Fairfax (/fr.fks/FERR-faks) (formerly Providence) is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,565. It is the county seat of Fairfax County. Although it is an enclave of Fairfax County, the two are separate political entities. Situated in the Northern Virginia region, Fairfax forms part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2009, Fairfax was ranked No. 3 in the "Top 25 Places to Live Well" by Forbes magazine.Forbes commended Fairfax for its strong public school system, high median salary, and a rate of sole proprietors per capita that ranks it in the top 1% nationwide.