Culpeper (formerly Fairfax) is the only incorporated town in Culpeper County, Virginia, United States. It is the county seat of Culpeper County. After forming Culpeper County, Virginia, in 1748, the Virginia House of Burgesses voted to establish the Town of Fairfax on February 22, 1759. The name honored Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who was proprietor of the Northern Neck, a vast domain north of the Rappahannock River; his territory was then defined as stretching from Chesapeake Bay to what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia.
Culpeper began to grow dramatically in the 1980s, becoming a “bedroom community” of more densely populated Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. suburbs. A growing number of residents of the town and county of Culpeper once lived and continue to work in those areas. In 2011, East Davis Street in downtown Culpeper was named as a 2011 America’s Great Place by the American Planning Association.
The median income for a household in the town was at a time $35,438, and the median income for a family was $41,894 but due to the economic downturn this has changed. Males had a median income of $28,658 versus $25,252 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,842. About 23.0% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those age 65 or over.