Sterling, Virginia refers most specifically to a census-designated place (CDP) in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population of the CDP as of the 2010 United States Census was 27,822. The CDP boundaries are confined to a relatively small area between Virginia State Route 28 on the west and Virginia State Route 7 on the northeast, excluding areas near SR 606 and the Dulles Town Center.
A much wider region has a preferred mailing address of Sterling, Virginia per the United States Post Office. Other localities included within the "Greater" Sterling area include Arcola, Cascades, Countryside, Dulles, Dulles Town Center, Oak Grove, and Sugarland Run. The "Greater Sterling" region includes part of Washington Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Greater Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office LWX (serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area), as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments.
The following includes information covering both the CDP and the wider "Greater Sterling" region.
In the beginning of 1962, large farms made up the 1,762 acres (713 ha) of what today is called Sterling Park. Route 7, also known as Leesburg Pike, bordered what used to be Jesse Hughes's dairy farm.