🇺🇸 Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Part of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County borders both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County and forms part of the suburban ring of Washington, D.C. The county is thus predominantly suburban in character, with some urban and rural pockets.
The county is the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, with around 20% of the MSA population, as well as the larger Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. The county seat is Fairfax, although because it is an independent city under Virginia law, the city of Fairfax is not part of Fairfax County.
Fairfax was the first U.S. county to reach a six-figure median household income and has the third-highest median household income of any county-level local jurisdiction in the United States after neighboring Loudoun County.
The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The county is also home to seven Fortune 500 companies, including three in the Falls Church area; although not located in the independent municipality of Falls Church.
Economy Fairfax County is, along with Washington, a "core" employment jurisdiction of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. 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."
Fairfax County's economy revolves around professional services and technology. 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 location of federal employment. Fairfax County has a gross county product of about $95 billion.
Fairfax County also is home to major employers such as Volkswagen Group of America, Hilton Worldwide, CSC (formerly Computer Sciences Corporation), Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gannett, Capital One, General Dynamics, ICF International, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, ManTech International, Mars, NII and NVR. The county is home to seven Fortune 500 company headquarters, 11 Hispanic 500 companies, and five companies on the Black Enterprise 500 list. Northrop Grumman announced in 2010 that it would move its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to Fairfax County.
The county's economy is supported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which provides services and information to promote Fairfax County as a leading business and technology center. The FCEDA is the nation's largest non-state economic development authority. Fairfax County is also home to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, a trade association for local technology companies. It is the nation's largest technology council, with technology industry figures such as Bill Gates and Meg Whitman speaking at various local banquets. Fairfax County has a higher concentration of high-tech workers than Silicon Valley.
Tysons The Tysons CDP of Fairfax County is Virginia's largest office market and the nation's largest suburban business district with 26,600,000 square feet (2,470,000 m²) of office space. It is the country's 12th-largest business district, and is expected to grow substantially in the coming decades. It contains a quarter of the county's total office space inventory, which was 105,200,000 square feet (9,770,000 m²) at year-end 2006, which is about the size of Lower Manhattan. The area is noted by Forbes as "often described as the place where the Internet was invented, but today it looks increasingly like the centre of the global military-industrial complex" due to being home to the nation's first ISPs (many of whom are now defunct), while attracting numerous defense contractors who have relocated from other states to or near Tysons Corner.
Every weekday, Tysons draws over 100,000 workers from around the region. It also draws 55,000 shoppers every weekday as it is home to neighbouring super-regional malls Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria. In comparison, Washington, D.C., draws 15 million visitors annually, or the equivalent of 62,500 per weekday.
After years of stalling and controversy, the $5.2 billion expansion of the Washington Metro Silver Line in Virginia from Washington, D.C., to Dulles International Airport received funding approval from the Federal Transit Administration in December 2008. The Silver Line added four stations in Tysons, including a station between Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.
Along with the expansion of Washington Metro, Fairfax County government has a plan to "urbanise" the Tysons area. The plan calls for a private-public partnership and a grid-like street system to make Tysons a more urban environment, tripling available housing to allow more workers to live near their work. The goal is to have 95% of Tysons Corner within 1⁄2-mile (800 m) from a metro station.
Top employers According to the county's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the county's largest employers are: 1 Fairfax County Public Schools; 2 United States government; 3 Fairfax County government; 4 Inova Health System; 5 George Mason University; 6 Booz Allen Hamilton; 7 Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation; 8 General Dynamics; 9 SAIC; 10 Northrop Grumman.