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City of Alexandria

  •   State: 
    Fairfax County
      County FIPS: 
    38°49′13″N 77°03′01″W
      Area total: 
    15.35 sq mi (39.75 km²)
      Area land: 
    14.93 sq mi (38.68 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.41 sq mi (1.07 km²)
    39 ft
    1749; Incorporated (town) 1779; Incorporated (city) 1852; Incorporated ( Independent city ) 1870
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    10,680.97 residents per square mile of area (4,122.72/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Alexandria is an independent city in the northern region of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It lies on the western bank of the Potomac River approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Washington, D.C. It is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, in the U.S. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. In 2020, the population was 159,467; the city's estimated population has grown by 1% annually since 2010 on average. The historic center of Alexandria is known as Old Town Alexandria (or simply "Old Town"). Like Old Town, many Alexandria neighborhoods are compact and walkable. The city is the 7th largest and highest-income independentCity in Virginia. A large portion of adjacent Fairfax County, mostly south but also west of the city, has Alexandria mailing addresses. However, this area is under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County's government and separate from the independent city. In 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office moved to Alexandria, and in 2017, so did the headquarters of the National Science Foundation. Various Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the lands in the Potamac River drainage area since at least the early 14th century. In 1608, English settler John Smith recorded the presence of a settlement called Assaomeck near the south bank of what is now Hunting Creek. On October 21, 1669, a patent granted 6,000 acres (24 km²) to Robert Howsing for transporting 120 people to the Colony of Virginia.


Alexandria is the primary city name, but also Belleview are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Alexandria. A succession of indigenous peoples began to occupy the Chesapeake and Tidewater region about 3,000 to 10,000 years ago. Various Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the lands in the Potomac River drainage area since at least the early 14th century. On October 21, 1669, a patent granted 6,000 acres (24 km²) to Robert Howsing for transporting 120 people to the Colony of Virginia.:5 That tract would later become the City of Alexandria.:5 Virginia's comprehensive Tobacco Inspection Law of 1730 mandated that all tobacco grown in the colony must be brought to locally designated public warehouses for inspection before sale. One of the sites designated for a warehouse was at the mouth of Hunting Creek. However, the ground proved to be unsuitable, and the warehouse was built half a mile up-river, where the water was deep near the shore. Around 1746, Captain Philip Alexander II moved to what is south of present Duke Street in Alexandria. His estate, which consisted of 500 acres (2.0 km²), was bounded by Hunting Creek, Hooff's Run, the PotOMac River, and approximately the line which would become Cameron Street. On May 2, 1749, the House of Burgesses approved the river location and ordered "Mr. Washington do go up with a Message to the Council and acquaint them that this House have agreed to the Amendments titled An Act for erecting a Town at Hunting Creek Warehouse, in the County of Fairfax.".


Alexandria has a total area of 15.5 square miles (40.1 km²) of which 15.0 square miles is land. The city is bounded on the east by the Potomac River, on the north and northwest by Arlington County, and on the south by Fairfax County. The addressing system in Alexandria is not uniform and reflects the consolidation of several originally separate communities into a single city. The ZIP Code prefix 223 uniquely identifies the Alexandria postal area. Many areas outside the city have an Alexandria mailing address yet are a part of Fairfax County including Hollin Hills, Franconia, Groveton, Hybla Valley, Huntington, Lincolnia, Belle Haven, Mount Vernon, Fort Hunt, Engleside, Burgundy Village, Waynewood, Wilton Woods, Rose Hill, Virginia Hills, Hayfield, and Kingstowne. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Alexandria has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. Part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway is the one national protected area within the borders of Alexandria. The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. Some refer to these areas as Lower Alexandria, South Alexandria, or Alexandria, Fairfax County, some refer to them as Lower and South Alexandria and others as Lower, South, and Lower Alexandria and Lower South, respectively. In Old Town Alexandria, building numbers are assigned north and south from King Street. In the areas formerly in the town of PotomAC, such as Del Ray and St. Elmo, building number are assigned east and west.


At the 2010 census, there were 139,966 people, 68,082 households and 30,978 families residing in the city. The racial/ethnic mix of the population was : 60.9% White, 21.8% African American, 6.0% Asian (1.3% Indian, 1.0%) and 0.4% Native American. The median household income was $103,284 and median family income is $130,395. 14.2% of residents under the age of 18 and 3.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. 65.4 per cent of Alexandria residents age 25 and older have attained a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 41.8 per cent statewide. At the 2020 Census, the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race. The 2020 Census will be held on October 1, 2020. It will be the first time the city has been included in the U.S. Census Bureau's Mega-Census, which is based on the 2010 Census. The city is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, with a population growth rate of 2.7 per cent from 2008 to 2012. The population is expected to grow to more than 139,000 by the end of the decade.


Alexandria is home to numerous trade associations, charities, and non-profit organizations. As of 2016, 2.9% of Alexandria residents were unemployed. Jobs in Alexandria are highly concentrated around the city's Metrorail stations, primarily in Old Town North and the Braddock Road area, Old Town, and Carlyle near the Eisenhower Avenue Station, as well as along the I-395 corridor on the west side of the city.Major employment sectors in Alexandria include management consulting, business and finance, office and administrative support, computer and mathematical, sales, and legal. In total, firms in Alexandria employ approximately 91,000 people. 13% of people that work in Alexandria live in the city, while 87% commute in, with 37% of those commuters being from Fairfax County. 35% commute to Washington, D.C., and 29% commuteto Fairfax County, with an additional 61,000 commuting out of Alexandria to work. The city's 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top public employers in theCity are: The National Credit Union Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, National Science Foundation, Office of the Inspector General, and the Food and Nutrition Service. The top private employers are: Oblon law firm, Mandiant, BoatUS and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. The City of Alexandria has a Chamber of Commerce and other business associations including the West End Business Association, the Del Ray Business Association and the Old Town Business Association. Alexandria also has the American Counseling Association and American Physical Therapy Association.

Arts and culture

Alexandria is home to the Scottish Christmas Walk, which was established in 1969. Other annual events include the Red Cross Waterfront Festival in June, the city's birthday celebration with fireworks show in July, various ethnic heritage days at Tavern Square, and "First Night Alexandria", which presents many family-friendly entertainments on New Year's Eve. Landmarks within the city include the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (also known as the Masonic Temple) and Observation Deck, Christ Church, Gadsby's Tavern, John Carlyle House, Little Theatre of Alexandria, Lee-Fendall House, Alexandria City Hall, Market Square, the Jones Point Light, the south cornerstone of the original District of Columbia, Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Torpedo Factory Art Center, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. Interesting sites with Alexandria addresses but outside of the city limits include River Farm, Collingwood Library & Museum, Green Spring Gardens Park, Huntley Meadows Park, Historic Huntley, Pope-Leighey House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), Woodlawn Plantation, Washington's Grist Mill and Mount Vernon Estate. In 1830, John Hollensbury's home in Alexandria was one of two homes directly bordering an alleyway that received a large amount of horse-drawn wagon traffic and loiterers. In order to prevent people from using the alleyway, he constructed a 7 feet (2.1 m) wide, 25 feet (7.6 m) deep, 325-square-foot (30.2 m2), two-story home using the existing brick walls of the adjacent homes for the sides of the new home.


Alexandria has only been the home of one professional sports team, the Alexandria Dukes, a minor league baseball team. The team moved to Woodbridge in 1984 to become The Prince William Pirates (now known as the Fredericksburg Nationals). Alexandria is located near the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. The city is also home to the U.S. Naval Academy, which was founded in 1788. Alexandria has a population of about 1,000 people. The town is located in the Shenandoah Valley, which is home to a number of historic sites, including the site of the Battle of the Bulge and the birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln. Alexandria is also known for its nightlife, particularly the local bars and clubs, which opened in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is located on the Potomac River, which runs through the center of the city. It also has a harbor, which has been used as a shipping hub for the past few centuries. Alexandria also has an international airport, with the Port of Alexandria being the city's main port of entry to the East Coast. It was also the location of the World War II-era USS Alexandria, which sank in the Red River, and later the USS Alexandria. Alexandria was home to an Army base during the Second World War. It has been home to several colleges, including Alexandria State College and the University of Alexandria. The Alexandria High School was established in the early 1900s as a prep school.

Parks and recreation

Alexandria has a distributed park system with approximately 950 acres (3.8 km²) spread across 70 major parks and 30 recreation centers. The city is home to Cameron Run Regional Park which includes a water park with a wave pool and water slides, as well as a miniature golf course and batting cages. A portion of the Mount Vernon Trail, a popular bike and jogging path, runs through Old Town near the Potomac River on its way to Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. There is also a largely unbroken line of parks stretching along the Alexandria waterfront from end to end. Chinquapin offers facilities for swimming, tennis, racquetball, and other sports. It also organizes several sports leagues throughout the year including volleyball, softball and basketball. It is also home to the National Mall, which is the largest indoor mall in the United States, with more than 1,000,000 square feet of indoor retail space. The National Mall is also the largest outdoor mall in America, with over 1,500,000 sq ft of outdoor retail space in the U.S. alone. It was the first mall to be built in the country in the late 1800s, and is located in the heart of Old Town. The Mall was built on the site of the former home of Washington's National Park Service, which dates back to the early 1800s. It opened in 1881 and has been there ever since, along with a number of other parks and recreation facilities.


Alexandria is an independent city of Virginia (as opposed to an incorporated town within a county) In order to revise the power and structure of the city government, the city must request the General Assembly to amend the charter. The present charter was granted in 1950 and it has been amended in 1968, 1971, 1976, and 1982. In 2008, the City of Alexandria had 78 standing local boards, commissions, and committees to advise the City Council on major issues affecting the community. The City Manager is responsible for overseeing the city's administration. The Mayor, who is chosen on a separate ballot, presides over meetings of the Council and serves as the ceremonial head of government. In the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor performs the mayoral duties. Alexandria is part of Virginia's 8th congressional district, represented by Democrat and Alexandria resident Don Beyer, elected in 2014. The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Democrat Mark Warner, first elected in 2008, and the state's junior member of U.S. House of Representatives is Democrat Tim Kaine,First elected in 2012. The city has a school board with nine members. Three are elected from each of the City's three school board districts. In 2012 the city council approved a charter where residents can buy plastic bags for $5. In 2022, Alexandria enacted a 5-cent plastic bag tax consistent with the phasasas of Berkeley, an ecocity is defined as "an ecologically healthy city" In 2008 the city officials voted in favor of a charter that is "meeting our community's needs and preserving our historic character".


The city is served by the Alexandria City Public Schools system. Virginia Tech's Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, also known as WAAC, is located on Prince Street in Old Town. Virginia Commonwealth University operates a Northern Virginia branch of its School of Social Work. The George Washington University also has a campus near the King Street metro. Alexandria has several of the Washington, D.C., area's top private schools, such as St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School, Bishop Ireton High School, and Episcopal High School. The Alexandria Library serves the residents of Alexandria, and provides a variety of services which include adult, young adult, and children's materials. E-Books can be borrowed through OverDrive e-Audio books and all branches offer free public Internet access and free Wifi. In 2004, 62% of the school-going children received free lunches; by 2008, that number had decreased to 56%. At George Washington Middle School, 41% of students are non-Hispanic whites, 34% were Hispanic, and 21% was black. In November 2020, the school board unanimously voted to rename T. C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School, effective July 1, 2021. The high school was renamed Alexandria City high School and Maury elementary was renamed Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School. Also in the city are Alexandria Country Day School, Commonwealth Academy, the Basilica School of Saint Mary, St. Rita's Catholic School, Blessed Sacrament School and Global Health College. The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is headquartered in Alexandria.

  • Alexandria's population in Fairfax County, Virginia of 14,528 residents in 1900 has increased 10,98-fold to 159,467 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.52% female residents and 48.48% male residents live in Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia.

    As of 2020 in Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia are married and the remaining 53.94% are single population.

  • 32.7 minutes is the average time that residents in Alexandria require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    62.41% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.04% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 16.69% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.41% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, 37.31% are owner-occupied homes, another 56.88% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.81% are vacant.

  • The 47.45% of the population in Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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