Great Falls, VA is a mid-sized town with three constituent neighborhoods and a population of just over 16,000 people. It is a predominately white-collar town, with nearly 98% of the workforce employed in white collar jobs. The highest number of people who live in Great Falls work in management, followed by careers in business, financial, and computer science and math. In fact, there are more people here who work in computer and math than in 95% of the rest of the country. It is a popular choice for families with children.
A Closer Look at Great Falls, VA
They say knowledge is power, which makes Great Falls one powerful town. As compared to the national average of 22%, over 80% of the adults who live here hold a college, master, MD, law, or PhD degree! The town is one of the most expensive in Virginia to live in and approximately 62% of the population has an annual household income over $150,000. Just over a third of the residents are between the ages of 45 and 64 years old.
The average commute time is about 36 minutes, though getting in and out of D.C. during rush hour can take over an hour or more. A relatively large number of people telecommute to their jobs and others are self-employed, operating small businesses out of their homes. Over a quarter of the residents were born outside of the U.S. and the town is very ethnically diverse. The residents describe themselves as belonging to a wide variety of ethnic and racial group, citing ancestries of English, Asian, Irish, Italian, and Iranian. Though English is by far the most common language, you’ll also hear Chinese and Persian spoken here.
History of Great Falls
It’s generally acknowledged that the first settlers of Great Falls were the early natives identified in archeology reports on sites dating back 9,000 years. However, there’s no evidence of Native American permanent settlements here; rather, the nearest villages were in the Mount Vernon area and just opposite of Washington, D.C.
Modern settlements began not long after Jamestown was established in 1607. What’s currently known as Fairfax County was formed in 1742. The first land grant in Great Falls itself dates to 1709, when Daniel McCarty received approximately 3,000 acres; grants over the next 134 years contributed to Great Falls’ growing population. In the 1800s, a town and three villages were established and eventually grew into the current Great Falls community.
The town was originally known as Forestville to honor the site of the first community fire department built there in 1942. But in 1945, a member of the fire department proposed a switch to Great Falls and, in November 1955, the name was officially changed.
Living in Great Falls, VA
Great Falls is a fabulous place for families with children and, with a great opportunity for strong social ties and family-oriented services. Because so many of the homes are owner-occupied, the community is considered an extremely stable place to live. The town has excellent schools (graded 95) and, together with the high percentage of college-educated adults, provides a wonderful academic environment. It’s overall crime rate is among the lowest in the country, making it one of the safest places to live and raise a family. It’s worth noting that Great Falls is also home to a large community of artists, designers, and media professionals who add something quite special to the town’s character.
Most visitors come to the Great Falls area to experience its main attraction, the Great Falls Park. Overlooking the Great Falls of the Potomac River, the dramatic views, hiking, and rafting available here make it a popular destination. George Washington himself was involved in building the Patowmack Canal around the falls and remnants of the canal and village established there are still visible. The Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad once ran along Old Dominion Drive in 1906.
People also love to hike the over 10 miles of trails at River Bend County Park, as well as attend community celebrations that take place in the Village Green, including the Spring Festival with its Easter egg hunt, the tree lighting at Christmastime, fireworks on the 4th of July, and Halloween and Thanksgiving events in the fall. Outdoor concerts are held here all summer long. The Village Centre is also home to a number of independent shops and restaurants. Every Saturday of the year you can visit the Great Falls Farmer’s Market. The Great Falls Art Organization holds an annual festival as well as other art-related events throughout the year.
Remodeling Your Great Falls, VA Home
Great Falls is a beautiful, family-oriented town with outstanding schools and civic-minded residents, making it a wonderful place to call home. If you’re ready to build or remodel your existing Great Falls home, why not schedule an in-home consultation with us today? We’d love to help you bring to life the home you’ve always dreamed of.