Stafford is an unincorporated community in and the county seat of Stafford County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Virginia. It lies 10 miles (16 km) north of Fredericksburg, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of metropolitan Washington, D.C. , and about 60 miles (97 km) north of Richmond, the state capital (Connor, 2003). The Marine Corps Base Quantico is located north of the community. U.S. Highway 1, Interstate 95, and Virginia Railway Express commuter trains pass through Stafford. Like the rest of the metropolitan area, including central Maryland, modern Stafford has been shaped by its proximity to the nation's capital. It is largely populated by professionals working in the federal civil service, the U.S. military, or for one of the many private companies which contract to provide services to the federal government. Stafford is not a part of Northern Virginia. "For statistical purposes, the federal government defines certain portions of the area in its definition of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Presently included jurisdiction are Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, and the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park".