Where is Fairfax County, Virginia, and why should you care?

Have you ever wondered where Fairfax County is? It's a common question I get. The answer depends on what you're looking for. Let's explore two key factors to consider: population and location.

Fairfax County boasts a population of 1.186 million people. Look at a map, and you'll see it sits right next to Washington D.C., Arlington County, Alexandria, and Falls Church. Beyond these urban areas, Fairfax County opens up, revealing a tapestry of communities like Fairfax City, Herndon, McLean, Oakton, Vienna, Great Falls, Clifton, Lorton, and Burke. It keeps going! And bordering Fairfax County, you'll find Prince William County and Loudoun County.

Living in Fairfax County puts you close to the beauty of the mountains and the serenity of rural Virginia. Additionally, Chesapeake Bay is just a 2.5-hour drive away.

Jobs and Companies

Did you know that Fairfax County is home to 10 Fortune 500 companies? Capital One, General Dynamics, NVR, and Hilton are just a few on this impressive list. The county is also a hub for top employers like Inova Health Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Freddie Mac. There's exciting news too! The Aerospace Corporation recently announced they're moving their headquarters from California to Chantilly in Fairfax County! And don't forget the top military and defense contractors here, such as Fort Belvoir, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Pentagon (although the Pentagon itself is actually in Arlington County).


Commute times can significantly impact where you choose to live in Fairfax County. A 20-minute commute might be possible if you live in Alexandria or near the Beltway in Falls Church or Annandale. However, if you want more space and are willing to drive, be prepared for traffic. The good news is that there are options! The Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Metrobus, and Metrorail provide alternatives to car commuting. While these options can extend your commute time to 30-45 minutes or even longer, they can help you avoid traffic congestion. Be aware that the Washington D.C. area was ranked number nine for worst traffic by thestreet.com. A study by the same source revealed that Fairfax County residents lose an average of 83 hours annually due to commuting!

Here's a breakdown of the main highways for getting into Arlington or D.C.: Highway 66, 395, and the 495 Loop. If you live in Reston or Alexandria and work in the Fairfax area (not Fairfax County), consider the Fairfax County Parkway (286) as a commute route. Just remember that the 286 doesn't have High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, so be prepared for congestion in certain areas.

For those commuting to the Pentagon, you can use the Pentagon Express bus, a convenient option that takes riders directly to the Pentagon from places like Springfield or Fairfax.


Fairfax County offers a variety of housing options, including condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. Single-family homes can range from lots as small as a tenth of an acre to sprawling estates with 5 acres or more. The choice is yours! As for prices, the average condo cost in Fairfax County in February 2024 was $408,000. Townhouses averaged around $767,000, and four-plus bedroom single-family homes came in at an average of $1.296 million. Compared to Arlington or Alexandria, Fairfax County offers more space for your money.


Fairfax County provides a wealth of educational options. There are public schools (Fairfax County Public Schools), private schools, and a thriving homeschooling community. Many people use niche.com and greatschools.org to start their school search, but it's wise to go beyond these resources. Consider exploring the Fairfax County Public Schools website to learn more about advanced academic programs and language immersion options.


Whether you're seeking career opportunities, exceptional schools, or a great place to raise a family, Fairfax County is worth considering. We hope this blog has been informative. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact us with any questions.

The information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice. We take great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained here. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published on this blog.  This blog is not intended to solicit properties.


HOME is more than a place with a roof over your head. It is a place of comfort, love, warmth, rest and security – “HEARTH”. We want to help you reach that place. Hence, our mission at The Royster Hearth Group is simple – Serve Our Neighbors, Not Ourselves.  We work hard to serve you in every aspect of the home-selling and -buying process.

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