Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a capital district as permitted by the U.S. Constitution. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.
Visitation is expected to remain relatively flat through 2011, according to IHS Global Insight, a leading global forecasting company that provides Destination DC and the District CFO’s office with visitation and tax revenue projections. Factors such as DC’s unique business and leisure mix, government spending and accessibility for budget-minded consumers are expected to insulate DC from pressures impacting other destinations.
At 5.9%, Washington’s unemployment rate is easily the lowest among America’s large metropolitan areas. That is down from a recession high of just 7%, well below the national peak of 10.1%.
DC has approximately 41% of the region’s supply of subsidized affordable housing, but only 14% of the region’s households.
Washington’s black population slipped below 50 percent in 2011, possibly in February, about 51 years after it gained a majority, according to an estimate by William Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution.
In its 68.5 square miles, the District of Columbia is comprised of a diverse population.The District’s population and housing trends reflect historical changes in fertility, mortality, and internal and international migration.
The plan of the city of Washington was designed in 1791 by Pierre L'Enfant, and mapped the following year; a design which remains largely in place. For nearly a century, the realization of physical changes to the original plan were gradual until the second important benchmark in the development of Washington's urban plan: the McMillan Commission and its 1901-02 recommendations.
The Residence Act of July 16, 1790, as amended March 3, 1791, authorized President George Washington to select a 100-square-mile site for the national capital on the Potomac River between Alexandria, Virginia, and Williamsport, Maryland.
The District’s special status affects its ability to raise revenue and provide public services. Although it is not a state, it must perform the functions of a state as well as those of a city government. Besides providing local services, such as schools, police and fire, it is responsible for motor vehicle services, Medicaid and mental health services, as well as higher education and other functions normally handled at the state level. Despite its state-like responsibilities, the District does not have full state taxing authority.
DC elects a Delegate to the House of Representatives who can vote in committee and draft legislation, but does not have full voting rights. However, Congress is considering legislation that will grant DC's Delegate full voting rights. The current Delegate is Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
In 1912, an incredible gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees was bestowed on Washington, DC by Tokyo, Japan. Rooted strongly and surviving outside elements, the trees have withstood the test of time.