Great Falls, Virginia

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Great Falls, Virginia
Census-designated place (CDP)
Location of Great Falls in Fairfax County, Virginia
Location of Great Falls in Fairfax County, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°59′50″N 77°17′15″W / 38.99722°N 77.28750°W / 38.99722; -77.28750Coordinates: 38°59′50″N 77°17′15″W / 38.99722°N 77.28750°W / 38.99722; -77.28750
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
 • Total 17.9 sq mi (46.4 km2)
 • Land 17.9 sq mi (46.3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 341 ft (104 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,427[1]
 • Density 478.5/sq mi (184.7/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 22066
Area code(s) 703
FIPS code 51-32496[2]
GNIS feature ID 1467429[3]

Great Falls is a census-designated place (CDP)[4] in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 15,427, an increase of 80.5% from the 2000 census.[5]

CNN Money ranked Great Falls first in the nation on its list of "top earning towns" in 2011.[6]

Although primarily a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., one major attraction is Great Falls Park which overlooks the Great Falls of the Potomac River, for which the community and the park are named. George Washington was involved with building a canal around the falls on the southwest, or Virginia, side, called the Patowmack Canal, which did not become commercially viable. Remnants of the canal and of a village around the canal named Matildaville are still visible in the park. The Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad extended along Old Dominion Drive to Great Falls Park in 1906.

River Bend County Park is another gathering area in Great Falls, as is the Village Green, which hosts community celebrations around Easter (Spring Festival, including an Egg Hunt), Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (Tree Lighting), as well as concerts in the summer.


Boundaries of the Great Falls CDP as of 2003

Great Falls is located at 38°59′53″N 077°17′18″W / 38.99806°N 77.28833°W / 38.99806; -77.28833 (38.9981653, -77.2883157).[7] The area is sparsely populated due to the vast tracts of land.[citation needed] The main roads serving Great Falls are Virginia State Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and Virginia State Route 193 (Georgetown Pike).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.4 km²), of which, 17.9 square miles (46.3 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.22%) is water.

Early on, the village was known as Forestville (unofficially, since there was already a Forestville with a Post Office), but was named Great Falls in 1955.[8]


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 8,549 people, 2,785 households, and 2,464 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 478.5 people per square mile (184.7/km²). There were 2,852 housing units at an average density of 159.6/sq mi (61.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.83% White, 1.20% African American, 0.14% Native American, 4.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.56% of the population.

There were 2,785 households out of which 44.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 82.4% were married couples living together, 4.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.5% were non-families. 8.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 4.1% from 18 to 24, 22.1% from 25 to 44, 35.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 102.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $159,695 and the median income for a family was $170,618. Males had a median income of $100,000+ versus $62,206 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $78,149. About 0.9% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

Great Falls on Feb 21, 2007


For details on the History of Great Falls, see Great Falls Historical Society.[9]


Fairfax County Public Schools operates the local public schools.

Great Falls students attend Great Falls Elementary School, Forestville Elementary School or Colvin Run Elementary School. These schools feed into James Fenimore Cooper Middle School, the feeder for Langley High School.

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Great Falls Library.[10]

Notable residents[edit]

Due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., several figures from American politics and government live or have lived in Great Falls including Senator Rick Santorum as well as former Central Intelligence Agency directors Louis Freeh and Stansfield Turner. Other famous residents have included political commentator Peggy Noonan, heiress Jacqueline Mars, businessman Steve Case, and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.


  1. ^ "Great Falls CDP, Virginia". U.S Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Great Falls CDP, Virginia". U.S Census Bureau. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Virginia Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed 2013-05-25.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Great Falls". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  8. ^ Sanders, Milburn P. (August 11, 2005). "A Brief History of Great Falls". Connecting Neighbors. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  9. ^ "Great Falls Historical Society."
  10. ^ "Library Branches." Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.