Is Loudoun County Really Number 1?

Photo of Loudoun County Public Schools Administration building. Provided by

Hope Nguyen, Staff Writer

According to, Loudoun County was ranked the number one county in a list of top 10 counties in the entire United States of America. Counties were rated on the criteria of unemployment rate, median household income, median rent, median home price, percent of families below the poverty line, as well as high school graduation rate.

Loudoun County was also number 1 as stated by

Kiplinger, a real estate website, created a list of the top 10 “real” richest counties in the U.S in accordance to the highest median incomes adjusted for the counties’ costs of living. The key to remember is that the richest counties in the U.S are not the ones with the highest income or the most expensive.

Kiplinger states that incomes are “so high in Loudoun that even after adjusting for a cost of living 12.3% above the national average, it remains the richest county in the U.S. by a wide margin.”

Loudoun also takes fourth place in the U.S. News & World Report healthiest community rankings.

In Loudoun County, 62% and more have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the 39.6% for the overall state. 1/4 of of the county’s population was born overseas, which is double Virginia’s rate, and more than 1/3 speak a foreign language at home.

The U.S education system is notoriously known for failing compared to many other highly developed countries in the world. 

So the question is, do Freedom High schoolers, despite being in one of the best counties in Virginia, learn anymore than anyone else in the rest of the country? How are they failing or exceeding other places?

Junior Maddie Amme described Freedom’s education as, “Half and half. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes its not.”

“I think it’s good, but it could be better, as with everything else in life,” said junior Sania Hasan.

Junior Gurnimrat Kaur said, “It’s good, but it could use improvements because every student has different needs and the system doesn’t always accommodate to everyone’s needs.”

The overall opinion was quite mixed.

Amme blamed some of the fault onto the students lack of attention spans, “…I just don’t think we learn a lot in class. I don’t think a lot of people pay attention.”

It is true that teachers this 2022-2023 school year have started cracking down on students phone usage in class, much to the begrudge of many students. Whether it has lead to any results in grades or memorization is still unknown.

“I think we learn about the same amount as everyone else,” Hasan said. “I think mainly any extra stuff we learn is from after school clubs.”

Hasan is a member herself of Eagles PREP, a virtual academic club that allows students to be tutored or become a tutor to help other students in various subjects. The club was created to assist students with “academic challenges” and get students “motivated” to complete their schoolwork.

The students opinions on whether Loudoun County deserved to be labeled the number one county in the entire United States differed quite a bit.

Amme and Kaur both had more of a negative opinion regarding the education.

“In terms of money? Okay. Education is questionable,” said Amme. 

“I wouldn’t necessarily say number one,” Kaur said. “I do think we’re good at some things but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.”

Hasan shared more of a positive experience.

“Yes,” Hasan said. “Because after seeing other schools and seeing their environment I feel like Loudoun County has more resources, and it’s more friendly and has more of a community than most schools.”

All students were asked about their feelings regarding Freedom High School’s methods of teaching students.

Amme said, “I think most of the things they [Freedom] choose to teach is based on memorization, and it doesn’t help the people who learn in different ways.”

“I think they’re exceeding in the sense that majority of teachers are creating safe spaces for minority students, but I also think some teachers don’t really know how to teach and aren’t helpful,” Kaur said.

Both Kaur and Hasan shared similar sentiments on the education system for the overall country.

“In class it shows how good America is, but doesn’t show the negative parts of it. It shows the little [good] things but doesn’t show how corrupt the government is,” Hasan said. 

“I don’t think the system is good,” Kaur said. “It only supports one type of student, and not everyone learns the same way, and not everyone does good on the same tests, and not everyone has the same style of learning information. The system doesn’t accommodate to different styles and needs.”

All three students had a lot to say for suggestions on how to improve school throughout the whole country.

“You don’t just show how good the country is but also how corrupt the government is and all the bad things,” Hasan said. “I would eliminate homework, use the actual class time to do work instead of forcing students to spend hours of time on homework at home, also give less school time so students have more personal time.”

While Hasan’s main concern was the time spent on work, Amme and Kaur focused more on variety and mental health.

“They should come up with a new way to test people so everyone has a chance to succeed and take in account other learning styles,” Amme said.

“I think we can improve by having more of a variety of teaching options and classes and tests,” Kaur said. “And I think we can also improve by focusing more on mental health [rather] than grades, because especially in the US what we need for colleges causes kids to overwork themselves. So I feel like we need to focus more on the students themselves [rather] than colleges, grades, and school.”

The general consensus was that while there were pros in the education system, there were also a lot that could be fixed, as is with most things. 

All agreed that education was important, especially for young people.

“Education is important because that’s what builds the generation, without education how are we supposed to move onto the next stage of our life [occupations], or be aware of our society if we’re not being educated?” Hasan said.

“We’re the future of the world, so we need to be educated so we know what we’re doing,” Amme said. 

“Education is important because it lets students form their own opinions and think for themselves and to see things from both sides,” Kaur said. “When they have their own knowledge they know how to understand all sorts of situations.”

Loudoun County has been ranked time and time again as one of the best places to live in Virginia. The NOVA region has been rated numerous times as one of the most desirable places to live in the United States.

Residents of Loudoun and Virginia continue to strive for better education and learning, pushing the limits, starting with its schools.