Fredericksburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia located 50 miles south of Washington, D.C. , and 58 miles north of Richmond. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 19,279. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes. It is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Many Fredericksburg-area residents commute to work by car, bus, and rail to Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties, as well as Washington, D.C. This has led to a long-standing debate in the area over whether or not Fredericksburg has become a part of Northern Virginia culturally.