(population 969,749 per Census 2000
), located in northeast Virginia
, in what is generally referred to the Northern Virginia
area. It is the most populous single jurisdiction in Virginia, easily surpassing Virginia's largest city
, Virginia Beach
The County is bordered on all but two sides by the Potomac River, which forms a long shore running from north of Dranesville to the outlet of the Occoquan River at Belmont Bay. The Occoquan itself (partially impounded as the Occoquan Reservoir for most of its trip) and Bull Run form the southwestern boundary, and the northeastern boundary (with Loudoun County, Virginia) is on an imaginary diagonal, leading back up to the Potomac
Fairfax County was cut from the northeastern part of Prince William County, Virginia in 1742. Originally, it included all of what is now Loudoun County, but it was divided later on. The county was named for Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax.
Before World War II, Fairfax and environs were fairly sleepy; as late as 1930, the population was only 25,000. After the war, the numbers started to grow, and as the high-tech boom of the 1980s and 1990s set in, the population exploded.
Most of the population is spread out around the county, but concentrated in the Dulles Corridor area, inside the Beltway, and along Interstate 95. Being a suburb of D.C., there are many busy roads, places to shop, and housing developments. The southwestern part of the county, however, is still fairly rural, and along with the northen part of the county, is home to some of the highest-valued land.
There's only two incorporated towns in Fairfax County. Herndon, VA is one; Clifton, VA is the other (and Reston, VA is marked on some old maps as being incorporated, but this never went through).
In addition to the highways, there are two railroads (the Manassas Subdivision of the Southern Railway running though the middle of the county, and the old Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac running roughly alongside Interstate 95). The RF&P (which is owned and operated by CSX now) is the busier of the two, and both lines also carry the trains of the Virginia Railway Express on weekdays.
Like most of Northern Virginia, heavy industry is limited. Most of it is construction-related, producing concrete and asphalt. Also, the old Lorton Reformatory site hosts a few small factories and an incinerator plant.
Source: Some of this info was pulled from http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/opa/funfacts.htm