Alexandria also called The City of Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2014, the population was estimated to be 150,575. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Washington, D.C.
Like the rest of Northern Virginia, as well as central Maryland, modern Alexandria has been shaped by its proximity to the U.S. capital. It is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, in the U.S. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. One of Alexandria's largest employers is the U.S. Department of Defense. Another is the Institute for Defense Analyses. In 2005, the United States Patent and Trademark Office moved to Alexandria.
The historic center of Alexandria is known as Old Town. With its concentration of boutiques, restaurants, antique shops and theaters, it is a major draw for tourists. Like Old Town, many Alexandria neighborhoods are compact, walkable, high-income suburbs of Washington, D.C. It is the 7th largest and highest-income independent city in Virginia.