Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County

According to Movoto, a California-based real estate blog, these are the top 9 cities in Virginia. Interestingly, all of these 9 cities / towns / Census Designated Places (CDPs) are here, in Fairfax County.

Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County

Top 9 Cities in Fairfax County (click for larger image)

To come up with its ranking, the California-based blog crunched some data and came up with their ideal mix of factors to rank each city such as crime rate, median household income, high school degree attainment rate and “number of Southern food restaurants”…, among others.*

This is their list of Top 9 Cities in Virginia

  1. Centreville
  2. Tysons Corner
  3. McLean
  4. Annandale
  5. Oakton
  6. Alexandria
  7. Chantilly
  8. Reston
  9. Rose Hill (Fairfax County)

But there are several issues with this ranking approach

First, these aren’t “real” cities

In a large, homogeneous suburb such as Fairfax County, a city / town / Census Designated Place (CDP) isn’t necessarily a “city”.  Actually, the only real city on the list is the City of Alexandria.

You can’t really compare, for example, Reston or Tysons Corner (which are as close to cities as it gets – while still in the suburbs) with Centreville or Chantilly (which are much more suburban).

Second, some of these “cities” are much larger than others

Some of the areas compared here are much larger and populated than others.  For example, the area known as “Alexandria” is quite large and much more populated compared to Rose Hill.  Actually, most locals would tell you that Rose Hill is IN Alexandria (but not The City of Alexandria).

Third, which high school did they use for their analysis?

When they used the high school degree attainment rate… which high school did they use?  In very few cases, the high schools correlate closely to the “cities” relatively well.  But, as you know, high school boundaries don’t necessarily match zip codes or city boundaries. Here is an example using their #1 ranked “city” of Centreville:

The "City" of Centreville is served by 3 different high schools

The “City” of Centreville is served by 3 different high schools


Ok, and fourth… “Southern food restaurants”?

  • “We chose Southern food, because Virginia is the quintessence of Southern charm—and a big part of that happens to be boiled and roasted peanuts, Virginia ham, and Shoofly pie.”

Um… last I checked, Fairfax County isn’t exactly the “quintessence of Southern charm”, instead, it’s a very diverse and multi-cultural charming suburb of Washington, D.C..

Perhaps, what this ranking should have aimed for is to rank Counties.  And if they had done that, Fairfax County certainly would have ranked at the top of the list of Virginia counties.

Fairfax County ranks at the top of Virginia

If we look at the location of the Top 9 cities ranked, we notice that they are all within Fairfax County, so the County as a whole must be a pretty good place to live in.

Fairfax County is a great place to live in because of its:

  • Low crime rates
  • High high school degree attainment rate
  • High household income

Just don’t expect to find many Southern food restaurants here… 😉

Learn more about what it’s like to live in Fairfax County

To see more details about each of the areas in Fairfax County, log in to see our Fairfax County map of High School Boundaries:

Click for the Fairfax County Map of High School Boundaries

Fairfax County Map with high school boundaries
Click to access the Fairfax County Map (with UP-TO-DATE high school boundaries)

Access the Fairfax County Map of School Boundaries (a.k.a the Affordability Map) to see the location of each of the most UP-TO-DATE boundaries within Fairfax County and to choose your ideal boundary.

When you access the Fairfax County Map of School Boundaries, you will find:

  • Highlights of the area covered by each boundary
  • Transportation options
  • UP-TO-DATE High School boundaries
  • School scores for elementary, middle and high schools in each boundary
  • Photos and videos
  • Statistics about housing

If you haven’t subscribed yet, why wait?

The No-Tears Guide to Moving to Fairfax, VA
The FREE No-Tears Guide to Moving to Fairfax, VA

Downloading The No-Tears Guide to Moving to Fairfax, VA is free, and you’ll get access to our unique home-search (by school boundary).

Plus, you get the Fairfax County Real Estate Affordability Map, AND access to detailed information about each Fairfax County School boundary.

* The Top 10 Cities in Virginia, full report and methodology

Maps by Google®

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