Loudoun Countyis a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The population was estimated to be 347,969 as of 1 July 2013 making the county the third-most populous in Virginia. Loudoun County’s county seat is Leesburg. As of 2011, Loudoun County had a median household income of $119,134.
Traditionally a rural county, Loudoun’s population has grown dramatically since the 1980s. Having undergone heavy suburbanization since 1990, Loudoun has a full-fledged service economy. It is home to world headquarters for several Internet-related and high tech companies, including Verizon Business, Telos Corporation, Orbital Sciences Corporation, and Paxfire. Like Fairfax County’s Dulles Corridor, Loudoun County has economically benefited from the existence of Washington Dulles International Airport, the majority of which is located in the county along its border with Fairfax.
Loudoun does retain a strong rural economy in the western part of the county. The equine industry has an estimated revenue of $78 Million. It is home to the Morven Park International Equestrian Center which hosts national horse trials. In addition, the county’s growing wine industry has produced several internationally recognized wines. Loudoun now has 22 wineries and over 25 active farms. Loudoun has rich soil and was in the mid-19th century a top wheat-producing county in the fourth largest wheat-producing state.
Emergency services are provided by the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department with the Office of Emergency Management. LCFR is a combination system that utilizes some 1500 volunteers and 500 firefighters, EMT/paramedics, and support staff. LCFR is one of the largest fire and rescue systems in Virginia.
Law enforcement in Loudoun County is served by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, as well as three town police departments: Leesburg Police, Purcellville Police, and Middleburg Police.
The Loudoun County Public Library System has seven branches in the county, with an eighth branch under construction. The library’s Outreach Department of the Loudoun County Public Library is a resource for those who cannot easily access branch services. The public library system has won many awards, and came in 10th place for libraries serving a comparably sized population in 2006 Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR).
Loudoun County contains the Washington Dulles International and Leesburg Executive airports.Loudoun County operates its own bus public transit system, known as Loudoun County Commuter Bus.
The Silver Line of the Washington Metro, if completed as planned, will extend into Loudoun County. As of 2013, the planned extension will include stations at the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, Dulles International Airport, and two stations in Ashburn, Virginia.
The county is served by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). LCPS currently serves over 50,000 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade and is currently the fifth largest school system in Virginia.While there is a growing trend towards home schooling in the county, the vast majority of school age children in Loudoun County attend LCPS schools.Loudoun County schools recently ranked 11th in the United States in terms of educational achievement versus funds spent.Loudoun County also sends students to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor’s School in Alexandria, Virginia.
In terms of post-secondary education, Loudoun County is home to a variety of colleges and universities, including: Patrick Henry College; a branch of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling; George Washington University (satellite campus); George Mason University (satellite campus); Marymount University (satellite campus); Shenandoah University (satellite campus); and Strayer University (satellite campus).Loudoun is also home to the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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