Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,360 in 2017. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.
Located 45 miles (72 km) south of Washington, D.C. and 58 miles (93 km) north of Richmond, Fredericksburg is part of the Northern Virginia region and is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Located near where the Rappahannock River crosses the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, Fredericksburg was a prominent port in Virginia during the colonial era. During the Civil War, the town, located halfway between the capitals of the opposing forces, was the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg and Second Battle of Fredericksburg, preserved in part as the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. More than 10,000 African Americans in the region left slavery for freedom in 1862 alone, getting behind Union lines. Tourism is a major part of the economy, with approximately 1.5 million people visiting the Fredericksburg area annually, including the battlefield park, the downtown visitor center, events, museums, and historic sites.
Fredericksburg is home to several major retail and commercial centers including Central Park (as of 2004, the second-largest mall on the East Coast) and Spotsylvania Towne Centre, located in Spotsylvania County adjacent to the city line. Major employers include the University of Mary Washington, Mary Washington Healthcare, and GEICO. Many Fredericksburg-area residents commute to work by car, bus, and rail to Washington and Richmond, as well as Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties.
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