"Friendly, Safe and Comfortable - a great place to come home to..."
You are here: county facts

Northern Virginia (NoVA)

is one of the wealthiest regions in the United States, consisting of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, counties and the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Together with Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland and West Virginia, it makes up the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. The Northern Virginia area forms most of the Virginia portion of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA, a Metropolitan Statistical Area. Northern Virginia as a whole is the most ethnically diverse/international and wealthy part of Virginia, and contains three of the ten highest income counties in the U.S.


2 million people (about 1/4th of Virginia's total population) live in Northern Virginia.

The racial breakdown of the population of Northern Virginia is as follows:

  • 66% White
  • 11% Hispanic
  • 11% Black
  • 9% Asian
  • 3% mixed race.

Northern Virginia is home to people from diverse backgrounds, with significant numbers of Korean-Americans, Indian-Americans, Iranian-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Pakistani-Americans, and Vietnamese-Americans, along with other Americans of Asian descent. There is a sizable Latino population, primarily consisting of Salvadorians, Peruvians, and Bolivians. Northern Virginia is also home to one of the largest African immigrant populations, with significant number of Ethiopians, Somalians, and Ghanaians. This leads to the availability of such diverse cuisines as Ethiopian, Afghan, Pakistani, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indian in the region.


In recent years, Northern Virginia has become so filled with technology companies, especially in the Dulles Technology Corridor, that it is often referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the East." The best-known of these technology companies is AOL. This economic boom has attracted many people from outside the region, from all over the country and throughout the world. The region has recovered relatively quickly from the effects of the dot-com bubble. Other large corporate employers include ExxonMobil near Falls Church, IBM in Manassas, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Reston.

It also is a desirable spot for government and defense contractors due to proximity to the Pentagon and the national capital.

The Federal government is a major employer in Northern Virginia, which is home to numerous government agencies; for example, Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and the Pentagon (headquarters of the Department of Defense) are located there, as are Fort Myer, Fort Belvoir, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Patent and Trademark Office, and the United States Geological Survey. All of this tends to shield Northern Virginia from the effects of recession.

After the large shopping malls such as Potomac Mills and Tysons Corner, the sites which attract the greatest numbers of visitors are Washington, D.C., and Civil War battlefields. Old Town Alexandria is popular with its noted historic townhouses, restaurants, gift and art shops. The waterfront and outdoor recreational amenities such as biking and running trails (the Washington and Old Dominion Rail Trail is the longest paved path in the U.S.; the Mount Vernon Trail, and trails along various stream beds are also popular), whitewater and sea kayaking, and rock climbing areas are focused along the Potomac River, but are also found at other locations in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Scenic Great Falls Park and historic Mount Vernon (which opened a new visitor center in 2006) are especially noteworthy. Woodbridge is home to two minor-league sports franchises, the Northern Virginia Royals soccer team and the Potomac Nationals baseball team.

I just love the convience of the easy access to all the major roads...