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Herndon, Virginia
Town of Herndon
Central Herndon
Central Herndon
Official seal of Herndon, Virginia
Location within Fairfax county
Location within Fairfax county
Herndon, Virginia is located in Northern Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Location in Northern Virginia
Herndon, Virginia is located in Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Location in Virginia
Herndon, Virginia is located in the United States
Herndon, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Virginia
County Fairfax
 • Type Town
 • Total 4.29 sq mi (11.12 km2)
 • Land 4.29 sq mi (11.10 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
361 ft (110 m)
 • Total 23,292
 • Estimate 
 • Density 5,738.51/sq mi (2,215.78/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 703, 571
FIPS code 51-36648
GNIS feature ID 1495675

Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area of the United States. The population was 23,292 at the 2010 census. In 2020, the population was estimated to be 24,532, which makes it the largest of three incorporated towns in the county.

The actual dimensions of the town of Herndon are fairly small. However, the United States Post Office treats nearby unincorporated communities in northwestern Fairfax County as part of a Greater Herndon region, including Dranesville, Floris, Franklin Farm, McNair, and Oak Hill. The information below pertains generally only to the town of Herndon itself. See the associated articles for locations outside the town limits.


Herndon was named for Commander William Lewis Herndon, American naval explorer and author of Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. Commander Herndon captained the ill-fated steamer SS Central America, going down with his ship while helping to save over 150 of its passengers and crew. The settlement was named Herndon in 1858. In the 1870s, many Northern soldiers and their families came to settle in the area, taking advantage of moderate climate and low land prices. Herndon also offered a group of friendly and local Native Americans who helped the town to prosper via trade and instruction.

Originally part of the rural surroundings of the Washington, D.C. area, the town of Herndon developed into a hub of dairy farming and vacationing for area residents, aided by its presence along the Alexandria, Loudoun and Hampshire Railroad (later to become the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad). When the railroad was converted into a hike-and-bike trail, Herndon capitalized on history and small-town feel (in a major metropolitan region) by converting its train station into a museum and visitors center by relocating a Norfolk Southern Railway caboose to a nearby site and repainting it in W&OD livery.

The caboose was originally acquired in 1989 by Herndon Historical Society member, George Moore, whose memory the caboose was dedicated to after his death in 2003. Although the caboose itself never traveled through Herndon, it remains an iconic part of the downtown area that both locals and tourists visit daily. The caboose and station offer a glimpse of the original downtown's historic charm, which residents are passionate about preserving.

On January 14, 2004, the Town of Herndon commemorated its 125th anniversary.

The town of Herndon was part of a nationally reported controversy involving illegal immigration beginning in 2005. The controversy revolved around a day labor center called the Herndon Official Worker Center (HOW Center), operated by Reston Interfaith's Project Hope and Harmony under a grant from surrounding Fairfax County. The HOW Center was created on March 23, 2006 in response to daily gatherings of Hispanic workers at a local 7-Eleven store.

The 2006 election for Mayor and Town Council revolved mainly around the issue, and resulted in unseating the pro-center Mayor and two councilmembers. The center closed after less than two years of operation, in September 2007.

The Herndon Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Herndon is located at 38°58′17″N 77°23′19″W / 38.97139°N 77.38861°W / 38.97139; -77.38861 (38.971478, −77.388675).

Herndon Virginia CDP
Boundaries of Herndon as of 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 422
1890 795 88.4%
1900 692 −13.0%
1910 802 15.9%
1920 953 18.8%
1930 887 −6.9%
1940 1,046 17.9%
1950 1,461 39.7%
1960 1,960 34.2%
1970 4,301 119.4%
1980 11,449 166.2%
1990 16,139 41.0%
2000 21,655 34.2%
2010 23,292 7.6%
2020 (est.) 24,532 5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,292 people, 7,472 households, and 5,357 families residing in the town. The population density was 5,129.9 people per square mile (1,981.3/km2). There were 7,190 housing units at an average density of 1,703.3 per square mile (657.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50.7% White, 9.5% Black, 0.7% Native American, 17.9% Asian (8.5% Indian, 1.6% Vietnamese, 1.5% Chinese, 1.2% Filipino, 0.7% Korean, 0.1% Japanese, 4.2% Other Asian), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 16.0% from other races, and 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.6% of the population.

There were 6,962 households, of which 41.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.54.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 38.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 3.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $72,912, and the median income for a family was $79,140 (these figures had risen to $92,947 and $108,446 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $44,197 versus $35,548 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,941. About 4.7% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


Herndon boasts a wide variety of diversions and celebrations year round. Among the community events are:

May Friday Night Live! (free concerts May–August), Farmers' Market (May–October), Towne Square Singers, Big Truck Days, Public Works Forest and Meadow Wildflower Walk
June Herndon Festival, held for four days
July Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks
September Labor Day Jazz Festival, Annual Motorcycle Poker Run (Fraternal Order of Police), Annual NatureFest Celebration

Herndon contains the Herndon Depot Museum, the site of "Mosby's Raid on Herndon Station", which was a Civil War skirmish that took place on St. Patrick's Day, 1863. Also within the town is The Herndon Centennial Golf Course, the Herndon ArtSpace (a community art gallery), community center with basketball and racquetball courts and multiple baseball fields, and an aquatic center. Adjacent to the community center is Bready Park, with indoor tennis courts. Additionally, every residence within the town borders is within a mile or less of a public park. Herndon is home to a professional live theatre, NextStop Theatre, which produces a variety of plays, musicals, concerts, and educational theatre programming each season.

Nearby attractions include the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (which houses the Enola Gay B-29 Superfortress, a Concorde supersonic passenger airplane, an SR-71A Blackbird plane and the Space Shuttle Discovery), Frying Pan Farm Park, Sully Plantation, Reston Town Center, Mount Vernon, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Colvin Run Mill, Aldie Mill, Oatlands Plantation, Manassas National Battlefield Park and the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (which runs through the town).


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Herndon has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Sister cities

Its sister city is Runnymede, Surrey, England, United Kingdom.


CIT Building Herndon Va
The Center for Innovative Technology building, between Herndon and Dulles airport

Herndon is part of the Dulles Technology Corridor, which Fortune magazine named the "Netplex" because of the presence of the headquarters of such companies as AOL, XO Communications, Stride, Inc., Verizon Business (formerly MCI, formerly WorldCom, originally UUNET), and Network Solutions, which began as the InterNIC – the registry where every domain name was once administered.

Some of those companies are within Herndon. Others have Herndon mailing addresses, but are located in unincorporated Fairfax or Loudoun counties; for example, south of the Dulles Toll Road. These include Deltek and Stride.

Top employers

According to the Town's 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, the principal employers in the Town are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fannie Mae 1,250-1,499
2 Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. 1,000-1,249
3 Amazon Web Services 750-999
4 Northwest Federal Credit Union 250-499
5 Peraton 250-499
6 Serco 250-499
7 Boeing Corporation 250-499
8 Karsun Solutions 250-499
9 Town of Herndon 100-249
10 Physician Transport Service 100-249

Prior year's CAFRS are also available.


Primary and secondary schools

Herndon is within the Fairfax County Public Schools district.

Public schools serving students within the Herndon town limits are:

  • Clearview Elementary School
  • Dranesville Elementary School
  • Herndon Elementary School
  • Hutchison Elementary School
  • Herndon Middle School
  • Herndon High School

Private school options include: Temple Baptist, St Joseph's Elementary and several Montessori schools.

Private schools south of Herndon, in nearby Floris:

  • King Abdullah Academy
  • Nysmith School (PK-8)

Public libraries

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Herndon Fortnightly Library in Herndon.


2016-10-27 11 07 46 View north along Virginia State Route 228 Truck and east along Virginia State Secondary Route 606 Truck (Herndon Parkway) at Crestview Drive in Herndon, Fairfax County, Virginia
SR 228 Truck in Herndon

The primary highway serving Herndon is Virginia State Route 228 and its truck route. SR 228 heads directly through the center of town via Elden Street, Monroe Street, Park Avenue and Dranesville Road. SR 228 Truck diverges from Elden Street southwest of downtown on Herndon Parkway, following that road northwestward, northward and northeastward around central Herndon, finally reaching Dranesville Road north of downtown. At the south end of town, SR 228 meets Virginia State Route 267, a high speed, high-capacity toll road which provides access to Washington, D.C. (via Interstate 66) and Washington Dulles International Airport.

Notable people

  • Jeremy Barlow, professional soccer player
  • Neil Barlow, professional soccer player
  • Rod Beaton, sports journalist for USA Today
  • Jon Carman, former professional American football player
  • Jerome Cornfield, statistician
  • Albert Scott Crossfield, American naval officer and test pilot
  • Jay A. DeLoach, American naval officer
  • Ronnie Dove, pop and country musician
  • Wesley L. Fox, USMC Colonel Retired, Medal of Honor recipient, and former Deputy Commandant Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets
  • Romain Gall, professional soccer player
  • Angie Goff, broadcast journalist
  • Brandon Guyer, professional American baseball player
  • Joe Snively, professional Washington Capitals ice hockey player
  • Ferenc Nagy, former Prime Minister of Hungary
  • Štefan Osuský, Slovak politician and diplomat
  • Sean Parker, founder of Napster and former president of Facebook
  • Scottie Reynolds, former Villanova Wildcats basketball player
  • Thomas Davis Rust, Virginia Delegate and former Mayor of Herndon
  • Brendan Shapiro, gym teacher and Survivor contestant
  • Chris Smith, Congressman NJ District 4
  • Tasos Georgiou Vatikiotis, former professional footballer

See also

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