Northern Virginians opened their wallets for the United Way campaign to the tune of $1,684,960 during the organization's recent three-month fund-raising drive.

According to figures released by United Way officials of the National Capital area, Northern Virginia's increased levels of giving to the campaign, which supports 200 organizations and agencies, led the way for the metropolitan area.

"Northern Virginia did very well," said Oral Suer, executive vice-president of United Way of the National Capital area. "They had a good campaign organization, a good team of volunteers, and a lot of work started early."

Suer estimated that more than 25,000 volunteers helped in the United Way fund drive from September to December. Their efforts netted increases over last year's totals that ranged from 26 percent in Arlington to 23.8 percent in Fairfax County to 11.5 percent in Alexandria.

Noting that the increases were more substantial in the Northern Virginia area than anywhere else in the region, Suer said he felt the competition between the Virginia jurisdictions helped swell the totals. "It's highly competitive," he said. "They compete one region versus the other and it's a good spirit, which has some effect on the outcome.

"Also, we think that perhaps the people in Virginia maybe felt that the Reagan budget cuts might have been a more compelling reason to give a little extra this year."

Overall, the metropolitan United Way campaign raised $28,709,224, up about 11 percent from the year before. In Virginia, the totals were: Alexandria: $445,071; Arlington: $309,220; Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Falls Church: $815,498; Prince William: $105,171; and Loudoun, which ran its first United Way campaign: about $10,000