The vast region of Northern Virginia is the most densely populated in the Commonwealth and includes six counties (Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, and Rappahannock) and five cities (Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park). The area is home to the federal government; more than 100 U.S. and global corporate headquarters, including 10 Fortune 500 and 23 Fortune 1000 companies; technical and service firms; trade and professional organizations; and strong industry clusters in government contracting, defense electronics, IT, data centers, biotechnology and bioinformatics.

Recognized as the nation’s Cyber Capital, Northern Virginia has the highest concentration of bandwidth in the world and has emerged as the hub of cutting-edge intelligence technology, serving as a fertile ground for the growing cybersecurity industry.

Residents benefit from more than 60 higher education institutions in the area, including George Mason University, George Washington University, Marymount University, and Northern Virginia Community College. They offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

A highly skilled and educated talent pool of over four million, combined with a robust transportation infrastructure, including access to three major international airports, make Northern Virginia one of the most sought-after business destinations in the world.

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Northern Virginia is located in the northeastern corner of Virginia, just west of the Potomac River and Washington, D.C. Its transportation network includes major international airports, a suburban commuter rail system, several lines of the Washington, D.C., Metro subway system, transit bus services, and an extensive network of interstate highways and expressways.

Northern Virginia


  • I-395, I-495, I-66, and I-95 run through Northern Virginia, and eight additional interstates offer direct access to major U.S. markets: I-295 (0.8 miles), I-695 (1 mile), I-270 (3 miles), I-370 (7 miles), I-70 (8 miles), I-595 (10 miles), I-81 (13 miles), and I-64 (36 miles).
  • CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway Company provide freight rail service.
  • Passenger rail service is provided by Virginia Railway Express and the Metro system.
  • The Virginia Inland Port, an intermodal container transfer facility, is 30 miles west, and The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads is 171 miles southeast.
  • A true international gateway, Northern Virginia is served by three major airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).


Northern Virginia is one of the country’s most international regions, and has the highest number of ethnic groups and nationalities represented in Virginia. It offers a wide range of excellent employment opportunities, attractive housing options, the best school systems in the nation, and an abundance of wide-ranging cultural and recreational opportunities.

Close proximity to the nation’s capital provides all the advantages of accessibility to key federal agencies, with a competitive edge of highly skilled talent at cost-competitive wages. The workforce is nationally recognized as being smart, creative, and well-educated. Northern Virginia’s unique blend creates an ideal environment for all types, from recent graduates eager to live in a diverse urban environment to families looking for comfortable housing solutions in the nearby suburbs. 

In addition to being at the forefront of one of the strongest economies in the world, Northern Virginia is consistently ranked as one of the country’s “most livable” communities for people of all ages because the region is more affordable than many other East and West Coast urban centers. It is also a national leader in K-12 education, with top-rated public schools.

Northern Virginia and the broader Washington, D.C., metro area provide recreational opportunities for a wide range of interests and lifestyles. From sports teams in all major leagues to historic landmarks, national and state parks, rivers, ample retail options, and cultural offerings, the region boasts a quality of life that attracts residents and visitors.



Wolf Trap Farm National Park for the Performing Arts is America's only such venue, and it features a full range of musical entertainment, as well as educational programs offered both locally and nationally. Just across the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Symphony Orchestra, Warner and Ford's Theatres, the Corcoran Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Zoo are easily accessible.

Historic sites include George Washington's home, Mount Vernon; Manassas Battlefield Park; Arlington National Cemetery; Woodlawn Plantation; and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The National Park Service operates Great Falls Park, the site of America's first canal system, and 15,000-acre Prince William Forest Park provides 37 miles of year-round hiking trails, 21 miles of bike-accessible roads, and welcomes campers and picnickers.

An award-winning restaurant and craft cocktail scene in bustling urban settings, as well as renowned wineries and sprawling horse farms in its rural areas, round out Northern Virginia’s varied recreational and cultural opportunities.

Appian is proud to be based in Northern Virginia. In our journey from start-up to IPO, we’ve found everything we needed in the region.

Matt Calkins Founder & CEO, Appian