The name Belhaven was used in official lotteries to raise money for a Church and Market House, but it was never approved by the legislature and fell out of favor in the mid-1750s.
It is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, in the U. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. Like Old Town, many Alexandria neighborhoods are compact and walkable.
In 1920, Virginia's General Assembly voted to incorporate what had been Alexandria County as Arlington County to minimize confusion.
Map of Alexandria County (1878), including what is now Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.
In 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office moved to Alexandria, and in 2017, so did the headquarters of the National Science Foundation.
A large portion of adjacent Fairfax County, mostly south but also west of the city, is named "Alexandria," but it is under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County and separate from the city; the city is sometimes referred to as the City of Alexandria to avoid confusion (see the "Neighborhoods" paragraph below).