McLean, Virginia
Hickory Hill in 2007
Hickory Hill in 2007
Location of McLean in Virginia (left) and in Fairfax County, Virginia (right)
Location of McLean in Virginia (left) and in Fairfax County, Virginia (right)
McLean, Virginia is located in Northern Virginia
McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia is located in Virginia
McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia is located in the United States
McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°56′03″N 77°10′39″W / 38.93417°N 77.17750°W / 38.93417; -77.17750
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
 • Total24.88 sq mi (64.4 km2)
 • Land24.79 sq mi (64.2 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
285 ft (87 m)
 • Total50,773
 • Density2,000/sq mi (790/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
22101–22103, 22106
Area codes571, 703
FIPS code51-48376[3]
GNIS feature ID1495919[4]

McLean (/məˈkln/ mə-KLAYN)[5] is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population of the community was 50,773 at the 2020 census.[1] It is located between the Potomac River and Vienna within the Washington metropolitan area.

McLean is home to many wealthy residents such as diplomats, military, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., the Pentagon 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. McLean is often distinguished by its luxury homes and its nearby high-profit shopping destinations, Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria. The two McLean ZIP Codes – 22101 and 22102 – are among the most expensive ZIP Codes in Virginia and the United States.[6] In 2022, data from the revealed that McLean was the third wealthiest city in the United States, based on its poverty rate of 2.5% and its median household income of $250,001.[7]


For a chronological guide, see Timeline of McLean, Virginia.

The community received its name from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post. Along with Stephen Benton Elkins and French aristocrat Jean-Pierre Guenard, in 1902 he bought the charter for the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad. Completed in 1906, it 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.[8] The community itself was founded in 1910, when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.


McLean is located at 38°56′03″N 77°10′39″W / 38.93417°N 77.17750°W / 38.93417; -77.17750 (38.9342776, −77.1774801) at an elevation of 285 feet (87 m).[4][9] 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.[10]

The community lies in the Piedmont upland on the west bank of the Potomac River.[11][12] 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.[12]

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.[13]

As an inner 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 to the southwest; Wolf Trap to the west; and Great Falls to the northwest.[13][14]

McLean has a humid climate (Cfa) and is in hardiness zone 7a.


Historical population
* U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 census, there were 48,115 persons, 17,063 households, and 13,453 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,940.9 inhabitants 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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2]

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.[2]


Mars and Geebo are among the companies based in McLean.[15] Many businesses in neighboring Tysons, 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%).[2]

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.[16] 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+.[2]

Parks and recreation

The McLean Little League is also located in McLean. In 2005, the girls' All-Star softball team from McLean Little League won the Little League Softball World Series Championship in Portland, Oregon.[17] MLL's girls' All-Star softball team has been the Little League Softball World Series runner-up twice, in 2004 and in 2013.[18] The Mount Daniel School Park, operated by The City of Falls Church, is physically within the McLean CDP.[19][20] Clemyjontri Park opened in 2006.[21]

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 U.S. Department of Transportation's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center is also located down the street from the CIA headquarters.[19]


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

Public primary and secondary schools

Further information: Fairfax County Public 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.[19] FCPS public middle schools within the CDP include James Fenimore Cooper Middle School and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Middle School.[19] FCPS public high schools within the CDP include Langley High School and McLean High School.[19] Mount Daniel School of the Falls Church City Public Schools is in the McLean.[19][22]

Private primary and secondary schools

Several private schools, ranging from pre-school to 12th grade, are located in McLean, including The Langley School, The Madeira School, Potomac School, Oakcrest School, Saint Luke Catholic School, Saint John School,[23] Brooksfield Montessori,[24] The Montessori School of McLean, and The Country Day School.[25]

The German International School Washington, D.C. was previously in McLean.[26][27]

Higher education

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. George Mason University is located 9 miles southwest of McLean in Fairfax, Virginia, while American University, Georgetown University and George Washington University are located 6, 7, and 9 miles east of McLean, respectively, in Washington, D.C.

Public libraries

Further information: Fairfax County Public Library

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Dolley Madison Library in McLean.[19][28]

Weekend educational programs

The Washington Japanese Language School (WJLS, ワシントン日本語学校 Washington Nihongo Gakkō), a supplementary weekend Japanese school, previously held classes at St. Luke Catholic School in McLean.[29] The institution, giving supplemental education to Japanese-speaking children in the Washington DC area, was founded in 1958,[30] making it the oldest Japanese government-sponsored supplementary school in the U.S.[31]

The Polish School of Washington, D.C., holds classes on Saturdays at Longfellow Middle School, which are funded by the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. ABRACE Inc., a Brazilian Portuguese heritage language program, holds weekly classes at McLean High School for children ages 3 to 18.[32]


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Highways and roads

The Capital Beltway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Interstate 66, Dulles Access Road, Dolley Madison Boulevard/Chain Bridge Road, Georgetown Pike, and Old Dominion Drive all run through McLean.

Subways and buses

The Washington Metro's Silver Line is southwest of downtown McLean. Both the Silver and Orange lines physically enter the borders in between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. The McLean station on the Silver Line is in the McLean CDP but lies along VA Route 123 about two miles west of downtown McLean. Other Metro stations nearby include West Falls Church in the Orange Line, East Falls Church, on both the Silver and Orange Lines, and the Tysons station on the Silver Line which also has a McLean address.

WMATA (Metrobus) and Fairfax Connector each have several bus routes traveling through McLean, including routes connecting downtown McLean with the McLean Metrorail station.

Notable residents

Main article: List of people from McLean, Virginia

Current or prior residents of McLean include:


  1. ^ a b "McLean CDP, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 14, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Kelly, John (2008). "New in Town, Stranger?". Local Pronunciations. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
  6. ^ "Top 50 wealthiest ZIP codes in the Washington region - Washington Business Journal". Archived from the original on August 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "The 10 wealthiest cities in the United States". Fox 2 News. January 11, 2018.
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  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Virginia Official State Transportation Map – Cities in Detail". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
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  12. ^ a b "Fairfax County Transportation Plan" (PDF). Fairfax County Department of Transportation. October 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Virginia: 2010 – Population and Housing Counts" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. July 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  14. ^ "Maryland: 2000 – Population and Housing Counts" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. September 2003. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  15. ^ "Locations Archived 2009-08-23 at the Wayback Machine." Mars, Incorporated. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  16. ^ "McLean, Virginia". Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "2005 Softball World Series | McLean Little League". Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  18. ^ du Lac, J. Freedom (August 15, 2013). "McLean falls at Little League Softball World Series". Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "McLean CDP, Virginia Archived April 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2009.
  20. ^ "Map of Parks." City of Falls Church. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  21. ^ "Clemyjontri Park". Fairfax County Website. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  22. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2010-03-28 at the Wayback Machine." Mount Daniel School. Retrieved on March 24, 2010.
  23. ^ "Saint John Academy – A private, Catholic K-8 day school for boys and girls".
  24. ^ "McLean Elementary Schools". Great Schools. 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  25. ^ "Home – The Country Day School".
  26. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archived 2016-03-12 at the Wayback Machine). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 29/51. "Deutsche Schule Washington 5025 Kirby Road, MC.LEAN Va./USA"
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  28. ^ "Library Branches". Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  29. ^ "ワシントン日本語学校概要". Washington Japanese Language School. May 6, 2003. Retrieved on April 16, 2015. "学校事務局 Washington Japanese Language School Holy Cross Church, Quinn Hall内. 4900 Strathmore Avenue, Garrett Park, MD 20896" and "ホーリークロス校 Holy Cross Church Elementary School 4900 Strathmore Ave, Garret Park, MD 20896" and "プレプ校 Georgetown Preparatory School 10900 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20852" and "セントルーク校 St.Luke Catholic School 7005 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101"
  30. ^ "English Archived 2014-05-02 at the Wayback Machine." Washington Japanese Language School. Retrieved on April 30, 2014. "Washington Japanese Language School c/o Holy Cross Church, Quinn Hall, 4900 Strathmore Avenue, Garrett Park, MD 20896"
  31. ^ "Andrew M. Saidel" (Archived 2015-04-15 at the Wayback Machine). Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP; フィラデルフィア日米協会とは). Retrieved on April 16, 2015.
  32. ^ "ABRACE, Inc". Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  33. ^ "Fact check: Biden owns 2 of the 4 homes pictured in a viral meme". USA Today.
  34. ^ Duffy, Michael (January 19, 2009). "As Dick Cheney Prepares to Depart, His Mystery Lingers". Time – via
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