Loudoun County, Virginia

"Loudoun County" redirects here. For the county in Tennessee, see Loudon County, Tennessee.
Loudoun County, Virginia
Loudoun County

The Loudoun County Courthouse at Leesburg in May 2010


Motto: "I Byde My Time"[1]
Map of Virginia highlighting Loudoun County
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1757
Named for John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun[2]
Seat Leesburg
Largest town Leesburg
  Total 521 sq mi (1,349 km2)
  Land 516 sq mi (1,336 km2)
  Water 6 sq mi (16 km2), 1.1%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 375,629
  Density 721/sq mi (278/km²)
Congressional district 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.loudoun.gov

Loudoun County (/ˈldən/ LOWD-ən) is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2015, the population was estimated at 375,629,[3] making it the third-most populous county in Virginia. Loudoun's county seat is Leesburg.[4] Loudoun County is included in the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As of 2012, Loudoun County had a median household income of $117,876. Since 2008 the county has been ranked first in the United States in median household income among jurisdictions with a population of 65,000 or more.[5]


Loudoun County was established in 1757 from Fairfax County. The county is named for John Campbell, Fourth Earl of Loudoun and Governor General of Virginia from 1756–59.[2] Western settlement began in the 1720s and 1730s with Quakers, Scots-Irish, Germans and others moving south from Pennsylvania and Maryland and by English and African slaves moving upriver from Tidewater.

By the time of the American Revolution, it was the most populous county in Virginia. In addition, it was rich in agriculture. During the American Revolution, it contributed much of its grain to George Washington's Continental Army, earning it the nickname "Breadbasket of the Revolution."[6]

During the War of 1812, important Federal documents and government archives were evacuated from Washington and stored at Leesburg for safe keeping. Local tradition holds that these documents were stored at Rokeby House and thus that Leesburg was briefly the capital of the United States.

U.S. President James Monroe treated Oak Hill Plantation as a primary residence from 1823 until his death on July 4, 1831.[7] The Loudoun County coat of arms and flag, granted by the English College of Arms, memorialize the special relationship between Britain and the United States that developed through his Monroe Doctrine.

Early in the American Civil War, the Battle of Balls Bluff took place near Leesburg on October 21, 1861. Future jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was critically wounded in that battle along the Potomac River. During the Gettysburg Campaign in June 1863, Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuart and Union cavalry clashed in the battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. Confederate partisan John S. Mosby based his operations in Loudoun and adjoining Fauquier County (for a more in-depth account of the history of Loudoun County during the Civil War, see Loudoun County in the American Civil War).

William and Sarah Nettle House, Waterford, Loudoun County

In 1962, Washington Dulles International Airport was built in southeastern Loudoun County in Sterling. Since then, Loudoun County has experienced a high-tech boom and rapid growth. Accordingly, many have moved to eastern Loudoun and become residents of planned communities such as Sterling Park, Sugarland Run, Cascades, and Ashburn Farms, making that section a veritable part of the Washington suburbs. Others have moved to the county seat or to the small towns and rural communities of the Loudoun Valley.[6]

Government and politics

Presidential election results
Year Republican Democrat
2012 47.04% 75,292 51.53% 82,479
2008 45.41% 63,336 53.66% 74,845
2004 55.69% 60,382 43.60% 47,271
2000 56.12% 42,453 40.89% 30,938
1996 52.13% 25,715 40.43% 19,942
1992 46.40% 19,290 34.79% 14,462
1988 66.26% 20,448 32.73% 10,101
1984 67.99% 17,765 31.49% 8,227
1980 58.93% 12,076 32.67% 6,694
1976 51.79% 9,192 45.05% 7,995
1972 69.46% 9,417 29.07% 3,941
1968 45.91% 4,577 32.72% 3,262
1964 37.72% 2,594 62.21% 4,278
1960 50.99% 2,526 48.43% 2,399

The county's official motto, I Byde My Time, is borrowed from the coat of arms of the Earl of Loudoun.[1][8]

Loudoun County was traditionally a Republican-leaning county. Prior to the 2008 election, it had not voted for a Democrat for President since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In recent years, however, the county has experienced rapid growth in its eastern portion, driven mainly by commuters drawn by the close proximity to Washington, D.C. This has made Loudoun more competitive. After giving Senator Barack Obama nearly 54% of its presidential vote in 2008, the county shifted back to the GOP in 2009; Republican Bob McDonnell received 61% of the gubernatorial vote. Voters also removed two incumbent Democratic delegates, making Loudoun's state House delegation all-Republican. Loudoun shifted back to the Democrats in 2012 in the presidential election, as Obama recaptured the county with 51.5%, with Republican challenger Mitt Romney garnering 47%.[9]

Like many counties in Virginia, Loudoun is governed by a board of supervisors, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. The Chairman of the Board is elected by county voters at-large while the remaining supervisors are elected from each of eight electoral districts. All nine members serve concurrent terms of four years. While the board handles policy issues and sets the budget, day-to-day operations of the county government are handled by a County Administrator appointed by the board. The 2003 board, among other officials in Loudoun, was the subject of a federal investigation of possible corruption relating to a land deal involving the Royal Saudi Academy.[10]

In November 2007 voters removed four incumbent, fiscally conservative Republicans from the existing Board of Supervisors in a backlash over rapid development in the eastern portion of the county. The make-up of the board following the election was five Democrats, two Republicans, and two Independents.[11]

In November 2011, Republicans were elected to all nine seats on the Board.[12]

September 6, 2015, Broad Run Supervisor Shawn M. Williams tendered his resignation after being arrested for assault.[13]

County Board of Supervisors
Name Party First Election District
Phyllis J. Randall, Chairman Democrat 2015 At-Large
  Suzanne M. Volpe Republican 2011 Algonkian
  Ralph M. Buona Republican 2011 Ashburn
  Tony R. Buffington, Jr. Republican 2015 Blue Ridge
  Ron A. Meyer, Jr. Republican 2015 Broad Run
  Geary M. Higgins Republican 2011 Catoctin
  Matthew F. Letourneau Republican 2011 Dulles
Kristen C. Umstattd Democrat 2015 Leesburg
Koran T. Saines Democrat 2015 Sterling
Constitutional Officers
Position Name Party First Election
  Sheriff Mike Chapman Republican 2011
  Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman Republican 2004
  Clerk of Circuit Court Gary Clemens Republican 2000
Representatives to the Virginia House of Delegates
Name Party First Election District
J. Randall Minchew Republican 2011 10
Thomas A. "Tag" Greason Republican 2009 32
Dave A. LaRock Republican 2013 33
Kathleen Murphy Democrat 2015 34
James M. LeMunyon Republican 2009 67
Jennifer B. Boysko Democrat 2015 86
John J. Bell Democrat 2015 87
Representatives to the Virginia State Senate
Name Party First Election District
Richard A. Black Republican 2011 13
Jill Holtzman Vogel Republican 2007 27
Barbara A. Favola Democrat 2011 31
Jennifer T. Wexton Democrat 2014 33


The scenic byways of Loudoun County are spotted with historical structures dating back to before the American Civil War.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Loudoun County has a total area of 521 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 516 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 6 square miles (16 km2) (1.1%) is water.[14] It is bounded on the north by the Potomac River; across the river are Frederick, Washington and Montgomery counties in Maryland; it is bounded on the south by Prince William and Fauquier counties, on the west by watershed of the Blue Ridge Mountain across which are Jefferson County, West Virginia and Clarke County, and on the east by Fairfax County. The Bull Run Mountains and Catoctin Mountain bisect the county. To the west of the range is the Loudoun Valley. Bisecting the Loudoun Valley from Hillsboro to the Potomac River is Short Hill Mountain.

Street addresses

Block numbers in the unincorporated areas of Loudoun County, with the exception of older Sterling Park and the community of CountrySide, are assigned in the following manner: on north-south streets, block numbers increase from north to south and range from 10000 to 27000; on east-west streets, block numbers increase from west to east and range from 30000 to 48000.[15]

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Traditionally a rural county, Loudoun's population has grown dramatically since the 1980s. Having undergone heavy suburbanization since 1990, Loudoun has a full-fledged service economy. It is home to world headquarters for several Internet-related and high tech companies, including Verizon Business, Telos Corporation, Orbital Sciences Corporation, and Paxfire. Like Fairfax County's Dulles Corridor, Loudoun County has economically benefited from the existence of Washington Dulles International Airport, the majority of which is located in the county along its border with Fairfax. Loudoun does retain a strong rural economy in the western part of the county. The equine industry has an estimated revenue of $78 Million. It is home to the Morven Park International Equestrian Center which hosts national horse trials. In addition, the county's growing wine industry has produced several internationally recognized wines. Loudoun now has 22 wineries[16] and over 25 active farms. Loudoun has rich soil and was in the mid-19th century a top wheat-producing county in the fourth largest wheat-producing state.[17]

MCI, Inc. (formerly WorldCom), a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, is headquartered in Ashburn, Loudoun County. It announced that it would move its headquarters to Ashburn in 2003.[18][19] AOL had its headquarters at 22000 AOL Way in Dulles in unincorporated Loudoun County.[20] In 2007 AOL announced that it would move its headquarters from Loudoun County to New York City; it would continue to operate its Virginia offices.[21] Orbital Sciences Corporation has its headquarters in Dulles.[22]

Before its dissolution, Independence Air (originally Atlantic Coast Airlines) was headquartered in Dulles.[23][24] At one time Atlantic Coast Airlines had its headquarters in Sterling.[25] Prior to its dissolution, MAXjet Airways was headquartered on the grounds of Washington-Dulles International Airport.[26]

Top employers

According to the County's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[27] the top employers in the county are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Loudoun County Public Schools 10,098
2 County of Loudoun 3,303
3 M.C. Dean, Inc. 1,000–5,000
4 Verizon Business 1,000–5,000
5 U.S. Department of Homeland Security 1,000–5,000
6 Orbital ATK 1,000–5,000
7 United Airlines 1,000–5,000
8 AOL 1,000–5,000
9 Loudoun Hospital Center 1,000–5,000
10 United States Postal Service 1,000–5,000


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2015375,629[3]20.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[28]
1790-1960[29] 1900-1990[30]

As of the census of 2010,[32] there were 312,311 people, 104,583 households, and 80,494 families residing in the county. The population density was 606 people per square mile (234/km²). There were 109,442 housing units at an average density of 212 per square mile (82/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

According to the 2010 census, 10.5% of residents reported being of German ancestry, while 9.1% reported Irish, 7.7% English, 5.4% Italian and 5.2% American ancestry.

As of 2000 there were 59,900 households out of which 43.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.30% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.80% were non-families. 18.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the county, the population was spread out with 29.80% under the age of 18, 5.70% from 18 to 24, 38.90% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, and 5.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

In 2011, Census survey data concluded that Loudoun County had the highest median income in the country at $119,134.[5]

Government and infrastructure

The National Transportation Safety Board operates the Ashburn Aviation Field Office in Ashburn, an unincorporated area of Loudoun County.[33]

Emergency services are provided by the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department with the Office of Emergency Management. LCFR is a combination system that utilizes some 1,500 volunteers and 500 firefighters, EMT/paramedics, and support staff. LCFR is one of the largest fire and rescue systems in Virginia.

Law enforcement in Loudoun County is served by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, as well as three town police departments: Leesburg Police, Purcellville Police, and Middleburg Police.

The Loudoun County Public Library System has seven branches in the county, with an eighth branch under construction. The library's Outreach Department of the Loudoun County Public Library is a resource for those who cannot easily access branch services. The public library system has won many awards, and came in 10th place for libraries serving a comparably sized population in 2006 Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR).



Loudoun County contains the Washington Dulles International and Leesburg Executive airports.


Loudoun County operates its own bus public transit system, known as Loudoun County Commuter Bus.


The Silver Line of the Washington Metro, will extend into Loudoun County. The planned extension will include stations at the Dulles International Airport, and two stations in Ashburn, Virginia.

Major highways


The county is served by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). LCPS currently serves over 70,000 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade and is currently the fifth largest school system in Virginia.[34][35] While there is a growing trend towards home schooling in the county, the vast majority of school age children in Loudoun County attend LCPS schools. Loudoun County schools recently ranked 11th in the United States in terms of educational achievement versus funds spent.[36] Loudoun County also sends students to both its Loudoun Academy of Science, housed within Dominion High School,[37] and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor's School in Alexandria, Virginia.

Loudoun County is home to nine private schools: Loudoun Country Day School, a Pre-K–8 independent school located in Leesburg; Notre Dame Academy, an independent non-denominational day high school in Middleburg; the Foxcroft School, a boarding school for girls located in Middleburg; Dominion Academy, a Non-denominational Christian school, K–8 located in Leesburg; Leesburg Christian School, a K–12 school located in Leesburg; St. Theresa School, a K–8 Roman Catholic school located in Ashburn; Village Montessori School at Bluemont, an accredited Pre-K through Elementary Montessori school located in Bluemont; Christian Faith & Fellowship School, a PreK–12 non-denominational Christian school and Loudoun County's only private school accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International; and Ideal Schools High School, an independent non-denominational school in Ashburn.

In terms of post-secondary education, Loudoun County is home to a variety of colleges and universities, including: Patrick Henry College; a branch of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling; George Washington University (satellite campus); George Mason University (satellite campus); Marymount University (satellite campus); Shenandoah University (satellite campus); and Strayer University (satellite campus).[38] Loudoun is also home to a satellite campus of the Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.



Unincorporated communities

Census-designated places

Notable people

James Monroe constructed and resided at Oak Hill near Aldie after his presidency. American Civil War Brigadier General Robert H. Chilton (Chief of Staff under Robert E. Lee) was a native of Loudoun County. World War II general George C. Marshall resided at Dodona Manor in Leesburg. Essayist and journalist Russell Baker grew up in Morrisonville, Virginia and his book Growing Up highlights his childhood in rural Virginia. Entertainer Arthur Godfrey lived near historic Waterford, Virginia. Loudoun County is also notable for being the birthplace of Julia Neale Jackson, mother of Stonewall Jackson,[39] and Susan Catherine Koerner, mother of the Wright Brothers.[40]

See also


  1. 1 2 Rosalind S. Helderman, Proud Past, Bright Future Rub Elbows in Today's Loudoun, Washington Post (April 21, 2005), page LZ03.
  2. 1 2 "About Loudoun - History". Loudoun County. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  3. 1 2 "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. 1 2 "LOUDOUN COUNTY INCOME HIGHLIGHTS, AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY, 2011 ACS UPDATE". Loudoun County Department of Planning. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  6. 1 2 "Loudoun History". Loudoun_Museum. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  7. An Account of James Monroe's Land Holdings, by Christopher Fennell. Chapter V. Oak Hill Plantation, Loudoun County. Accessed 18 Nov 2016.
  8. Coat of Arms, Loudoun County.
  9. . December 1, 2012 https://web.archive.org/web/20121111134156/http://electionresults.virginia.gov/ResultsExport.aspx?rid=3545232527424045364&osn=0&pty=&name=President%20and%20Vice%20President&cat=CTY. Archived from Patch the original Check |url= value (help) on November 11, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. Laris, Michael; Somashekhar, Sandhya (February 7, 2007). "Loudoun Land Deals Subject of U.S. Probe". The Washington Post.
  11. Somashekhar, Sandhya (November 7, 2007). "Slow-Growth Board Candidates Win". The Washington Post.
  12. Smith, Dusty (November 9, 2011). "Loudoun Goes Red, Big Time". Ashburn Patch.
  13. "Loudoun County Supervisor Charged with Assault After Dispute". Washington Post. September 6, 2015.
  14. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  15. Loudoun County Code Chapter 1026: Addressing of Premises
  16. "Loudon Is DC's Wine Country". Loudoun Convention and Visitors Association (Visit Loudoun).
  17. "Early 19th-Century Milling and Wheat Farming". The History of Loudoun County, Virginia. Since its settlement in the mid-1700s, Loudoun County has been acclaimed for its fertile soil. In the 1850s and 1860s, Virginia was the fourth largest wheat producing state, and Loudoun was one of the state's top-producing counties.
  18. MCI Inc (March 14, 2003). "Schedule 13D. Amendment to General Statement of Beneficial Ownership". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  19. Reuters news agency (April 14, 2003). "WorldCom to emerge from collapse". CNN (international ed.). Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  20. "Company Overview". AOL. February 8, 2008. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  21. Goldfarb, Zachary; Diaz, Sam (September 18, 2007). "AOL Moving Executives, Headquarters to New York". The Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  22. "Contact Information". Orbital Sciences Corporation. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  23. "Company Information". Atlantic Coast Airlines. August 11, 2001. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  24. "Independence Air, Inc.". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  25. "SKEEN, K. B.", Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, Standard & Poor's Corp., 2: 1012, 1998, retrieved January 31, 2011, Atlantic Coast Airlines Inc., One Export Dr., Sterling, VA 20164
  26. "Contact Us". MAXjet Airways. February 18, 2007. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  27. "Comprehensive Annual Fiscal Report" (PDF). County of Loudoun, Virginia. 22 December 2011.
  28. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  29. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  30. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  31. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  32. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  33. "Regional Offices: Aviation." National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved on May 15, 2010.
  34. About Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun County Public Schools
  35. 2005 Triennial school census, Virginia Department of Education
  36. Settimi, Christina (2007-07-05). "Best And Worst School Districts For The Buck". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  37. "Loudoun County Academy of Science". Loudoun County Public Schools. Loudoun County Public Schools. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  38. "Loudoun Guide 2006: Higher Education at Your Fingertips". The Washington Post. 2006.
  39. "Stonewall Jackson Ancestors". VMI Archives. Virginia Military Institute. She was born 28 February 1798 near Aldie, Loudoun Co., VA.
  40. "Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. Wright". AOPA ONLINE. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Susan Catherine Koerner was born in tiny Hillsboro, Va.
  41. "Biographical Sketch of John L. Dagg". founders.org.
  42. "John Leadley Dagg 1844-1854 Mercer University Presidents"
  43. Illinois Supreme Court-William Wilson
  44. "Stevens Thomson Mason Biography (1811–43)"
  45. "The Pulitzer Prizes". pulitzer.org.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Loudoun County.

Coordinates: 39°05′N 77°38′W / 39.09°N 77.64°W / 39.09; -77.64

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