Prince William County is located on the Potomac River in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population sits at 482,204, making it Virginia’s second-most populous county. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas.

A part of Northern Virginia, Prince William County is part of the Washington metropolitan area. In 2019 it had the 20th-highest income of any county in the United States.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (900 km2), of which 336 square miles (870 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (3.5%) is water. It is bounded on the north by Loudoun and Fairfax Counties; on the west by Fauquier County; on the south by Stafford County; and on the east by the Potomac River (Charles County, Maryland lies across the river). The western half of the county is occupied by a green belt known as the rural crescent.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park with Prince William County (within which the two cities are enclaves) for statistical purpose

Adjacent jurisdictions

  • Loudoun County – north
  • Fairfax County – northeast
  • Charles County, Maryland – southeast
  • Stafford County – south
  • Fauquier County – west
  • Manassas – center (enclave)
  • Manassas Park – center (enclave)

National protected areas

  • Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park
  • Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refug

According to the county’s 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the county are:

  • Prince William County Public Schools
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Prince William County Government
  • Walmart
  • Morale, Welfare and Recreation
  • Sentara Healthcare
  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • Minnieland Private Day School
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Target Corporation

Northern Virginia FC is an American minor league soccer team, also located in Woodbridge, Virginia. NoVa FC has minor league affiliation with D.C. United, Washington, D.C. Major League Soccer franchise.

The historic Old Dominion Speedway was located in Manassas. Opened in 1948, it was the location of the first commercial drag race held on the East Coast, and was a stop on the NASCAR Grand National schedule in the late 50s and early 60s. Old Dominion Speedway closed in the Fall of 2012 because of noise complaints.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located in Triangle, Virginia and is free to the public. The Historic Preservation Division of Prince William County also operates five museums: Rippon Lodge Historic Site, Brentsville Historic Centre, Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, Lucasville Historic Site, and Ben Lomond Historic Site.

The Prince William Public Library System is a regional public library system that serves Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park. The system consists of 6 full-service branches and 5 neighborhood branches that covers the entire Prince William area.

Two National Parks lie within the county. Prince William Forest Park was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area in 1936 and is located in eastern Prince William County. This is the largest protected natural area in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region at over 15,000 acres (6,070 ha). Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas in Prince William County, preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Manassas which was fought between August 28 and 30, 1862. Outside the South, these battles are commonly referred to as the first and second battles of Bull Run.

The Prince William County Department of Parks & Recreation operates fifty parks, two water parks, two recreation centers (Birchdale Rec. Center and Sharron Baucom Dale City Rec. Center), two community centers, six sports complexes, and an ice skating rink.

Prince William Forest Park, the largest National Park Service property in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
Leesylvania State Park, the ancestral home of the Lee family, with a range of recreational activities and views of the river
Manassas National Battlefield Park, a Civil War battlefield

Nearby Communities