Arlington Quick Facts

Welcome to Arlington!

Arlington County—referred to as “Arlington”—is situated in Northern Virginia on the southwestern bank of the Potomac River and directly across from the District of Columbia. Arlington County is the second-largest principal city of the Washington Metropolitan area, although Arlington County does not have the legal description of an “independent city” or “incorporated town” under Virginia state law. Based on projections of the latest U.S Census estimates the current population of Arlington is 238,643, making it the sixth largest county in Virginia. It has a total area of 26.1 square miles, of which twenty-six square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water. About 4.6 square miles of the county is considered federal property.


The area that now constitutes Arlington County had been part of Fairfax County in the Colony of Virginia. Land grants from the British monarch were awarded to prominent Englishmen in exchange for political favors and efforts at development. One of the grantees was Thomas Fairfax, the 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who lends his name to both Fairfax Count and the City of Fairfax. The county’s name “Arlington” comes from Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, which is a plantation along the Potomac River and Arlington House—the family residence. George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of First Lady Martha Washington, acquired this land in 1802. The estate was eventually passed down to Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of General Robert E. Lee. The property later became Arlington National Cemetery during the American Civil War, and eventually lent its name to present-day Arlington County.


Arlington Public Schools serves citizens of Arlington, Virginia’s geographically smallest county, and educates one of the nation’s most diverse and sophisticated student populations—students come from 127 countries and speak 105 different languages. Arlington operates more than thirty schools and programs, and the schools serve students with a range of programs designed to meet individual student needs. The schools offer a wide variety of individualized education programs for all students—from the gifted to students with severe disabilities.

Arlington’s programs include one of the nation’s most advanced electronic classroom installations, a Spanish-English partial immersion program at all grade levels, an international Baccalaureate Program, three county-wide alternative schools offering education choice, and a career center providing advanced vocational and technical training. Academic standards are high in Arlington Schools with students consistently scoring well above state and national averages on standardized tests, include the SAT.

For the 2022 school year, there are nineteen private schools serving over 3,500 students in Arlington County. The best top ranked schools include Saint Ann Catholic School, St. Charles School, and Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School. The average acceptance rate is 85%, which is higher than the Virginia private school average acceptance rate of 83%. Forty-two percent (42%) of private schools in Arlington are religiously affiliated (most commonly Catholic and Lutheran).

Living in Arlington

Arlington is a bustling suburb of Washington, D.C. with so much to do. Many attractions are very low or no cost. It is rich in history and home to many treasured national memorials and the burial grounds of honorable patriotic icons. The most famous attraction is the Tomb of the Unknowns, located at Arlington National Cemetery, honoring our lost service members. The Pentagon, Air Force and Marines Memorials are also located within Arlington, as well as Reagan National Airport. In academia, the county is home to Marymount University, George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, as well as satellite campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The county will soon house Amazon HQ2, the co-headquarters of Amazon.

Aside from all the national memorials, there is all kinds of shopping, restaurants, and theaters to enjoy. Arlington is an attractive place for not only families, but for professionals, due to the areas draw of prestigious universities, government and defense contractors, political presence and many prominent law firms. There is a suburban feel but is fast-paced due to everything going on in and around Arlington. A few top-rated neighborhoods in Arlington include Arlington-East Falls, Ballston-Virginia Square, and Lyon Park.

Arlington Homes For Sale

Share This Page: