Introduction to Arlington, Virginia

Arlington is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the west bank of the Potomac River directly across from Washington, D.C. Although sometimes referred to as a city, Arlington is actually a county which contains no incorporated towns or cities within its boundaries. Originally part of the 10-mile square area set aside in 1791 for the nation’s capital, the land now comprising Arlington County was returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia by the U.S. Congress in 1846 and was known at the time as Alexandria County. In 1852, the independent City of Alexandria was incorporated from a portion of the County, leading to confusion, as two adjacent municipal entities continued to share the same name ("Alexandria"). The confusion was resolved in 1920, when Alexandria County renamed itself Arlington County, borrowing its name from the Arlington National Cemetery, which had been established during the Civil War on the grounds of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's former home, Arlington House.

Although best known generally as the home of the Pentagon, The Iwo Jima War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery, the County is also an important employment center. The Federal Government accounts for the lion's share of the roughly 200,000 jobs in Arlington, but high-tech companies have become increasingly prominent, as have several major associations, Fortune 500 companies, and other nationally known employers. The County’s residential population is among the most highly educated in the nation and is increasingly diverse. Arlington is the home of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and is serviced by the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines of the Washington Metro. The County is traversed by two Interstate highways, I-66 and I-395; as well as by the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Arlington Area Attractions

The name Arlington is synonymous in many people's minds with Arlington National Cemetery, the most famous national cemetery in the United States. Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, as are two former Presidents (John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft). Also located in Arlington are the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, and several notable memorials, including the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (also known as the "Iwo Jima Memorial"), the U.S. Air Force Memorial, and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Other attractions in Arlington include the Arlington Arts Center, founded in 1976 and housed in the historic Maury School; the Arlington Historical Museum, housed in a two-story brick structure built in 1891 and currently standing as the oldest school building in Arlington County. The Ball-Sellers house, a one-room log cabin with a loft built by a farmer named John Ball in 1742, is a rare example of an ordinary person's dwelling of the 1700s. The Ellipse Arts Center is a 3,000 square foot visual arts facility which opened in 1990, and presents a diverse schedule of high quality programs in the visual arts. A wealth of other attractions abound in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the following:

  • The National Mall
  • Ford's Theatre
  • The National Archives
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • International Spy Museum
  • Lincoln Theatre
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Chinatown
  • African American Civil War Memorial
  • Blair House
  • Folger Shakespeare Library
  • National Geographic Society
  • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
  • National Building Museum

Visitors to Arlington can take the very short trip to the other side of the Potomac, where the city of Washington hosts several major league professional sports franchises. These include football's Redskins (NFL), baseball's Nationals (MLB), basketball's Wizards (NBA) and Mystics (WNBA), hockey's Capitals (NHL), soccer's DC United (MLS), and lacrosse's Bayhawks (MLL).


Total Population 223,945
Male Share of the Population 50%
Female Share of the Population 50%
Senior Citizens 9.1%
Employed Population 16+ 142,047
Age of the Population 34


% of people married 42.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 72.9%
Median Earnings25+ $69,771
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $21,221
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,247


Median Family Income $140,838
% Above Poverty Level 91%
% Below Poverty Level 9%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 28 minutes
% Working from Home 5.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 6.6%
% Using Public Transportation 26.4%


People Living Alone 39.8%
Median Gross Rent $1,827
Median House Value $607,700


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 40.3%
US/American 0.1%
English 10.3%
Irish 12.2%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Arlington Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 3 miles W of Washington, District of Columbia
County Arlington
Standard Zip Codes 22201, 22202, 22203, 22204, 22205, 22206, 22207, 22209, 22211, 22213, 22214
P.O. Box Zip Codes 22210, 22215, 22216, 22219
Company Zip Codes 22212, 22217, 22218, 22222, 22223, 22225, 22226, 22227, 22229, 22230, 22234, 22240, 22241, 22242, 22243, 22244, 22245, 22246
Phone Area Codes 703
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.89
Longitude -77.084

Arlington Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 3.2 miles
Jan Temp 27 to 43 F
Apr Temp 46 to 66 F
Jul Temp 70 to 88 F
Oct Temp 50 to 68 F
Annual Precip 39.3 inches
Distance 5.5 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 43 F
Apr Temp 42 to 66 F
Jul Temp 67 to 89 F
Oct Temp 44 to 69 F
Annual Precip 43.7 inches
Distance 14.9 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 40 F
Apr Temp 42 to 64 F
Jul Temp 65 to 85 F
Oct Temp 44 to 66 F
Annual Precip 43 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Arlington, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Crystal City (22202)

Fort Myer (22211)

Rosslyn (22209)

South (22204)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Alexandria 149,315 $109,075
Annandale 42,893 $86,810
Burke 42,205 $137,698
Falls Church 13,308 $165,430
McLean 47,784 $212,588
Vienna 16,341 $152,668

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Arlington Public Libraries

Arlington Dept. Of Libraries
Arlington, Virginia
(703) 228-3348

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More Information for Librarians

Arlington Hospitals

(703) 671-1200
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(703) 558-5000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
4715 N 15 ST
(703) 525-7070
Emergency Service: No

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Arlington High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,911 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.7

5201 28TH ST N
Serves 1,817 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.1

Serves 1,795 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.4

Additional Details
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Historic Arlington


Temple of Fame and the mansion Arlington House (Arlington) c1903.

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Temple of Fame and the mansion Arlington House (Arlington) c1903.

The Custis-Lee Mansion i.e. Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial, Arlington) 1900 (est.)

Custis-Lee Mansion Arlington House (Arlington) between 1910 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Arlington Government Officials

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