The City of Fairfax is an independent city forming an enclave within the confines of Fairfax County, in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although politically independent of the surrounding county, the City is nevertheless the county seat. Situated in the Northern Virginia region, Fairfax forms part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Fairfax and the city of Falls Church with Fairfax County for statistical purposes. The population was 21,498 at the 2000 census. Many surrounding communities and developments have a Fairfax postal mailing address. While the city is an enclave within the County of Fairfax, a small unincorporated portion of the County comprising the courthouse complex, the jail, and a small area nearby is itself an enclave within the city. Fairfax County's Government Center is west of the City of Fairfax in an unincorporated area.