Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
District of Columbia
Aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, and Washington Monument
U.S. Capitol dome
The Gothic Washington National Cathedral
Aerial view of Logan Circle
Colorful rowhouses in Adams Morgan
View of the Jefferson Memorial from across the Tidal Bason
Manicured South Lawn of the White House
D.C., The District
Justitia Omnibus
(English: Justice for All)
Anthem: "Washington"
"Our Nation's Capital" (march)[1]
Interactive map of Washington, D.C.
Coordinates: 38°54′17″N 77°00′59″W / 38.90472°N 77.01639°W / 38.90472; -77.01639 (District of Columbia)Coordinates: 38°54′17″N 77°00′59″W / 38.90472°N 77.01639°W / 38.90472; -77.01639 (District of Columbia)
Country United States
Residence Act1790
Home Rule Act1973
Named forGeorge Washington, Christopher Columbus
 • MayorMuriel Bowser (D)
 • D.C. Council
 • U.S. HouseEleanor Holmes Norton (D),
Delegate (At-large)
 • Federal capital city and federal district68.34 sq mi (177.0 km2)
 • Land61.05 sq mi (158.1 km2)
 • Water7.29 sq mi (18.9 km2)
Highest elevation
409 ft (125 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
 • Federal capital city and federal district689,545
 • Estimate 
 • Rank23rd in the United States
 • Density11,294.76/sq mi (4,361.45/km2)
 • Urban5,174,759 (US: 8th)
 • Urban density3,997.5/sq mi (1,543.4/km2)
 • Metro6,385,162 (US: 6th)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
20001–20098, 20201–20599, 56901–56999
Area code(s)202, 771 (overlay)[7][8]
International airports
Commuter rail
Rapid transitWashington Metro
Websitedc.gov Edit this at Wikidata
District of Columbia state symbols
Living insignia
BirdWood Thrush
CrustaceanHay's Spring amphipod
FishAmerican shad
FlowerAmerican Beauty rose
MammalLittle brown bat
TreeScarlet Oak
Inanimate insignia
DanceHand dancing
RockPotomac bluestone
SloganFederal City
State route marker

District of Columbia Route 295 marker

State quarter
District of Columbia quarter dollar coin
Released in 2009
Lists of United States state symbols

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia, also known as Washington, the District, or D.C., is the capital city and federal district of the United States.[10] It is located on the east bank of the Potomac River, which forms its southwestern border with Virginia, and it shares a land border with Maryland on its other sides. The city was named for George Washington, a Founding Father, commanding general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and the first president of the United States,[11] and the district is named after Columbia, the female personification of the nation. Washington is the southern point of the Northeast megalopolis, a major cultural, political, and economic corridor along the northeastern coast of the United States running from Boston to Washington, D.C.. As the seat of the U.S. federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital.[12] It is one of the most visited cities in the U.S., with over 20 million annual visitors as of 2016.[13][14]

The U.S. Constitution provides for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress; the district is not a part of any U.S. state (nor is it one itself). The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of the capital district located along the Potomac River near the country's East Coast. The City of Washington was founded in 1791, and Congress held its first session there in 1800. In 1801, the territory, formerly part of Maryland and Virginia and including the settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria), was officially recognized as the federal district. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia, including the city of Alexandria; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the district. There have been efforts to make the city into a state since the 1880s; a statehood bill passed the House of Representatives in 2021.[15]

The city is divided into quadrants centered on the Capitol. There are 131 neighborhoods. According to the 2020 census, the has a population of 689,545,[2] which makes it the 23rd most populous city in the U.S. as of 2020, the third most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic, and gives it a population larger than that of two U.S. states: Wyoming and Vermont.[16] Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek.[17] Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest (including parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia), had a 2020 estimated population of 6.3 million residents;[18] and over 54 million people live within 250 mi (400 km) of the District.[19]

The three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the district: Congress (legislative), the president (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the American Red Cross, and others.

A locally elected mayor and a 13-member council have governed the district since 1973. Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. The District of Columbia does not have representation in Congress, although D.C. residents elect a single at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives who has no vote. District voters choose three presidential electors in accordance with the Twenty-third Amendment, ratified in 1961.

  1. ^ Imhoff, Gary (October 1999). "Our Official Songs". DC Watch. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "QuickFacts: Washington city, District of Columbia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  3. ^ "List of 2020 Census Urban Areas". census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  4. ^ "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 24, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Demonyms for people from the USA". www.geography-site.co.uk. Archived from the original on May 21, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  6. ^ "Demonym". addis.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  7. ^ D.C.'s New (771) Area Code Will Start Being Assigned In November Archived April 26, 2021, at the Wayback Machine(Retrieved 26 April 2021 from DCist.com)
  8. ^ 771 will be new D.C. area code, supplementing venerable 202 Archived November 29, 2020, at the Wayback Machine(Retrieved 26 April 2021 from Washington Post)
  9. ^ Jamie R. Liu (July 14, 2011). "Rickey Named Official D.C. Cocktail". DCist. Archived from the original on October 14, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Introduction: Where Oh Where Should the Capital Be?". WHHA. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  11. ^ "Washington, D.C. History F.A.Q." The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. May 27, 2014. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Broder, David S. (February 18, 1990). "Nation's Capital in Eclipse as Pride and Power Slip Away". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2010. In the days of the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO, [Clark Clifford] said, we saved the world, and Washington became the capital of the world.
  13. ^ "The 10 most-visited cities in the US this year". Insider. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Cooper, Rebecca (May 9, 2017). "D.C. breaks another domestic tourism record". www.bizjournals.com. Washington Business Journal. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Cochrane, Emily (April 22, 2021). "House Approves D.C. Statehood, but Senate Obstacles Remain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  16. ^ Journal, Matt Vasilogambros, National (December 30, 2013). "D.C. Has More People Than Wyoming and Vermont, Still Not a State". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV". U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  18. ^ "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Population Totals and Components of Change: 2010–2019". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. April 2019. Archived from the original on June 16, 2020. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Big Radius Tool: StatsAmerica". Retrieved October 30, 2022.

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