Fairfax (formerly Providence) is an independent city forming an enclave within the Fairfax County, Virginia in the United States. The city is politically independent of the surrounding county and once served as the county seat when the city held town status. Situated in the Northern Virginia region, Fairfax forms part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The population was 22,565 as of the 2010 Census. In May 2009, Fairfax was ranked No. 3 in the “Top 25 Places to Live Well” by Forbes Magazine.