Columbia (D.C.) City Info and Higher Education Facts

The District of Columbia is the capital of the United States, heart of one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas and home to countless cultural institutions and government offices. The District has a strong higher education tradition and plays host to such nationally recognized universities as Georgetown University, American University and George Washington University.

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Information about the District of Columbia (D.C.)

Washington, D.C., is a federal district located on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers between Virginia and Maryland. The District of Columbia, often called simply D.C. or the District, is home to all three branches of the federal government, as well as hundreds of nonprofit organizations, law firms, think tanks, embassies and lobbying firms. The District's nearly 672,300 residents (based on 2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimates) are nearly 50% black or African-American. The populace is highly educated, with slightly more than 53% of adults 25 and over holding a bachelor's degree or higher. During the day, the population swells to more than a million as hundreds of thousands of commuters fill the downtown area to work.

From the Washington Monument and Smithsonian Institute to the Jefferson Memorial and National Air and Space Museum, tourists and residents alike can brush up against the cultural heritage of an entire nation. The District also hosts several major-league sports teams, including baseball's Washington Nationals and football's Washington Redskins. The performing arts likewise find a welcome home in D.C., with institutions such as the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Theater hosting performances by world-class musicians and theater companies.


D.C. is an education nexus, with more than a dozen 4-year nonprofit colleges and universities within the city limits. Among the best-known institutions within the District are George Washington University (GWU), Georgetown University (GU), American University (AU) and Howard University. The local government also operates the University of the District of Columbia.


The District of Columbia is the quintessential company town. The company, of course, is the federal government of the United States. Most people who work in or around D.C. have some sort of federal government connection, although the public sector's dominance over the economy is waning slightly as financial services, health care and media companies expand their presence in the area. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, D.C.'s unemployment rate was 6.5%, as of March 2016. The government sector held nearly 240,000 jobs, while professional and business services held 163,400 jobs.

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