Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. As of 2002, the population was 991,000, making Fairfax the most populous county in the commonwealth. The US Census Bureau predicted the current 2005 population to be well over 1,000,000, however. Its county seat is the independent city of Fairfax6.
This county is a part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area.
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.
Fairfax County is bounded on the north by the Potomac River; across the river is the City of Washington, DC; it is also partially bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church; it is bound on the west by Loudoun County; and on the south by Prince William County.
The county is divided into nine supervisor districts: Braddock, Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Providence, Springfield, and Sully.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 969,749 people, 350,714 households, and 250,409 families residing in the county. The population density is 948/km² (2,455/mi²). There are 359,411 housing units at an average density of 351/km² (910/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 69.91% White, 8.57% 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 are Hispanic or Latino of any race. Fairfax County is home to more than 60,000 Koreans, particularly in the Annandale area, along with substantial groups of immigrants from other, primarily Asian, countries.
There are 350,714 households, of which 36.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% are married couples living together, 8.60% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% are non-families. 21.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 4.80% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.74 and the average family size is 3.20.
In the county, the population is 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 are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $81,050, and the median income for a family is $92,146. Males have a median income of $60,503 versus $41,802 for females. The per capita income for the county is $36,888. 4.50% of the population and 3.00% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.20% of those under the age of 18 and 4.00% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Judged by median income, Fairfax County was the richest county in the country through the late 1990's but was recently overtaken by Douglas County, Colorado and is currently the second wealthiest county in the country--as judged by median household income.
One of the primary attractions of Fairfax County is its public school system, perennially rated the best in the country. The average cost per student in 2004-05 is $11,022. The school system contains several high schools with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate degree programs, in addition to a science and technology magnet school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
Towns, Independent Cities, and Other Localities
Other communities within Fairfax County are unincorporated places; 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 affects Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Northern Virginia, and Henrico County adjacent to Richmond).
Identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as census-designated places, these communities include the following localities:
- Bailey's Crossroads
- Belle Haven
- Dunn Loring
- Fairfax Station
- Fort Belvoir
- Fort Hunt
- Great Falls
- Hybla Valley
- Lake Barcroft
- Mount Vernon
- North Springfield
- Pimmit Hills
- Rose Hill
- Seven Corners
- Tysons Corner
- West Springfield
- Wolf Trap
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