· Population: 689,545
· Median age: 34
· Population per square mile: 9,856.5
· Land area: 61.05 square miles
· Number of households: 284,386
· Median household income: $86,420
· Income per capita: $56,147
Source: Latest U.S. Census data
Washington, D.C. — where D.C. stands for District of Columbia — is the capital of the United States and the seat of the federal government. Founded in 1790, the city was named after George Washington and is sometimes simply referred to as “the District” or “DC.”
A center of political life, many of the restaurants, bars and shops in Washington, D.C. are themed to reflect this fact. Diversity in the city’s people, religions, cultures and languages add to a mix that makes this place unique.
Washington, D.C. is also known for its excellent public transportation system, which includes the Metro, the third-busiest rapid transit system in the country. Walking to work or for recreation is also increasingly popular here, and Washington, D.C. is considered to be a walker’s and biker’s paradise. Thanks to the exceptional urban planning, many historical landmarks are also within walking distance from each other.
The Washington, D.C. housing market continues to be hot, with an active demand and a shortage of supply. Historically low mortgage rates are one of the main reasons for the accelerated demand. The median price of a home in DC is:
Washington, D.C. has 131 recognized neighborhoods. The city can also be divided into eight wards or into four (very unequal) quadrants.
The Northeast area is home to a few universities, such as Gallaudet University, The Catholic University of America and Trinity Washington University. Homes here include plenty of townhouses and condo buildings.
One of the area’s well-known neighborhoods is Brookland, which is enjoying revitalization in recent years. Nicknamed “little Rome,” the neighborhood offers tree-lined streets, cultural venues, and plenty of churches, chapels and monasteries to be toured.
The Northwest quadrant represents a bit more than 42% of the city and it is found north of the National Mall and west of North Capitol Street. There are many popular neighborhoods in this area.
Penn Quarter and Chinatown are home to a diverse culture that attracts tourists and residents alike. The area boasts hip restaurants, locally owned shops, and the Capital One Arena, which plays host to professional sports, concerts, live theater and special events.
Meanwhile, Dupont Circle has been named the most walkable and bike-friendly area in Washington, D.C., and is full of culture and authentic ethnic restaurants. With its historical roots, distinguished mansions can still be seen along Massachusetts Ave. But, in recent decades, it has become better known for its bohemian atmosphere and, today, the neighborhood boasts row houses and recently built condo buildings.
Divided by the Anacostia River, the Southeast quadrant includes neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, Lincoln Park, Stanton Park and Hill East.
Known for the House and Senate; the Capitol; the Supreme Court buildings; galleries; museums; and historic sites, Capitol Hill is also a favorite residential neighborhood with some classic 19th-century rowhouses. In fact, it’s the city’s largest historic residential neighborhood.
Southwest is the smallest quadrant, usually considered more of a neighborhood than a quadrant due to its size. It’s made up of five neighborhoods: The Southwest Waterfront, Southwest Federal Center, Bellevue, Buzzard’s Point and Anacostia. Townhouses, condos and apartment buildings can all be found in this area.
Anacostia is a culturally vibrant neighborhood with a rich African American history and serene walking and biking paths. Once known as Uniontown, it’s one of the District’s oldest suburbs.
Washington, D.C. consistently has one of the highest rates of advanced education in the country. Here, 91% of the population has a high school degree (versus the 88% national average), while 59% of its population has graduated from college and has at least a bachelor’s degree (versus the 32% national average).
More than 20 colleges and universities provide higher education in the area. The Jesuit-run Georgetown University is the oldest in town, while George Washington University is the largest in terms of enrollment, and Johns Hopkins University — which has its School of Advanced International Studies branch in D.C. — is one of the best-regarded.
The federal government is the largest employer in Washington, D.C., directly employing more than 200,000 and accounting for more than 30% of the District’s GDP. Because of the government-related activity, the job market is consistently active.
Besides the federal government, Washington, D.C. is also home to a collection of companies, being a center of activity for financial giants, but also other sectors, such as technology; healthcare and life sciences; education; retail; and tourism, among others. Big company names include Google, Siemens, Capital One, Marriott International and PwC.
The nation’s capital has an unparalleled variety of attractions. More than 20 museums showcase history, nature, art, inventions and technology, and many of these are run by the Smithsonian Institution, so they’re free to enter. These include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum, as well as several art galleries.
Meanwhile, music-lovers will enjoy the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra, while those who prefer theater can choose from at least 15 venues to see a show.
There are outdoor options here, as well, with 14 parks around the district. Other popular spots include the Smithsonian Zoo — with 300 species of animals — and the National Bonsai Museum. Sports are also big in Washington, with teams competing in all four major league sports: the Nationals, the Wizards, the Capitals, and the Redskins, who play baseball, basketball, ice hockey and football, respectively.