McLean, Virginia is, dollar-for-dollar, one of the nicest towns in Virginia — if not the entire country. With a median household income just under $165,000 (and a family income of almost $195,000), McLean boasts some of the most economically-impressive statistics to be found.
McLean was founded in 1910 when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged. It was named after John Roll McLean, former publisher of The Washington Post and namesake of a railroad station on the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railway that connected the area with Washington. It is set on the Potomac River, and a number of the river’s tributaries, including Bull Neck Run, Scott Run, Dead Run, Turkey Run, and Pimmit Run, flow through the town.
McLean borders Arlington, Falls Church, Idylwood, Pimmit Hills, Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, and Great Falls. It is part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
With its close proximity to Washington, D.C., which is only eight miles northwest, McLean is home to an impressive array of lawmakers and other influential citizens among its population of just over 48,000. Current or former McLean residents include Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. Many senators call McLean home as well.
The quality of life in McLean is high. Crime is low here, which only adds to McLean’s attractiveness as a place to live. Beautiful weather is the norm: all four seasons are represented, but winters tend to be shorter and summers longer. There’s no shortage of things to do here, either. Clemyjontri Park is a great destination for families, with a 2-acre playground, a carousel, and picnic pavilions. It is also the home of two high-end shopping centers: the Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.
Major employers in McLean include Mars, Geebo, Booz Allen Hamilton, Freddie Mac and Hilton Worldwide, all of which are headquartered in McLean. The headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are located in the Langley area of McLean as well. The largest segment of the population is employed in business, finance, or management, although computers, science, and engineering are heavily represented as well. The cost of living in McLean is high: the cost of living index for the town is 142.6 in comparison with America’s overall index of 100.
Homes in McLean tend to be beautiful and expensive. The median home value in the community is $908,000, with an average monthly mortgage cost of over $3,800. The median gross rent was over $2,000 a month in 2012.