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Prince William County, Virginia
Seal of Prince William County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Prince William County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1731
Seat Manassas
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

348 sq mi (901 km²)
338 sq mi (875 km²)
11 sq mi (28 km²), 3.04%
 - (2020)
 - Density

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.[1]. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas[2]. It is part of Northern Virginia and is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.


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.[3] 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).

Adjacent jurisdictions[]

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.

Prince William County Judicial Center

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.

Board of County Supervisors
Name Party First Election District
  Ann B. Wheeler, Chairman Dem 2019 At-Large
  Jeanine Lawson Rep 2015 Brentsville
  Yesli Vega Rep 2019 Coles
  Peter Candland Rep 2011 Gainesville
  Victor Angry Dem 2019 Neabsco
  Kenny A. Boddye Dem 2019 Occoquan
  Andrea O. Bailey Dem 2019 Potomac
  Margaret Angela Franklin Dem 2019 Woodbridge
Constitutional Officers
Position Name Party First Election
  Sheriff Glendell Hill Rep 2003
  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.

Representatives to the Virginia House of Delegates
Name Party First Election District
  Candi Mundon King Dem 2021 2
Danica Roem Dem 2017 13
  Elizabeth Guzman Dem 2017 31
  Dan Helmer Dem 2019 40
  Lee Carter Dem 2017 50
  Hala Ayala Dem 2017 51
  Luke Torian Dem 2009 52
  John Bell Dem 2015 87
Representatives to the Virginia State Senate
Name Party First Election District
John Bell Dem 2019 13
Richard Stuart Rep 2007 28
Jeremy McPike Dem 2015 29
Scott Surovell Dem 2015 36
George Barker Dem 2007 39

National politics[]

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.[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%–41%,[5] 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.

United States presidential election results for Prince William County, Virginia[6]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 81,222 35.61% 142,863 62.64% 3,971 1.74%
2016 71,721 36.51% 113,144 57.60% 11,577 5.89%
2012 74,458 41.32% 103,331 57.34% 2,406 1.34%
2008 67,621 41.63% 93,435 57.52% 1,390 0.86%
2004 69,776 52.84% 61,271 46.40% 1,016 0.77%
2000 52,788 52.52% 44,745 44.52% 2,978 2.96%
1996 39,292 50.09% 33,462 42.66% 5,689 7.25%
1992 35,432 46.82% 26,486 35.00% 13,762 18.18%
1988 39,654 66.70% 19,198 32.29% 601 1.01%
1984 34,992 68.88% 15,631 30.77% 180 0.35%
1980 23,061 58.95% 12,787 32.69% 3,271 8.36%
1976 15,446 49.00% 15,215 48.26% 863 2.74%
1972 20,149 72.26% 7,266 26.06% 469 1.68%
1968 7,944 42.51% 5,566 29.79% 5,176 27.70%
1964 3,343 37.30% 5,611 62.60% 9 0.10%
1960 2,624 46.53% 2,987 52.97% 28 0.50%
1956 2,023 50.96% 1,851 46.62% 96 2.42%
1952 1,619 49.14% 1,653 50.17% 23 0.70%
1948 760 36.49% 1,162 55.78% 161 7.73%
1944 763 36.20% 1,340 63.57% 5 0.24%
1940 500 25.77% 1,435 73.97% 5 0.26%
1936 457 23.06% 1,512 76.29% 13 0.66%
1932 386 20.24% 1,499 78.61% 22 1.15%
1928 817 49.73% 826 50.27% 0 0.00%
1924 269 22.99% 847 72.39% 54 4.62%
1920 393 33.25% 786 66.50% 3 0.25%
1916 192 20.21% 754 79.37% 4 0.42%
1912 82 8.20% 814 81.40% 104 10.40%
1908 200 21.07% 738 77.77% 11 1.16%
1904 228 23.80% 724 75.57% 6 0.63%
1900 680 33.48% 1,351 66.52% 0 0.00%
1896 727 35.00% 1,341 64.56% 9 0.43%
1892 663 32.23% 1,356 65.92% 38 1.85%
1888 740 35.97% 1,313 63.83% 4 0.19%
1884 576 31.67% 1,243 68.33% 0 0.00%
1880 459 29.09% 1,119 70.91% 0 0.00%


Public schools[]

Prince William County Public Schools is the second largest school system in Virginia (having recently overtaken Virginia Beach City Public Schools).[7] 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


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 11,112
1910 12,026 8.2%
1920 13,660 13.6%
1930 13,951 2.1%
1940 17,738 27.1%
1950 22,612 27.5%
1960 50,164 121.8%
1970 111,102 121.5%
1980 144,636 30.2%
1990 215,686 49.1%
2000 280,813 30.2%
2010 402,002 43.2%

As of the census[[8]] 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[9], 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.


National Museum of the Marine Corps.

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.

National Parks[]

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 visitors center.

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.

County Parks[]

Prince William County Park Authority[]

The Prince William County Park Authority,[10] 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.[11] The Manassas , Quantico and Woodbridge stations are also served by Amtrak.

Major highways[]

  • I-66.svg Interstate 66
  • I-95.svg Interstate 95
  • US 1.svg U.S. Route 1
  • US 15.svg U.S. Route 15
  • US 29.svg U.S. Route 29
  • Virginia 28.svg State Route 28
  • Virginia 123.svg State Route 123
  • Virginia 234.svg State Route 234
  • VA CY 3000.PNG Prince William Parkway

Towns and other localities[]

Incorporated towns[]

Four incorporated towns are located within Prince William County:

  • Dumfries
  • Haymarket
  • Occoquan
  • Quantico

Census Designated Places and Unincorporated Communities[]

  • Aden
  • Antioch
  • Bethel
  • Brentsville
  • Bristow
  • Buckhall
  • Buckland
  • Bull Run
  • Canova
  • Catharpin
  • Cherry Hill
  • Cornwell
  • Dale City
  • Featherstone
  • Gainesville
  • Greenwich
  • Hoadly
  • Independent Hill
  • Lake Ridge
  • Linton Hall
  • Loch Lomond
  • Montclair
  • Nokesville
  • Quantico Station
  • Rixlew
  • Southbridge
  • Sudley
  • Sudley Springs
  • Thoroughfare
  • Triangle
  • Waterfall, Virginia
  • Wellington
  • West Gate
  • Woodbridge
  • Yorkshire

Extinct towns/communities[]

  • Agnewville
  • Batestown
  • Groveton
  • Hickory Grove
  • Hickory Ridge
  • Joplin
  • Kopp
  • Minnieville
  • Pamacocack
  • Woolsey

Independent cities[]

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[]

Potomac Mills

  • 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

See also[]

  • 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


External links[]

Coordinates: 38°42′N 77°29′W / 38.70, -77.48

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Prince William County, Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.