World Facts

What Is the Capital of the United States of America?

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States.

The capital city of the United States of America is Washington, D.C., and can be referred to formally as the District of Columbia or more informally as D.C. or Washington. In 2017, the city had a population of 6,131,977 and an approximate size of 68.34 square miles. The city was founded after the American Revolution and named after Founding Father and first President of the United States of America, General George Washington. In addition to being the capital of the United States, the city is sometimes considered as the world’s capital given its status as the seat of the US’s federal authorities and its role as host to international organizations like the World Bank.

Geography and Climate

Located on the East Coast of the United States, D.C. is bound by the states of Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria, and Maryland. The highest point in the city is Fort Reno Park, which has an elevation of 409 feet, while its lowest point is the Potomac River. The climate of Washington is categorized as temperate maritime. Winter is cold, with temperatures averaging around 3 °C between mid-December and mid-February, while summer temperatures average about 26.6 °C. The humidity averages around 66% daily. This climate is prone to thunderstorms, which may be sometimes accompanied by tornadoes. The highest temperature ever recorded in D.C. was 106 °F in 1918, while the lowest was −15 °F in 1899.

Economy

The economy of the capital is booming, with a steady performance compared to the other US states. Data shows that the capital consistently ranks first among the top ten US states in terms of GDP between 2009 and 2016. In 2016 alone, the GDP per capita was $160,472, a figure that is almost three times as large as that of the GDP of the second highest state, Massachusetts. Industry and tourism are among the biggest contributors to D.C.'s strong economy.

Tourism

Tourism is the second largest contributor to D.C.’s economy, as the city receives an annual average of almost 20 million visitors. Aside from the obvious allure of visiting a city that is considered the capital of the world, there are several other features that attract visitors from all over the world every year. Some of the sights include the Washington Monument, National Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Memorial, and National Gallery of Art. In 2012 alone, tourism alone contributed about $4.8 billion to D.C.'s economy.

Administration

As capital of the United States, the city seats all the three branches of the government: executive (President), legislative (US Congress), and judicial (US Supreme Court). Additionally, as a founding city, many important national monuments are situated within D.C. Furthermore, Washington contains the headquarters of several international organizations such as the American Red Cross, Human Rights Campaign, and National Geographic Society. Despite being governed by a mayor and council of 13, the city, as outlined explicitly within U.S. Constitution, is under the supreme authority of Congress. This authority grants Congress the right to overturn any decision made by the council.

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