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McLean, Virginia

McLean, Virginia
Census-designated place (CDP)
Hickory Hill in McLean, VA
Hickory Hill in McLean, VA
Location of McLean in Fairfax County, Virginia
Location of McLean in Fairfax County, Virginia
Boundaries of the McLean CDP as of 2003
Boundaries of the McLean CDP as of 2003
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
 • Total 24.88 sq mi (64.4 km2)
 • Land 24.79 sq mi (64.2 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation 285 ft (87 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 48,115
 • Estimate (2012) 48,051
 • Density 1,900/sq mi (750/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 22101–22103, 22106
Area code(s) 571, 703
FIPS code 51-48376[2]
GNIS feature ID 1495919[3]

McLean ( )[4] is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The community had a total population of 48,115 as of the 2010 census.[1] McLean ZIP code 22102 is the wealthiest ZIP code in the Washington Metropolitan Area.[5]

McLean is home to many diplomats, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the Central Intelligence Agency. It is the location of Hickory Hill, the former home of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. It is also the location of Salona, the former home of Light-Horse Harry Lee, the Revolutionary War hero.

Located between the Vienna, the area is known for its high-end shopping destination, The Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Government and infrastructure 5
  • Education 6
    • Primary and secondary schools 6.1
    • Tertiary 6.2
    • Public libraries 6.3
  • Transportation 7
  • Parks and recreation 8
  • Notable residents 9
  • References 10


The community received its name, McLean, from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post, who, with Stephen Benton Elkins and French aristocrat Jean-Pierre Guenard, built in 1906 the electrified Great Falls and Old Dominion Railway (later the Washington and Old Dominion Railway), which connected the area with Washington, D.C. McLean named a railroad station costing $1,500, of which $500 was raised locally, after himself where the rail line (traveling on the present route of Old Dominion Drive) crossed the old Chain Bridge Road.[6] The community itself was founded in 1910, when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.


McLean is located at (38.9342776, -77.1774801) at an elevation of 285 feet (87 m).[3][7] Located on the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) in Northern Virginia, central McLean is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of downtown Washington, D.C. and 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Fairfax, the county seat.[8]

The community lies in the Piedmont upland on the west bank of the Potomac River.[9][10] The river forms the community's northern and eastern borders, and a number of its smaller tributaries flow north and northeast through the CDP. From west to east, these include Bull Neck Run, Scott Run, Dead Run, Turkey Run, and Pimmit Run.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 24.88 square miles (64.4 km2) of which 24.79 square miles (64.2 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.[11]

As a suburb of Washington, D.C., McLean is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The CDP includes the unincorporated communities of Langley, Lewinsville, and West McLean, and it borders several other Washington suburbs including: Potomac and Cabin John, Maryland to the north; Brookmont, Maryland to the northeast; Arlington to the southeast; Falls Church to the south; Idylwood, Pimmit Hills, and Tysons Corner to the southwest; Wolf Trap to the west; and Great Falls to the northwest.[11][12]


As of the 2010 census, there were 48,115 people, 17,063 households, and 13,453 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,940.9 people per square mile (749.4/km²). There were 17,756 housing units at an average density of 716.3 per square mile (276.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 79.3% White, 14.9% Asian, 1.8% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.8% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 4.9% of the population.[1]

There were 17,063 households out of which 39.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.5% were married couples living together, 2.4% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. Of all households, 18.0% were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80, and the average family size was 3.17.[1]

The median age was 45.1 years. 26.9% of the population was under the age of 18, 4.3% was 18 to 24, 18.6% was 25 to 44, 33.2% was 45 to 64, and 17.0% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the community was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.[1]

The median income for a household in the CDP was $164,888, and the median income for a family was $194,832. Males had a median income of $132,714 versus $87,663 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $87,073. About 1.3% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under the age of 18 and 3.2% of those 65 and older.[1]


Mars, Geebo, Booz Allen Hamilton and Hilton Worldwide are among the companies based in McLean, Virginia.[13] Many businesses in neighboring Tysons Corner, particularly those east of Leesburg Pike (VA Route 7) have a McLean mailing address, because the US Postal Service boundary for West McLean (zip code 22102) generally follows Leesburg Pike.

As of 2012, 61.6% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.4% was in the armed forces, and 61.2% was in the civilian labor force with 58.4% employed and 2.9% unemployed. The occupational composition of the employed civilian labor force was: 73.2% in management, business, science, and arts; 17.9% in sales and office occupations; 5.5% in service occupations; 2.0% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance; 1.4% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services (27.8%); educational services, health care, and social assistance (17.7%); and public administration (16.6%).[1]

The cost of living in McLean is very high; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the community is 142.6.[14] As of 2012, the median home value in the community was $908,000, the median selected monthly owner cost was $3,803 for housing units with a mortgage and $1,000+ for those without, and the median gross rent was $2,000+.[1]

Government and infrastructure

The Central Intelligence Agency headquarters

The headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency is located in the Langley area of McLean and the headquarters of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is also located in McLean. The Department of Transportation's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center is also located down the street from the CIA headquarters.[15]


Langley High School is one of two high schools within the McLean CDP

Primary and secondary schools

McLean residents are zoned to schools in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

FCPS public elementary schools within the CDP include Chesterbrook; Churchill Road; Haycock; Kent Gardens; Franklin Sherman, and Spring Hill,.[15] FCPS public middle schools within the CDP include James Fenimore Cooper Middle School and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Middle School.[15] FCPS public high schools within the CDP include Langley High School and McLean High School.[15]

In addition, the Mount Daniel School of the Falls Church City Public Schools is physically within McLean.[15][16]

Several private schools, ranging from pre-school to 12th grade, are located in McLean, including The Langley School, The Madeira School; The Potomac School; Oakcrest School; Saint Luke School; Saint John School;[17] Brooksfield Montessori,;[18] The Montessori School of McLean and the Country Day School.[19]


Nearby colleges and universities include the Marymount University in Arlington and DeVry University (Arlington campus). The University of Virginia's School of Continuing and Professional Studies has an academic center in Falls Church, just south of McLean.

Public libraries

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Dolley Madison Library in the CDP.[15][20]


The Old Dominion Drive all run through McLean. McLean Station on the Washington Metro Silver Line opened in 2014, two miles west of the village near Tysons Corner.

Parks and recreation

The Mount Daniel School Park, operated by The City of Falls Church, is physically within McLean.[15][21] Clemyjontri Park, opened in 2006,[22] with its 2 acre playground, carousel and picnic pavaillion is a popular destination for families. Claude Moore Colonial Farm is also popular with history buffs and familes.[23]

Notable residents

Due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., numerous figures from American politics and government live or have lived in McLean including former Vice-President Jonathan Turley. Foreign diplomats such as Turki bin Faisal Al Saud and Bandar bin Sultan have also lived in McLean.[25] Other famous residents have included author and political activist Gore Vidal[25] and science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "American FactFinder 2".  
  2. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  4. ^ Kelly, John (2008). "New in Town, Stranger?". Local Pronunciations. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  5. ^ Brennan, Morgan. "America's Most Expensive Zip Codes In 2013: The Complete List".  
  6. ^ "Along the 0. D. Railroad". The Washington Post. July 7, 1920. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ "Virginia Official State Transportation Map - Cities in Detail".  
  9. ^ "Piedmont province". The Geology of Virginia.  
  10. ^ a b "Fairfax County Transportation Plan". Fairfax County Department of Transportation. Oct 2006. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  11. ^ a b "Virginia: 2010 - Population and Housing Counts".  
  12. ^ "Maryland: 2000 - Population and Housing Counts".  
  13. ^ "Locations." Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  14. ^ "McLean, Virginia". Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g "McLean CDP, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  16. ^ "Contact Us." Mount Daniel School. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "McLean Elementary Schools". Great Schools. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  19. ^ Country Day School
  20. ^ "Library Branches". Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  21. ^ "Map of Parks." City of Falls Church. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  22. ^ "Clemyjontri Park". Fairfax County Website. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Claude Moore Colonial Farm". Claude Moore Colonial Farm Website. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ As Dick Cheney Prepares to Depart, His Mystery Lingers
  25. ^ a b c Crowley, Michael (September 11, 2006). "Welcome to McLean, home of America's ruling class". The New Republic. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  26. ^ Phillips, Julie (2007). James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. New York: Picador.  

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