(England Twitter)-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 2010 United States Census, Prince William County had a population of 402,002. 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.
When Captain John Smith and other English explored the upper Potomac beginning in 1608, they reported that the area within present Prince William County was occupied by the Doeg tribe. The Doegs still 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.
See also:Prince William of Wales
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)
Government and politics
The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Dumfries, 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; this may increase after the 2010 census when an eighth magisterial district is likely to be added. A Vice-Chairman is selected by the Board from amongst 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 Dumfries District Supervisor. The County operates under the county form of the County Executive system of government, with an elected Board of Supervisors. The Board then appoints a professional, nonpartisan County Executive to manage government agencies.
The county earned a "B-" transparency score for disclosure of its government data from Sunshine Review.
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
University of Northern Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 280,813 people, 94,570 households, and 72,724 families residing in the county. The population density was 831 people per square mile (321/km²). There were 98,052 housing units at an average density of 290 per square mile (112/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.93% White, 18.76% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 3.81% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 4.35% from other races, and 3.62% from two or more races. 9.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
By 2005 non-Hispanic whites were 54.2% of Prince William County's population. 19.4% of the population was African-American. 0.5% was Native American. 6.4% of the population was Asian American. The growth of the Asian population was, numerically and as a percentage of the total population in this subgroup, dwarfed by the growth of the Latino population, which made up 18.0% of the county's total population by 2005.
There were 94,570 households, out of which 44.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.30% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.10% were non-families. 17.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94, and the average family size was 3.32.
In the county, the population distribution included 30.40% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 35.20% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, and 4.80% 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.
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.