|Prince William County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
348 sq mi (901 km²)
338 sq mi (875 km²)
11 sq mi (28 km²), 3.04%
1,167/sq mi (450.7/km²)
Prince William County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States, and is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. As of the 2020 United States Census, Prince William County had a population of 482,204.. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas. It is part of Northern Virginia and is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Government
- 4 Education
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Sports
- 7 Museums
- 8 National Parks
- 9 County Parks
- 10 Transportation
- 11 Towns and other localities
- 12 Other important features
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
When Captain John Smith and other English explorers came to the upper Potomac beginning in 1608, they reported that the area within present Prince William County was occupied by the Doeg tribe. The Doeg Indians 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, largely from the western section of Stafford County as well as a section of King George County. The area encompassed by the Act creating Prince William County originally included all of what later became Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park (and the various incorporated towns therein). The County was named for Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, the third son of King George II.
The County was a rural community for years and the population 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 grew up near the existing population centers, particularly in Manassas. Beginning in the late 1960s, the County and its population expanded dramatically to the point where, by the end of the 20th century, it was the third most populous local jurisdiction in Virginia. Much of this growth has taken place in the last twenty years. Recently Prince William County has seen the opening of the Marine Corps Heritage Museum, the Hylton Performing Arts Center, the announcement of the coming American Wartime Museum and the 150th commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the famous First and Second Battles of Manassas.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (902 km²), of which 338 square miles (875 km²) is land and 11 square miles (27 km²) (3.04%) is water. 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).
- Loudoun County, Virginia - North
- Fairfax County, Virginia - North-East
- Charles County, Maryland - South-East
- Stafford County, Virginia - South
- Fauquier County, Virginia - West
- Manassas, Virginia - Center (enclave)
- Manassas Park, Virginia - Center (enclave)
|Loudoun County||Fairfax County|
Prince William County, Virginia
|Stafford County||Charles County, Maryland|
National protected areas
- Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
- Manassas National Battlefield Park
- Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- Prince William Forest Park
County elected offices
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 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.
In other elected County offices, the Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, Amy Ashworth, and the Prince William County Clerk of Circuit Court, Jacqueline Smith are Democrats. The Prince William County Sheriff, Glen Hill, is a Republican.
|Ann B. Wheeler, Chairman||Dem||2019||At-Large|
|Kenny A. Boddye||Dem||2019||Occoquan|
|Andrea O. Bailey||Dem||2019||Potomac|
|Margaret Angela Franklin||Dem||2019||Woodbridge|
|Commonwealth's Attorney||Amy Ashworth||Dem||2019|
|Clerk of Circuit Court||Jacqueline Smith||Dem||2017|
State elected offices
Republicans formerly held six of the eight Virginia House of Delegates seats that include parts of the county, with that delegation having consisted Robert G. Marshall, Scott Lingamfelter, Tim Hugo, Jackson Miller, Rich Anderson, and Mark Dudenhefer. In the 2017 legislative election, which saw the Democrats cut a Republican majority in the House of Delegates from 66 to 51, Prince William County saw its number of Republican Delegates be reduced from six to one, with Tim Hugo being the sole Republican to represent the county. Marshall, Lingamfelter, Miller, and Anderson all ran for reelection and were defeated by Democratic challengers Danica Roem, Elizabeth Guzmán, Lee Carter, and Hala Ayala respectively. Dudenhefer opted to retire and instead successfully ran for a seat on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, and he was replaced by Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy. Democrats Luke Torian and John Bell were already representing the county in the House at the time of the 2017 elections, and with the addition of the five newcomers, Democrats held seven of the eight House seats that include parts of Prince William County. Hugo was then defeated in the 2019 election by Democrat Dan Helmer and Democrats now hold all eight House seats.
Four of the five Virginia State Senate seats that include parts of the county are held by Democrats, including Democratic Sen. Jeremy Mc Pike, the President pro tempore of the Senate, Toddy Puller, George Barker and John Bell. Republican Richard Stuart also represents portions of the county.
In 2005, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine won the county with 49.95% of the vote.
|Candi Mundon King||Dem||2021||2|
Republicans hold one of the three U.S. Congressional seats (VA-1) 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.
In the 2008 United States presidential election, 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. He was the first Democrat to carry the county since 1964.
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 2012 United States presidential election 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%). 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. 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%–41%, narrowly beating his 2008 margin.
The county continued its trend toward Democratic candidates in the 2016 United States presidential election, Prince William County voted 57.6% for Hillary Clinton to Trump's 36.5%. Clinton's victory represented the largest margin of victory for any presidential candidate in the county since 1988. In 2020, Prince William County voted for Joe Biden with 62.6% of the vote, the largest percent since 1944.
Prince William County Public Schools is the second largest school system in Virginia (having recently overtaken Virginia Beach City Public Schools). The system consists of 57 elementary, 16 middle, and 12 high public 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.
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.
Edulink Intouch Online is a parent-school communication system that allows secure access to student information such as school attendance and grades.
- Northern Virginia Community College
- George Mason University
- Strayer University
- University of Northern Virginia
As of the census[] 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 60.9% White, 21.3% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 7.9% 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. In recent decades, the population of Prince William County increasingly has become racially and ethnically diverse. The census also 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%; 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%. 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, 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. 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. 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.
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.
Located in Manassas is the historic Old Dominion Speedway. 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 Sprint Cup Series) schedule in the late 50's and early 60's. It still holds weekly drag races and NASCAR-sanctioned races.
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the new historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. It 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.
Prince William Forest Park
Prince William Forest Park was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area in 1936 and is located in eastern Prince William County, Virginia. The park 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
Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas in Prince William County, Virginia, 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. These battles are commonly referred to as the first and second battles of Bull Run outside the South.
Prince William County Park Authority
The Prince William County Park Authority, founded in 1977 by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, provides the residents and visitors with recreational programs, parks and facilities. The park authority is an autonomous organization governed by an eight member board appointed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and funded by a tax transfer and revenue producing facilities. The park board appoints an executive director to act as the Chief Administrative Officer and to execute the board's policies and programs.
The following commercial or civil facilities are located in adjacent or nearby counties:
- Washington Dulles International Airport
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Manassas Regional Airport
- Stafford Regional Airport
Public Bus Service
Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is the public transportation system in Prince William County. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.
Commuter Rail Service
Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a commuter rail service that connects the Northern Virginia area with Washington, DC. Both VRE lines have three stations each in Prince William County. The Manassas line has the Manassas Park, Manassas, and Broad Run / Airport stations. The Fredericksburg line has the Woodbridge, Rippon, and Quantico stations. The Manassas , Quantico and Woodbridge stations are also served by Amtrak.
- Interstate 66
- Interstate 95
- U.S. Route 1
- U.S. Route 15
- U.S. Route 29
- State Route 28
- State Route 123
- State Route 234
- Prince William Parkway
Towns and other localities
Four incorporated towns are located within Prince William County:
Census Designated Places and Unincorporated Communities
The independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park are surrounded by Prince William County. The Prince William County Circuit, District, Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts (County of Prince William, City of Manassas, and City of Manassas Park are combined for purposes of criminal, traffic, civil, and juvenile and domestic relations courts within 31st Judicial District), 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.
Other important features
- Prince William Forest Park, the largest National Park Service property in the Washington, D.C., region
- Leesylvania State Park, the ancestral home of the Lee family. The park offers a range of recreational activities and beautiful views of the river.
- Marine Corps Base Quantico, a large military installation
- Manassas National Battlefield Park, an important Civil War battlefield
- Hylton Performing Arts Center, state-of-the-art venues
- Jiffy Lube Live, a large concert venue
- Potomac Mills, the 10th most popular tourist destination in Virginia and largest outlet mall in the region.
- Old Dominion Speedway, A race track near Manassas featuring a 1/8 mile drag strip, and a NASCAR sanctioned 3/8 mile high banked oval track
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Prince William County, Virginia
- Prince William County Police Department
- Prince William County Sheriff's Office
- Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue
- Splash Down Water Park
- ^ . Weldon Cooper Center Population Estimates Retrieved January 26, 2011
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- ^ "Legislation creating Prince William County, Virginia, in 1730". Historic Prince William. http://www.historicprincewilliam.org/creation.html. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- ^ Michael D. Shear (November 7, 2012). "Demographic Shift Brings New Worry for Republicans". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/us/politics/obamas-victory-presents-gop-with-demographic-test.html.
- ^ "The White House – Obama's Path to Victory", Time: 16–17, November 19, 2012
- ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS.
- ^ "Northern Virginia rises to dominance". The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia). 2007-12-31. http://hamptonroads.com/2007/12/northern-virginia-rises-dominance. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
- ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFFacts?_event=&geo_id=14000US51153900902&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US51%7C05000US51153%7C86000US22026%7C14000US51153900902&_street=17325+River+Ridge+Blvd.&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=&_zip=22026&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=search_by_address&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=050
- ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DatasetMainPageServlet?_program=ACS&_submenuId=&_lang=en&_ts=
- ^ Prince William County Park Authority Retrieved April 14, 2010
- ^ VRE Station Map Retrieved 08/09/2009
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