, despite the status of the City of Fairfax as county seat.

It has been proposed[63] to convert the entire county into a single independent city, primarily to gain more control over taxes and roads. The most recent such proposal was made June 30, 2009.

Other communities within Fairfax County are unincorporated areas. Virginia law dictates that at least 100 members of the proposed municipality must sign a petition, the population of the proposed town must be at least 1,000 persons, and the population density of the affected county does not exceed 200 persons per square mile to begin the incorporation process.[64] As of the 2000 census the thirteen largest communities of Fairfax County are all unincorporated CDPs, the largest of which are Burke, Reston, and Annandale, each with a population exceeding 50,000. (The largest incorporated place in the county is the town of Herndon, its fourteenth-largest community.)

Unincorporated Census Designated Places

The following localities within Fairfax County are identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as (unincorporated) Census-Designated Places:

Other localities

Notable people from Fairfax County

Historic figures

Politicians

  • Katherine Hanley - Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth and former County Board Chair
  • Jim Webb - U.S. Senator (D)
  • Tom Davis - Former U.S. Congressman (VA-11)
  • John Warner - Former U.S. Senator (R)
  • Sharon Bulova - Current chairman of the board of supervisors
  • Gerry Connolly - U.S. Congressman (VA-11) and former Chairman of the Fairfax County board of supervisors

Professionals

Sports figures

Entertainers

Other

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Fairfax County QuickFacts. Retrieved September 9, 2009
  2. ^ Income, Earnings, and Poverty Data From the 2007 American Community Survey
  3. ^ "The Historical Society of Fairfax County Virginia". Fairfax County Historical Society. http://www.fairfaxhistoricalsociety.org/index.html. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  4. ^ Historic Fort Belvoir
  5. ^ About Falls Church Retrieved 10/6/2009
  6. ^ City of Fairfax, Museum and Visitor Center Retrieved 10/6/2009
  7. ^ Matt Woolsey (January 22, 2008). "America's Richest Counties". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/22/counties-rich-income-forbeslife-cx_mw_0122realestate.html. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  8. ^ Naturally Occurring Asbestos in Fairfax County, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/asb/, retrieved July 16, 2007 
  9. ^ Raloff, Janet (July 8), "Dirty Little Secret" ( – Scholar search), Science News, http://web.archive.org/web/20080116130144/http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060708/bob9.asp 
  10. ^ Overcoming Problems with Marine Clays, http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/marineclay.htm 
  11. ^ "Facilities & Locations." Fairfax County. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  12. ^ "Fairfax city, Virgnia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  13. ^ "Fairfax County General District Court." Fairfax County. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Democrat wins Va. Senate race
  16. ^ census.gov - Virginia population by county, 1900-90
  17. ^ quickfacts.census.gov - Fairfax County
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  19. ^ Fairfax County, Virginia - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
  20. ^ U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey Reports, “Income, Earnings, and Poverty Data from the 2007 American Community Survey,” August 2008, see [2], accessed on 12/7/2008.
  21. ^ Fairfax County’s median income breaks six-figure mark, tops nation - Examiner.com
  22. ^ FY 2007 Advertised Budget Plan
  23. ^ Budget Services - Fairfax County Public Schools
  24. ^ FCPS statistics
  25. ^ http://www.inova.org/clinical-education-and-research/education/education-for-students/vcu-school-of-medicine-inova-campus/index.jsp
  26. ^ Fairfax County high school ranked the best in the nation; two other county schools...
  27. ^ The Vanishing Republican Voter
  28. ^ http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/states/VA.html
  29. ^ Hispanic businesses boosting Fairfax County
  30. ^ Hispanic Business 500 Directory
  31. ^ Hilton Hotels picks Fairfax County for new HQ
  32. ^ "Contact Us." Volkswagen Group of America. Retrieved on August 18, 2009.
  33. ^ "Herndon town, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 18, 2009.
  34. ^ "Contact us - business headquarters." ExxonMobil. Retrieved on January 26, 2009.
  35. ^ 3225 Gallows Rd
  36. ^ Fairfax County Economic Development Authority :: Fairfax County, Virginia - The Best Place to Do Business
  37. ^ HILTON TO FAIRFAX!
  38. ^ Microsoft's Bill Gates Selects March 13 NVTC Titans Breakfast as Forum for Providing...
  39. ^ TechCelebration: NVTC's Annual Banquet
  40. ^ High-Tech, High-Income, High-Polluting Virginia
  41. ^ Tysons Corner, VA
  42. ^ Doing Business in Fairfax County Commercial Real Estate
  43. ^ Tysons Tunnel
  44. ^ D.C. Area Real Estate (washingtonpost.com)
  45. ^ TenantWise : Manhattan Market Overview : March 2002
  46. ^ Virginia Business Online: Virginia’s 800-pound gorilla
  47. ^ About Washington DC
  48. ^ Silver Line To Dulles Wins Crucial Federal Okay
  49. ^ Lisa Selin Davis (June 11, 2009). "A (Radical) Way to Fix Suburban Sprawl". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1904187,00.html. 
  50. ^ a b c d Industry dynamics in the Washington, DC, area: has a second job core emerged?
  51. ^ County, Virginia – Economic Fact Sheet – American FactFinder
  52. ^ http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/performances/
  53. ^ "Measuring Virginia's Traffic Congestion, Infrastructure and Land Use - Virginia Performs". Council on Virginia's Future. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080211215852/http://www.vaperforms.virginia.gov/s-Transportation.php. Retrieved September 3, 2007. 
  54. ^ Schrank, David; Lomax, Tim (June 2002), The 2002 Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute 
  55. ^ "Solid Waste Management Plan for Fairfax County, Chapter 2" (PDF). June 2004. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/swmp/forms/fnlch2proj1_3.pdf. Retrieved September 3, 2007. "(cites the Urban Mobility Report for 2002)" 
  56. ^ a b 2008 VDOT AADT Retrieved 09/23/2009
  57. ^ VRE System Map Retrieved 08/09/2009
  58. ^ Fairfax County Bicycle Route Map 2008
  59. ^ FCPA - Park Facilities
  60. ^ "Reston CDP." United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  61. ^ Home page. Reston Zoo. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  62. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Montana through Wyoming 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/files/SUB-EST2007-mtwy.csv. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  63. ^ "Fairfax Executive Suggests Dropping 'County,' " The Washington Post, July 1, 2009
  64. ^ Town Incorporation Chapter 36 Retrieved 07/20/2009
  65. ^ http://www.gunstonhall.org/georgemason/
  66. ^ http://www.mountvernon.org/learn/meet_george/index.cfm/ss/21/
  67. ^ http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/coleman.html
  68. ^ http://www.usaswimming.org/usasweb/DesktopModules/BioView.aspx?personid=e629d615-d3dc-4318-aabf-54099b2387aa&TabId=388&Mid=597
  69. ^ http://www.usfigureskating.org/AthleteBio.asp?id=2275
  70. ^ http://www.usfigureskating.org/AthleteBio.asp?id=2275
  71. ^ http://bestuff.com/stuff/park-yoochun
  72. ^ http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/entertainment/enter_artists_detail.htm?No=10168
  73. ^ http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800023824/bio

References

External links

Coordinates: 38°50′N 77°17′W / 38.83°N 77.28°W / 38.83; -77.28


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Fairfax County, Virginia
Seal of Fairfax County, Virginia
Map
File:Map of Virginia highlighting Fairfax County.png
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the USA highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1742
Seat Fairfax
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

407 sq mi (1,053 km²)
395 sq mi (1,023 km²)
12 sq mi (30 km²), 2.85%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2005)
 - Density

1,041,200
2636/sq mi (1018/km²)
Time zone Eastern : UTC-5/-4
Website: www.fairfaxcounty.gov
Named for: Thomas Fairfax

Fairfax County is a county in Northern Virginia, in the United States. As of 2005, the estimated population of the county is 1,041,200;[1] making it by far the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and larger than seven states. It is the most populous jurisdiction in the Greater Washington Area and has the highest median household income ($100,318 - first to reach six figures) of any county in the United States, recently surpassing its neighbor, Loudoun County.[1]

Contents

History

Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County. It was named for Thomas Fairfax (1693-1781), proprietor of the Northern Neck.

The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were located along the Potomac River. George Washington settled in Fairfax County and built his home, Mount Vernon facing the river. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason is located nearby. Modern Fort Belvoir is partly located on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Sixth Lord Fairfax, the only member of the British nobility ever to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley. The Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire immediately after the Revolutionary War in 1783, and George Washington noted the plantation complex gradually deteriorated into ruins.[2]

The CIA is located in a secluded area of the county.

In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789 part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, and renamed Arlington County in 1920. The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948. The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961.

Located near Washington, D.C., Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War. The Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county; Bull Run straddles the border between Fairfax and Prince William County. For most of the Civil War, Union troops occupied the county, though the population remained sympathetic to the Confederacy.

The growth of the Federal Government in the years during and after World War II spurred rapid growth in the county. As a result, the once rural county began to become increasingly suburban. Other large businesses continued to settle in Fairfax County and the opening of Tysons Corner Center spurred the rise of Tysons Corner itself. The technology boom and a steady government-driven economy also created rapid growth and an increasingly growing and diverse population. The economy has also made Fairfax County one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.

Geography and climate

Map of Fairfax County and neighboring jurisdictions

Fairfax County is bounded on the north and southeast by the Potomac River; across the river to the northeast is Washington, across the river to the north is Montgomery County, across the river to the southeast are Prince George's County and Charles County; it is also partially bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church; it is bound on the west by Loudoun County; and on the south by Prince William County and the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,053 km² (407 mi²). 1,023 km² (395 mi²) of it is land and 30 km² (12 mi²) of it (2.85%) is water.

Fairfax County lies in the humid subtropical climate zone. Distance from Washington, D.C. generally lowers the temperature, due to the urban heat island effect. The average January temperature is 43/23 °F (5.6/-5 °C). In winter, Arctic air can lower the nighttime low to the teens, and lows below 15 °F (-9.4 °C) are rare. Snow occurs every winter and frequently accumulates, however storm accumulations over 8" are relatively uncommon, occurring roughly once every two or three years. In addition, ice storms can occur but are rare. Occasionally, winds from the south can make winter temperatures milder. Spring is enjoyable and trees blossom brilliantly, but pollen counts are high. Summers are from warm to hot (greater than 80 °F), and thunderstorms are common. Fall brings dew in the morning and crisp air in the afternoon, with brilliant foliage in the county.

Major highways

Asbestos

Eleven square miles of the county are known to be underlain with natural asbestos.[2] Much of the asbestos is known to emanate from fibrous tremolite or actinolite. Approximately 20 years ago, when the threat was discovered, the county established laws to monitor air quality at construction sites, control soil taken from affected areas, and require freshly developed sites to lay 6 inches of clean, stable material over the ground.[3] For instance, during the construction of Centreville High School a large amount of asbestos-laded soil was removed and then trucked to Vienna for the construction of the I-66/Nutley Street interchange. Fill dirt then had to be trucked in to make the site level.

Government and politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democrat
2004 45.9% 211,980 53.3% 245,671
2000 48.9% 202,181 47.5% 196,501
1996 48.2% 176,033 46.6% 170,150
1992 44.3% 170,488 41.6% 160,186
1988 61.1% 200,641 38.3 125,711
1984 62.9% 183,181 36.8 107,295
1980 57.4% 137,620 30.8% 73,734
1976 53.6% 110,424 44.7% 92,037
1972 66.3% 112,135 32.4% 54,844
1968 49.0% 57,462 38.2% 44,796
1964 38.7% 30,755 61.2% 48,680
1960 51.7% 26,064 48.1% 28,006

The county is divided into nine supervisor districts: Braddock, Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Providence, Springfield, and Sully.
The supervisor districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Fairfax County. There is also a Chairman elected by the county at-large.

Fairfax County was once considered a strong Republican bastion in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. However, Democrats have increasingly made inroads in Fairfax County in the past decade, having gained control of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board (which is officially nonpartisan) as well as the offices of Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney. Democrats also control the majority of Fairfax seats in the House of Delegates and State Senate.

Republicans currently control two of the three congressional seats that include parts of Fairfax County. Communities closer to Washington D.C. generally favor Democrats by a larger margin than the outlying communities. In 2000, 2001, and 2005 Fairfax County voted Democratic in the races for Senate and governor. In 2004, John Kerry won the county; the first Democrat to do so since Lyndon Johnson in his 1964 landslide (the last time Democrats carried the state). Kerry defeated Bush in the county 53% to 46%.

Democratic Governor Tim Kaine carried Fairfax County with over 60% of the vote in 2005, leading him to win over 51% of votes statewide.

On November 7, 2006, U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D) carried the county with about 58.9% of the votes (from the Virginia Commonwealth site).

Position Name Party First Election District
  Chairman Gerry Connolly Democratic Party 2003 At-Large
  Member Sharon Bulova Democratic Party 1987 Braddock
  Member Joan DuBois Republican Party 2003 Dranesville
  Member Cathy Hudgins Democratic Party 1999 Hunter Mill
  Member Dana Kaufmann Democratic Party 1995 Lee
  Member Penelope Gross Democratic Party 1995 Mason
  Member Gerald Hyland Democratic Party 1988 Mount Vernon
  Member Linda Smyth Democratic Party 2003 Providence
  Member Elaine McConnell Republican Party 1983 Springfield
  Member Michael Frey Republican Party 1991 Sully
Office Name Party and District First Election Next Election
  Delegate Vince Callahan Republican Party (34) 1967 2007
  Delegate Steve Shannon [3] Democratic Party (35) 2003 2007
  Delegate Ken Plum [4] Democratic Party (36) 1977 2007
  Delegate David Bulova [5] Democratic Party (37) 2005 2007
  Delegate Bob Hull [6] Democratic Party (38) 1993 2007
  Delegate Vivian Watts [7] Democratic Party (39) 1995 2007
  Delegate Tim Hugo [8] Republican Party (40) 2001 2007
  Delegate Dave Marsden [9] Democratic Party (41) 2005 2007
  Delegate Dave Albo [10] Republican Party (42) 1993 2007
  Delegate Mark Sickles [11] Democratic Party (43) 2003 2007
  Delegate Kris Amundson [12] Democratic Party (44) 2001 2007
  Delegate David Englin [13] Democratic Party (45) 2005 2007
  Delegate Brian Moran [14] Democratic Party (46) 1995 2007
  Delegate Adam Ebbin [15] Democratic Party (49) 2003 2007
  Delegate Jim Scott Democratic Party (53) 1991 2007
  Delegate Carmin "Chuck" Caputo [16] Democratic Party (67) 2005 2007
  Delegate Tom Rust [17] Republican Party (86) 2001 2007

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 969,749 people, 350,714 households, and 250,409 families residing in the county. The population density was 948/km² (2,455/mi²). There were 359,411 housing units at an average density of 351/km² (910/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.91% White, 8.83% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 13.00% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.54% from other races, and 3.65% from two or more races. 11.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Like many of the most affluent areas of the United States in the 21st century, Fairfax County is home to people from diverse backgrounds with a significant number of Korean-Americans, Indian-Americans, Iranian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Pakistani-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans along with other Americans of Asian descent. There is a sizeable Latino population primarily consisting of Salvadorans, Peruvians and Bolivians.

In 2000 there are 350,714 households, of which 36.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 33.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $81,050, and the median income for a family was $92,146. Males had a median income of $60,503 versus $41,802 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,888. About 3.00% of families and 4.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.20% of those under age 18 and 4.00% of those age 65 or over.

Judged by household median income, Fairfax County was the richest county in the country for many years. However, in the 2000 census it was overtaken by Douglas County. According to US Census Bureau estimates for 2005, it had the second-highest median household income behind neighboring Loudoun County, Va., at $94,610. In 2007 Fairfax County reclaimed its position as the richest county in America, in addition to becoming the first jurisdiction in American History to have a median household income in excess of $100,000, as stated by the U.S. Census Bureau's latest report. [18]

In the Southern Spaces article "Negotiating Black Identities" sociologist Karyn Lacy compares Fairfax County to Prince George's County, MD to better understand "how contemporary middle-class Blacks are managing their lives in suburban spaces."

Education

The county is served by the Fairfax County Public Schools system, to which the county government allocates 52.2% of its fiscal budget.[4] Including state and federal government contributions, along with citizen and corporate contributions, this brings the 2008 fiscal budget for the school system to $2.2 billion.[5] The school system has estimated that, based on the 2008 fiscal year budget, the county will be spending $13,407 on each student.[6]

The Fairfax County Public School system contains the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor's School. TJHSST consistently ranks at or near the top of all United States high schools due to the extraordinary number of National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists, the high average SAT scores of its students, and the number of students who annually perform nationally recognized research in the sciences and engineering.

George Mason University is located just outside Fairfax City, near the geographic center of Fairfax County. Northern Virginia Community College serves Fairfax County with campuses in Annandale and Springfield and a center in Reston which is a satellite branch of the Loudoun campus.

Economy

Fairfax County is, along with Washington, a core employment jurisdiction of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
The economy of Fairfax County is a robust service economy. Fairfax most heavily relies on the Federal Government. Many citizens work for the government or for contractors of the Federal Government. Defense contractors in particular are prominent. The government is the largest employer with Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax being the county's single largest employer.

The top 5 largest private employers are the Inova Health System, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) and Freddie Mac. Fairfax County also is home to several large companies such as Sprint Nextel, Gannett, Capital One, General Dynamics, and NVR. The county has seven Fortune 500 company headquarters, more than the rest of Northern Virginia or the neighboring state of Maryland, and nearly as many as the state capital Richmond.

The economy of the county is supported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which provides a wide array of services and information designed to promote Fairfax County as a leading business and technology center. The FCEDA also runs a capital attraction program to link entrepreneurs and start-up firms with venture capitalists and angel investors. Another program assists small, minority- and woman-owned businesses. The FCEDA has marketing offices in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Frankfurt, London, Seoul and Tel Aviv. [19]

Employment

The county has the highest average weekly wage of any other jurisdiction in the D.C. area at $1,574 in 2005. It is followed by Arlington ($1,471), Washington, Manassas, and Alexandria ($1,205).

From 1990 to the first quarter of 2005, Fairfax County added more total private sector jobs in the Washington region than the next four jurisdictions (Washington, Montgomery, Prince George's, and Loudoun) combined.[20] In early 2005, Fairfax had 553,107 total jobs, up from 372,792 in 1990, and is second to Washington's 658,505 jobs in 2005 (down from 668,532 in 1990).

As of the 2002 Economic Census, Fairfax County has the largest professional, scientific, & technical service sector in the Washington, D.C. area in terms of the number of business establishments; total sales, shipments, and receipts; payrolls; and number of employees[21], exceeding the next largest, Washington, D.C., by roughly a quarter overall, and doubling neighboring Montgomery County.

Tysons Corner

Tysons Corner is Virginia's largest office market and one of the leading business centers in the nation with 25.7 million square feet of office space.[7] The county's total office space inventory totaled 105.2 million square feet at year-end 2006, which is about the size of Downtown Manhattan.[8][9] Tysons Corner has, every weekday, over 100,000 workers from around the region and 50,000 shoppers from the region and throughout the state.[22]

Transportation

Roads

Several major highways run through Fairfax County including the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), Interstate 66, Interstate 95, and Interstate 395. The American Legion Bridge connects Fairfax to Montgomery County, Maryland. The George Washington Memorial Parkway, Dulles Toll Road, and Fairfax County Parkway are also major arteries. Other notable roads include Braddock Road, Old Keene Mill Road, Little River Turnpike, State Routes 7, 28, and 123, and US Routes 1, 29, and 50.

The county is in the Washington D.C. metro area, the nation's third most congested area. [10]

Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, is the third worst congested traffic area in the nation, in terms of percentage of congested roadways and time spent in traffic. Of the lane miles in the region, 44 percent are rated “F” or worst for congestion. Northern Virginia residents spend an average of 46 hours a year stuck in traffic.

[11] [12]

Air

Washington Dulles International Airport lies partly within Fairfax County and provides most air service to the county. Fairfax is also served by two other airports in the Washington area, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Manassas Regional Airport, in neighboring Prince William County, is also used for regional cargo and private jet service.

Public transportation

Fairfax County contracts its bus service called the Fairfax Connector to Veolia Transportation. It is also served by WMATA's metrobus service. Fairfax County is served by the Washington Metro trains. The Orange, Blue, Yellow and the planned Silver lines all serve Fairfax County. In addition, VRE (Virginia Railway Express) provides commuter rail service with stations in Lorton and Franconia-Springfield.

Biking and walking

The county maintains many miles of bike trails running through parks, adjacent to roads and through towns such as Vienna and Herndon. The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail runs through Fairfax County, offering one of the region's best, and safest, routes for recreational walking and biking.

However, compared to other regions of the Washington area, Fairfax County has a dearth of designated bike lanes for cyclists wishing to commute in the region. In fact, there is no known map of the county that directs cyclists to the best roads to traverse.[23] A recent VDOT report includes the lack of bike lanes or parallel residential streets to major thoroughfares as a major reason for low numbers of bicycle commuters in northern Virginia [24].

The Fairfax Cross County Trail runs from Great Falls National Park in the northern end of the county to Occoquan Regional Park in the southern end. Consisting of mostly dirt paths and short ashpahlt sections, this trail is used mostly by recreational mountain bikers, hikers, and horse riders.

Towns, independent cities, and other localities

Three incorporated towns, Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna, are located within Fairfax County.

The independent cities of Falls Church and Fairfax were formed out of areas formerly under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County, but are politically separate, despite the status of the City of Fairfax as county seat. Fairfax County contains an exclave located in the central business district of the City of Fairfax, in which many county facilities (including the courthouses and jail) are located.

Other communities within Fairfax County are unincorporated areas; Virginia law prohibits the creation of any new municipalities within any county with a population density of over 1,000 per square mile (which currently only affects Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Northern Virginia, and recently Henrico County outside Richmond). As of the 2000 census the thirteen largest communities of Fairfax County are all unincorporated CDPs, the largest of which are Burke, Reston, and Annandale, each with a population exceeding 50,000. (The largest incorporated place in the county is the town of Herndon, its fourteenth-largest community.)

Unincorporated Census Designated Places

The following localities within Fairfax County are identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as (unincorporated) Census-Designated Places:

Other localities

Famous people from Fairfax County

Historic Figures

Professionals

Sports/Entertainment Figures

Infamous people from Fairfax County

In popular culture

See also

References

External links

Facts about Fairfax County, VirginiaRDF feed
County names Fairfax County, Virginia  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Virginia  +
Short name Fairfax County  +

This article uses material from the "Fairfax County, Virginia" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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