Great Falls is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 15,427, an increase of 80.5% from the 2000 census.
CNNMoney ranked Great Falls first in the nation on its list of "top earning towns" in 2011.
Early farm settlements began to form in the area as early as the late 1700s.
Early on, the village was known as Forestville (unofficially, since there was already a Forestville with a Post Office), but was named Great Falls in 1955.
Great Falls is located at 38°59′53″N 077°17′18″W (38.9981653, −77.2883157) at an elevation of 344 feet (105 m). Located on Virginia State Route 7 in Northern Virginia, Great Falls is 15 miles (24 km) west-northwest of downtown Washington, D.C. and 10.5 miles (16.9 km) north of Fairfax, the county seat.
Great Falls lies in the Piedmont upland on the right bank of the Potomac River. The river forms the northern and eastern border of the CDP, and several of its tributaries flow north and east through the CDP. From north to south, these include Nichols Run, Clarks Branch, and Difficult Run. Difficult Run forms the southeastern border of the CDP. Two of its tributaries, Captain Hickory Run and Piney Run, flow southeast through the southern part of the CDP. The Great Falls of the Potomac River, the community's namesake, are on the east side of the CDP.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 25.66 square miles (66.5 km2) of which 25.42 square miles (65.8 km2) is land and 0.24 square miles (0.62 km2) is water.
As a suburb of Washington, D.C., Great Falls is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. It is bordered on all sides by other Washington suburbs, including: Darnestown and Travilah, Maryland to the north, Potomac, Maryland to the east, McLean to the southeast, Wolf Trap to the south, Reston and Dranesville to the southwest, Sterling to the west, and Lowes Island to the northwest.
As of the 2010 census, there were 15,427 people, 4,977 households, and 4,439 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 606.9 people per square mile (234.3/km²). There were 5,179 housing units at an average density of 203.7/sq mi (78.7/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 80.5% White, 13.5% Asian, 1.8% African American, 0.1% American Indian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 3.9% of the population.
There were 4,977 households of which 46.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 82.1% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.8% were non-families. Of all households 8.5% were made up of individuals, and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.