Falls Church is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,332. The estimated population in 2019 was 14,617. Falls Church is included in the Washington metropolitan area.
Taking its name from The Falls Church, an 18th-century Church of England (later Episcopal Church) parish, Falls Church gained township status within Fairfax County in 1875. In 1948, it was incorporated as the City of Falls Church, an independent city with county-level governance status although it is not a county.
The city's corporate boundaries do not include all of the area historically known as Falls Church; these areas include portions of Seven Corners and other portions of the current Falls Church postal districts of Fairfax County, as well as the area of Arlington County known as East Falls Church, which was part of the town of Falls Church from 1875 to 1936. For statistical purposes, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Falls Church with Fairfax City and Fairfax County.
At 2.11 square miles, Falls Church is the smallest incorporated municipality in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the smallest county-equivalent municipality in the United States.
The independent city of Falls Church is named for the 1734 religious institution named The Falls Church founded at the intersection of important Indian trails that were later paved and named Broad Street, Lee Highway and Little Falls Street.
The first known government in the area was the Iroquois Confederacy. After exploration by Captain John Smith, England began sending colonists to what they called Virginia.