Around Fredericksburg and along the I-95 corridor has grown up a mini-metropolitan area in the counties of Stafford, across the Rappahannock River, and Spotsylvania, south of Fredericksburg. Although Stafford County in many ways retains a rural ambience, it is rapidly becoming part of the northern Virginia orbit, with many people commuting north on a daily basis. During the 1990s its population growth was nearly 60 percent. Spotsylvania County is also growing rapidly: it increased by an estimated 70 percent in the 1990s. Portions of this population commute south toward Richmond.
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