The Washington-area chapter of United Way raised a record $35.2 million this year, posting a larger increase by percentage than any other major metropolitan area, officials of the fund-raising agency reported yesterday.

This year's collections represented a 12 percent increase over last year's, and marked the sixth consecutive year in which the rate of increase went over 10 percent.

The average increase for areas the size of the Washington area was about 5 percent, according to Ken Unzicker, associate campaign director. Last year, $28.7 million was raised in the Washington area.

"People in this community, because they live so close to the federal government, are acutely aware that the government is not going to do everything and that somebody has to," Unzicker said.

United Way provides funding for nearly 200 social service agencies and organizations in the area.

The largest portion of the $35.2 million was raised by private employe groups, which contributed $8.8 million. The District of Columbia topped all of the area jurisdictions, raising $1.6 million. Arlington County posted the largest increase, raising its contribution by 30 percent over last year, to $379,816.

The Combined Federal Campaign, through which federal workers donate, brought in $14.7 this year, an increase of 7.3 percent.