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Prince William County, Virginia

Prince William County, Virginia
Prince William County
The Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas in July 2011
Flag of Prince William County, Virginia
Seal of Prince William County, Virginia
Nickname(s): "P.W. County"
Map of Virginia highlighting Prince William County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1731
Named for Prince William, Duke of Cumberland
Seat Manassas
Largest town Dumfries
 • Total 348 sq mi (901 km2)
 • Land 336 sq mi (870 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (31 km2), 3.5%
Population (est.)
 • (2014)


density_km2 = 450.7
Congressional districts 1st, 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.pwcgovwww

Prince William County is located on the Potomac River in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 402,002,[1] in 2014, the population was estimated to be 437,636,[2] making it the second-most populous county in Virginia. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas.[3]

A part of Northern Virginia, Prince William County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2012 it had the seventh highest income of any county in the United States. It was the first minority-majority county in Virginia, with Hispanic (of any race, mostly from Central and South America), African American, and Asian being the chief groups.[4]

The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park with Prince William County (within which the two cities are enclaves) for statistical purposes:

Name Area (km²) Population
2000 Census
2010 Census
1 July 2013
Manassas (city) 25.59 35,135 37,821 41,705
Manassas Park (city) 6.55 10,290 14,273 16,149
Prince William County 871.27 280,813 402,002 438,580
Totals 903.41 326,238 454,096 486,434


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent jurisdictions 2.1
    • National protected areas 2.2
  • Government 3
    • Local 3.1
    • State offices 3.2
    • National politics 3.3
  • Economy 4
    • Top employers 4.1
  • Education 5
    • Public schools 5.1
    • Colleges 5.2
    • Universities 5.3
  • Demographics 6
  • Sports 7
  • Museums 8
  • Libraries 9
  • Parks 10
  • Transportation 11
  • Communities 12
    • Towns 12.1
    • Unincorporated communities 12.2
    • Former communities 12.3
    • Independent cities 12.4
  • Other important features 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


The old county courthouse (c.1897) in March 2007.

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that would become Prince William County were the Doeg, an Algonquian-speaking sub-group of the Powhatan tribal confederation. When John Smith and other English explorers ventured to the upper Potomac River beginning in 1608, they recorded the name of a village the Doeg inhabited as Pemacocack (meaning "plenty of fish"). It was located on the west bank of the Potomac River about 30 miles south of present-day Alexandria.[5] The Doeg maintained several villages in this area into the 1650s, when colonists began to patent the land.

Prince William County was created by an act of the General Assembly of the colony of Virginia in 1731; it was organized largely from the western section of

  • Official website
  • Prince William County at the Wayback Machine (archived June 7, 2012)
  • Prince William County at the Wayback Machine (archived April 12, 1997)

External links

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ [2]. Virginia State 2014 Population Estimates Retrieved February 5, 2015
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b c Michael D. Shear (November 7, 2012). "Demographic Shift Brings New Worry for Republicans". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ Swanton, John R. (1952), The Indian Tribes of North America, Smithsonian Institution, p. 69,  
  6. ^ "Legislation creating Prince William County, Virginia". Historic Prince William. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  7. ^ "Commemorating the 275th anniversary of Prince William County, Virginia". Sunlight Foundation. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  8. ^ , 1995-2005Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and DelawarePaul Heinegg,
  9. ^ a b "Demographic and Economic Newsletter", Prince William Report, Second Quarter 2014, April–June 2014
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ Kiser, Uriah (November 1, 2008). "Thousands gathering for Obama's final rally". Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  12. ^ "The White House - Obama's Path to Victory",  
  13. ^ "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013" (PDF). County of Prince William, Virginia. 
  14. ^ "Northern Virginia rises to dominance".  
  15. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  21. ^ American Community Survey, US Census Bureau 
  22. ^ Old Dominion Speedway plans to relocate to Spotsylvania County - Business Insider
  23. ^
  24. ^ Station Map, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), retrieved August 9, 2009 


See also

Potomac Mills in August 2005.

Other important features

Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park are combined for purposes of criminal, traffic, civil, and juvenile and domestic relations courts within the 31st Judicial District.

The independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park are surrounded by Prince William County. Before becoming interdependent cities, both were officially part of the county. The Prince William County Circuit, District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts, Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Prince William County Adult Detention Center, Prince William County Sheriff's Office, and other county agencies are located at Prince William County Courthouse complex. The courthouse complex itself is located in a Prince William County enclave surrounded by the city of Manassas.

Independent cities

Former communities

Unincorporated communities



The county is served by both Virginia Railway Express (VRE) lines. The Manassas line has the Manassas Park, Manassas, and Broad Run / Airport stations. The Fredericksburg line has the Woodbridge, Rippon, and Quantico stations.[24] The Manassas, Quantico and Woodbridge stations are also served by Amtrak.

Public busing in the county is provided by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.

Manassas Regional Airport lies near its namesake city; for commercial passengers, both Dulles Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are located nearby.

The county is traversed by many major highways and roads, including the following:


The Prince William County Department of Parks & Recreation operates fifty parks, two water parks, two recreation centers (Birchdale Rec. Center and Sharron Baucom Dale City Rec. Center), two community centers, six sports complexes, and an ice skating rink.

Two National Parks lie within the county. Prince William Forest Park was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area in 1936 and is located in eastern Prince William County. This is the largest protected natural area in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region at over 15,000 acres (6,070 ha). Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas in Prince William County, preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Manassas which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862. Outside the South, these battles are commonly referred to as the first and second battles of Bull Run.

The Manassas National Battlefield Park visitors' center in July 2003.


Two new full service branches are currently under construction: The Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library, with a ribbon cutting scheduled for October 22nd, 2015, and the Montclair Community Library, with a ribbon cutting scheduled for October 29, 2015.[23]

The Prince William Public Library System is a regional public library system that serves Prince William County, City of Manassas and City of Manassas Park. The system consists of 6 full-service branches and 5 neighborhood branches that covers the entire Prince William area.


The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located in Triangle, Virginia and is free to the public. The Historic Preservation Division of Prince William County also operates five museums: Rippon Lodge Historic Site, Brentsville Historic Centre, Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, Lucasville Historic Site, and Ben Lomond Historic Site.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps in November 2010.


The new facility will be called the Dominion Raceway and will be easily visible from I–95. The main entrance will be off Mudd Tavern Road near the northbound ramp onto 95.[22]

Steve Britt, principal owner of the Old Dominion Speedway, is under contract to purchase land just north of Mudd Tavern Road from a man who lives outside the Fredericksburg area. The sale is contingent on various government approvals, including a rezoning and special-use permit from Spotsylvania County.

The historic Old Dominion Speedway was located in Manassas. Opened in 1948, it was the location of the first commercial drag race held on the East Coast. It was also a stop on the NASCAR Grand National (now the Sprint Cup Series) schedule in the late 50's and early 60's. Old Dominion Speedway closed in the Fall of 2012. Being hemmed in by residential development led to frequent noise complaints from neighbors, which convinced ownership to search for new locations along 95 between Stafford County and Richmond.

The Potomac Nationals are a Minor League Baseball team located in Woodbridge, Virginia. The Nationals play in the high-A Carolina League and are an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Northern Virginia Royals are an American minor league soccer team, also located in Woodbridge, Virginia. The Royals have minor league affiliation with D.C. United, Washington, DC Major League Soccer franchise.


According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the 2009 median household income in Prince William County was $89,785. The per capita income for the county was $35,890. The 2009 American Community Survey reported that in 2009, 6.0% of Prince William County’s population was living below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.

According to the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey, 29.3% of the total County population is under 18 years of age; approximately 6.5% is aged 65 and over. The median age of the population is 33.2 years. The 2009 American Community Survey also indicated that 50.0% of the County’s population is male and 50.0% is female.

Also according to census figures, there were 130,785 households in Prince William County as of April 1, 2010. According to the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey,[21] 76.1% of the County’s households are occupied by families, (compared to 66.5% in the United States). This represents a decrease of 4.6 percentage points since 1990, when 80.7% of households in the County were families. Approximately 42.2% of Prince William County’s households are family households occupied by parents with their own children under 18 years of age.

In recent decades, the population of Prince William County increasingly has become racially and ethnically diverse while income has risen, reflecting a professional, educated populace. The census indicates that Prince William County is now a “minority-majority” community, meaning that less than half of the population (48.7%) is reported as non-Hispanic and of one race—White. Between 2000 and 2010, according to the census, the population of Hispanics of any race in the County grew by 198.8%, most are from Central and South America; Asian/Pacific Islanders grew by 188.8%. American Indian/Alaskan Natives, a relatively small segment of the total population grew by 89.5%, while Black/African Americans increased by 53.6%, and Whites increased by 20.4%.

  • 57.8% White
  • 20.2% Black or African American
  • 0.6% Native American
  • 7.5% Asian (1.5% Indian, 1.2% Filipino, 1.2% Korean, 0.8% Vietnamese 0.6% Chinese, 0.1% Japanese, 2.1% Other Asian)
  • 0.1% Pacific Islander
  • 9.1% from other races
  • and 5.1% from two or more races
  • 20.3% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race (6.8% Salvadorian, 3.7% Mexican, 1.8% Puerto Rican, 1.1% Guatemalan, 1.0% Peruvian, 0.9% Honduran, 0.7% Bolivian, 0.4% Colombian, 0.3% Nicaraguan, 0.3% Dominican)

As of the census[20] of 2010, there were 402,002 people, 137,115 housing units, and 130,785 households residing in the county. The population density was 1,186 people per square mile (458/km²). There were 137,115 housing units at an average density of 405 per square mile (156/km²). The racial makeup of the county (reporting as only one race) was:




The system has a television station called PWCS-TV. It is programmed and operated by Prince William County Public Schools' Media Production Services Department and is accessible to Comcast and Verizon subscribers in Prince William County.

Prince William County Public Schools is the second largest school system in Virginia (having recently overtaken Virginia Beach City Public Schools).[14] The system consists of 57 elementary, 16 middle, and 12 high schools, as well as a virtual high school, two traditional schools, three special education schools, and two alternative schools. The Superintendent of Prince William County Public Schools is Dr. Steven L. Walts.

Public schools


# Employer # of Employees
1 Prince William County Public Schools 1,000 and over
2 U.S. Department of Defense 1,000 and over
3 County of Prince William 1,000 and over
4 Walmart 1,000 and over
5 Morale, Welfare and Recreation 1,000 and over
6 Sentara Healthcare/Potomac Hospital Corporation 1,000 and over
7 Wegmans Food Markets 500 to 999
8 Minnieland Private Day School 500 to 999
9 Northern Virginia Community College 500 to 999
10 Target Corporation 500 to 999

According to the County's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the top employers in the county are:

Top employers


Representatives to the Virginia State Senate
Name Party First Election District
Richard "Dick" Black Rep 2011 13
Richard Stuart Rep 2007 28
Chuck Colgan Dem 1975 29
Toddy Puller Dem 2000 36
George Barker Dem 2007 39
Representatives to the Virginia House of Delegates
Name Party First Election District
  Michael Futrell Dem 2013 2
Bob Marshall Rep 1991 13
  Scott Lingamfelter Rep 2001 31
  Tim Hugo Rep 2001 40
  Jackson Miller Rep 2006 50
  Richard Anderson Rep 2009 51
  Luke Torian Dem 2009 52
  David Ramadan Rep 2011 87
Constitutional Officers
Position Name Party First Election
  Sheriff Glendell Hill Rep 2004
  Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert Dem 1968
  Clerk of Circuit Court Michèle McQuigg Rep 2008
Board of County Supervisors
Name Party First Election District
  Corey Stewart, Chairman Rep 2003 At-Large
  Jeanine Lawson Rep 2015 Brentsville
  Martin E. Nohe Rep 2003 Coles
  Peter Candland Rep 2011 Gainesville
  John D. Jenkins Dem 1982 Neabsco
  Michael C. May Rep 2007 Occoquan
  Maureen S. Caddigan Rep 1995 Potomac
  Frank J. Principi Dem 2007 Woodbridge

Continuing demographic changes in the county, such as an increasingly diverse and urbanized population, were cited by The New York Times as contributing to Obama's success in the United States presidential election, 2012 and suggesting the future appeal of the Democratic Party in the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, county population had increased by 121,189 persons (43.2%).[9] It had changed from a primarily white, rural county. Prince William by 2012 had an educated professional population with the seventh-highest income in the country; it is the first county in Virginia to be composed of a majority of minorities: Hispanic, African American, and Asian. Obama and the Democrats attracted their votes.[4] Time identified Prince William as one of five critical counties in Virginia for the election. Obama defeated Romney soundly by 15 percentage points with a margin of 57%-42%.[12]

In the United States presidential election, 2008, Democrat Barack Obama carried Prince William with 57.51% of the vote, compared to Republican John McCain who received 41.62%. Obama's final rally the night before the election was held at the Prince William County Fairgrounds, just outside the city of Manassas.[11]

Republicans hold two of the three U.S. Congressional seats (VA-1 and VA-10) that include parts of Prince William County. In 2006, Democratic U.S. Senator candidate Jim Webb carried the county with 50.51% of the vote.

National politics

In 2005, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Timothy M. Kaine won the county with 49.95% of the vote.

Republicans hold six of the eight Richard Stuart and Dick Black (politician) also represent portions of the county.

State offices In 2006, the then-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors,

In other elected local offices, the Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, Paul Ebert, is a Democrat. The Sheriff, Glen Hill, is a Republican, as is the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Michèle McQuigg.

Republicans hold six of the eight seats on the Board of Supervisors as well as the offices of County Sheriff and Clerk of the Court. No Democrat has chaired the Board of County Supervisors since Kathleen Seefeldt left office in January 2000.

The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Potomac, Gainesville, Neabsco, Occoquan, and Woodbridge. The magisterial districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Prince William County. There is also a chairman elected by the county at-large, bringing total board membership to 8. A vice-chairman is selected by the board from among its membership. The current Chairman is Corey A. Stewart, who previously served as the Occoquan District Supervisor. The current Vice-Chairman is Maureen S. Caddigan, the Potomac District Supervisor. The county operates under the county form of the county executive system of government, with an elected Board of Supervisors. The board appoints a professional, nonpartisan county executive to manage operations of government agencies.



National protected areas

Adjacent jurisdictions

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km2), of which 336 square miles (870 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (3.5%) is water.[10] It is bounded on the north by Loudoun and Fairfax Counties; on the west by Fauquier County; on the south by Stafford County; and on the east by the Potomac River (Charles County, Maryland lies across the river).


The Marine Corps Heritage Museum and the Hylton Performing Arts Center opened in the 21st century. The American Wartime Museum is also to be located in this county. During the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, re-enactment of the famous First and Second Battles of Manassas was planned.

In 1960 the population was 50,164, but suburbanization caused that to increase rapidly in the following decades, supported by expansion of federal, military and commercial activities in Northern Virginia in the late 20th century. By 2000, this was the third-most populous local jurisdiction in Virginia. From 2000 to 2010, the population increased by 43.2%. This was the first county in Virginia to be minority-majority: the new majority is composed of Hispanic (of any race, largely of Central and South American ancestry), African American, and Asian.[9] In 2012 it was the seventh-wealthiest county in the country.[4] The estimated population of 2014 is more than 437,000.

The county was rural and agricultural for decades. The population into the early 20th century was centered in two areas, one at Manassas (home to a major railroad junction), the other near Occoquan and Woodbridge along the Potomac River. Beginning in the late 1930s, a larger suburban population was attracted to new housing that was developed near the existing population centers, particularly in Manassas.

In 1790 the population of the county was 58% white; most of the remainder was black and enslaved. The county had been an area of tobacco plantations, where crops were being changed to mixed crops due to soil exhaustion and changes in the market. In the first two decades after the Revolution, the number and percentage of free blacks increased in Virginia as some whites freed their slaves, based on revolutionary ideals. Most free people of color in the state were descended from colonial unions between white women and African-American men, slave, indentured servant or free. Under colonial law since 1662, children took the status of their mother, so children born to white women were free, even if of mixed race.[8]


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