Washington metropolitan area

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Washington Metropolitan Area
(Washington – Arlington – Alexandria)
WashMonument WhiteHouse.jpg
Rosslyn 2013 02.JPG
2016-10-09 15 44 43 View east along Virginia State Route 7 (King Street) at Virginia State Route 400 (Washington Street) in Alexandria, Virginia.jpg
DMV[2][3] (D.C., Maryland, Virginia)
Country United States
U.S. state/federal districtPrincipal Subdivisions
(National Capital Region):[1][failed verification]
District of Columbia [D]
Maryland [M]
Virginia [V] Outlying Subdivision:
West Virginia
Principal municipalitiesWashington, Arlington, Alexandria
 • Urban
1,407.0 sq mi (3,644.2 km2)
 • Metro
5,564.6 sq mi (14,412 km2)
0–2,350 ft (0–716 m)
 • Metropolitan area6,385,162 (6th)
 • Density972.2/sq mi (375.4/km2)
 • Urban
4,586,770 (8th)
 • CSA (2016)
9,546,579 (4th)
 Urban pop as of 2016
Time zoneUTC-5 (ET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EST)

The Washington metropolitan area (also known as the National Capital Region and colloquially as the DMV for "D.C., Maryland, Virginia") is the metropolitan area centered on Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The area includes all of the federal district and parts of the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. It is part of the larger Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area.

The Washington D.C. metropolitan area is one of the most educated and most affluent metropolitan areas in the US.[7] The metro area anchors the southern end of the densely populated Northeast megalopolis with an estimated total population of 6,385,162 as of the 2020 U.S. Census,[8] making it the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the nation[9] and the largest metropolitan area in the Census Bureau's South Atlantic division.[10]


The U.S. Office of Management and Budget defines the area as the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV metropolitan statistical area, a metropolitan statistical area used for statistical purposes by the United States Census Bureau and other agencies. The region's three largest cities are the federal territory of Washington, D.C., the county (and census-designated place) of Arlington, and the independent city of Alexandria. The Office of Management and Budget also includes the metropolitan statistical area as part of the larger Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 9,546,579 as of the 2014 Census Estimate.[citation needed]

The Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia[1] portions of the metropolitan area is sometimes referred to as the National Capital Region or the D.C. Area, particularly by federal agencies such as the military,[11] Department of Homeland Security,[12] and some local government agencies. The National Capital Region portion of the Washington Metropolitan Area is also colloquially known by the acronym "DMV" which stands for the "District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia."[13] The area in the region that is surrounded by Interstate 495 referred to as being "Inside the Beltway". The city of Washington, which is at the center of the area, is referred to as "the District" because of its status as a federal district, which makes it not part of any state. The Virginian portion of the region is known as Northern Virginia and the Maryland portion of the region is sometimes called the Maryland-National Capital Region by some local authorities, but is not widely used by the general public.[14][15]


Satellite photo of the Washington metropolitan area
Map highlighting labor patterns of regional counties

The U.S. Census Bureau divides the Washington statistical metropolitan area into two metropolitan divisions:[16]

  • Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Division, comprising the majority of the metropolitan area
  • Frederick–Gaithersburg–Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division, consisting of Montgomery and Frederick counties

Counties or County equivalents and populations[edit]

County 2020 Census 2010 Census Change Area Density
Fairfax County, Virginia 1,150,309 1,081,726 +6.34% 391 sq mi (1,010 km2) 2,942/sq mi (1,136/km2)
Montgomery County, Maryland 1,062,061 971,777 +9.29% 491 sq mi (1,270 km2) 2,163/sq mi (835/km2)
Prince George's County, Maryland 967,201 863,420 +12.02% 483 sq mi (1,250 km2) 2,002/sq mi (773/km2)
Washington, District of Columbia 689,545 601,723 +14.60% 61.05 sq mi (158.1 km2) 11,295/sq mi (4,361/km2)
Prince William County, Virginia 482,204 402,002 +19.95% 336 sq mi (870 km2) 1,435/sq mi (554/km2)
Loudoun County, Virginia 420,959 312,311 +34.79% 516 sq mi (1,340 km2) 816/sq mi (315/km2)
Frederick County, Maryland 271,717 233,385 +16.42% 660 sq mi (1,700 km2) 412/sq mi (159/km2)
Arlington County, Virginia 238,643 207,627 +14.94% 26 sq mi (67 km2) 9,179/sq mi (3,544/km2)
Charles County, Maryland 166,617 146,551 +13.69% 458 sq mi (1,190 km2) 364/sq mi (140/km2)
City of Alexandria, Virginia 159,467 139,966 +13.93% 14.93 sq mi (38.7 km2) 10,681/sq mi (4,124/km2)
Stafford County, Virginia 156,927 128,961 +21.69% 269 sq mi (700 km2) 583/sq mi (225/km2)
Spotsylvania County, Virginia 140,032 122,397 +14.41% 401 sq mi (1,040 km2) 349/sq mi (135/km2)
Calvert County, Maryland 92,783 88,737 +4.56% 213 sq mi (550 km2) 436/sq mi (168/km2)
Fauquier County, Virginia 72,972 65,203 +11.92% 647 sq mi (1,680 km2) 113/sq mi (44/km2)
Jefferson County, West Virginia 57,701 53,498 +7.86% 210 sq mi (540 km2) 275/sq mi (106/km2)
Culpeper County, Virginia 52,552 46,689 +12.56% 379 sq mi (980 km2) 139/sq mi (54/km2)
City of Manassas, Virginia 42,772 37,821 +13.09% 9.84 sq mi (25.5 km2) 4,347/sq mi (1,678/km2)
Warren County, Virginia 40,727 37,575 +8.39% 213 sq mi (550 km2) 191/sq mi (74/km2)
City of Fredericksburg, Virginia 27,982 24,286 +15.22% 10.45 sq mi (27.1 km2) 2,678/sq mi (1,034/km2)
City of Fairfax, Virginia 24,146 22,565 +7.01% 6.24 sq mi (16.2 km2) 3,870/sq mi (1,494/km2)
City of Manassas Park, Virginia 17,219 14,273 +20.64% 3.03 sq mi (7.8 km2) 5,683/sq mi (2,194/km2)
Clarke County, Virginia 14,783 14,034 +5.34% 176 sq mi (460 km2) 84/sq mi (32/km2)
City of Falls Church, Virginia 14,658 12,332 +18.86% 2.05 sq mi (5.3 km2) 7,150/sq mi (2,761/km2)
Madison County, Virginia 13,837 13,308 +3.98% 321 sq mi (830 km2) 43/sq mi (17/km2)
Rappahannock County, Virginia 7,348 7,373 −0.34% 266 sq mi (690 km2) 28/sq mi (11/km2)
Total 6,385,162 5,649,540 +13.02% 6,563.59 sq mi (16,999.6 km2) 973/sq mi (376/km2)
Historical populations – Washington Metropolitan Area
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census
2011 estimate

Regional organizations[edit]

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments[edit]

Founded in 1957, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is a regional organization of 21 Washington-area local governments, as well as area members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. MWCOG provides a forum for discussion and the development of regional responses to issues regarding the environment, transportation, public safety, homeland security, affordable housing, community planning, and economic development.[17]

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, a component of MWCOG, is the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the metropolitan Washington area.[18]

Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan Area[edit]

Chartered in 1964, the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area is a regional organization of 17 Washington-area local universities and community colleges representing nearly 300,000 students.[19] The consortium facilitates course cross registration between all member universities, and universalizes library access across some of its member universities through the Washington Research Library Consortium. It additionally offers joint procurement programs, joint academic initiatives, and campus public safety training.[20] These colleges and universities are:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority[edit]

Formed in 1967 as an interstate compact between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, the WMATA is a tri-jurisdictional government agency with a board composed of representatives from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the United States Federal government that operates transit services in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority[edit]

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is a multi-jurisdictional independent airport authority, created with the consent of the United States Congress and the legislature of Virginia to oversee management, operations, and capital development of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.[21]

Greater Washington Board of Trade[edit]

Founded in 1889, the Greater Washington Board of Trade is a network of regional businesses that work to advance the culture, economy, and resiliency of the Washington metropolitan area.[22]

Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington[edit]

The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington (CAGW) works to increase appreciation, support, and resources for arts and culture in the Greater Washington DC region.

Principal cities[edit]

View of downtown Washington, with the skylines of Arlington and Tysons Corner in the distance.

The metropolitan area includes the following principal cities (not all of which are incorporated as cities; one, Arlington, actually is a county, while Bethesda and Reston are unincorporated census-designated places.)[16]



The D.C. Metro has consistently leaned Democratic, only voting Republican once in Richard Nixon's landslide reelection in 1972. Since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, Democratic candidates have easily won the area by double-digits.

Presidential election results
Year DEM GOP Others
2020 72.3% 2,320,658 25.5% 818,418 2.2% 70,283
2016 69.0% 1,860,678 25.7% 692,743 5.4% 145,269
2012 67.5% 1,813,963 30.9% 829,567 1.7% 44,708
2008 68.0% 1,603,902 31.0% 728,916 1.0% 25,288
2004 61.0% 1,258,743 38.0% 785,144 1.4% 19,735
2000 58.5% 1,023,089 37.9% 663,590 3.6% 62,437
1996 57.0% 861,881 37.0% 558,830 6.0% 89,259
1992 53.0% 859,889 34.1% 553.369 12.9% 209,651
1988 50.4% 684,453 48.6% 659,344 1.0% 14,219
1984 51.0% 653,568 48.5% 621,377 0.4% 5,656
1980 44.7% 484,590 44.6% 482,506 11.1% 115,797
1976 54.2% 590,481 44.9% 488,995 1.0% 10,654
1972 44.2% 431,257 54.8% 534,235 1.1% 10,825
1968 49.4% 414,345 39.1% 327,662 11.5% 96,701
1964 69.8% 495,490 30.2% 214,293 0.1% 462
1960 52.5% 204,614 47.3% 184,499 0.1% 593
The southern portion of the Capital Beltway along the Potomac River, featuring portions of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
Old Town Alexandria, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, and National Harbor, Maryland are visible.

Racial composition[edit]

The area has been a magnet for international immigration since the late 1960s. It is also a magnet for internal migration (persons moving from one region of the U.S. to another).[23][dubious ]

Racial composition of the Washington, D.C. area:

2019 American Community Survey[edit]

  • Non-Hispanic White : 44.7%
  • Black or African American : 24.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino : 16.3%
  • Asian : 10.3%
  • Mixed and Other : 3.8%
Hispanic Origin Asian Origin
5.2% Salvadoran 2.9% Indian
2.3% Mexican 1.9% Chinese
1.6% Guatemalan 1.2% Korean
1.2% Puerto Rican 1.2% Vietnamese
0.9% Honduran 1.0% Filipino
0.9% Peruvian 0.5% Pakistani
0.8% Bolivian 0.2% Japanese
0.5% Colombian 0.2% Thai
0.5% Dominican 0.2% Bangladeshi
5.6% Other 1.0% Other

2010 U.S. Census[edit]

[citation needed]




  • White : 67.8%
  • Black : 26.0%
  • Asian : 2.5%
  • Hispanic : 2.8%
  • Mixed and Other : 0.9%

Social indicators[edit]

The Washington metropolitan area has ranked as the highest-educated metropolitan area in the nation for four decades.[25] As of the 2006–2008 American Community Survey, the three most educated places with 200,000 people or more in Washington–Arlington–Alexandria by bachelor's degree attainment (population 25 and over) are Arlington, Virginia (68.0%), Fairfax County, Virginia (58.8%), and Montgomery County, Maryland (56.4%).[26] Forbes magazine stated in its 2008 "America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities" report: "The D.C. area is less than half the size of L.A., but both cities have around 100,000 Ph.D.'s."[27]

The Washington, D.C. metro area has held the top spot in the American College of Sports Medicine's annual American Fitness Index ranking of the United States' 50 most populous metropolitan areas for two years running. The report cites, among other things, the high average fitness level and healthy eating habits of residents, the widespread availability of health care and facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and parks, low rates of obesity and tobacco use relative to the national average, and the high median household income as contributors to the city's community health.[28]

The average household income within a 5 mi (8.0 km) radius of Tysons Corner Center is $174,809.[29]

In the 21st century, the Washington metropolitan area has overtaken the San Francisco Bay Area as the highest-income metropolitan area in the nation.[7] The median household income of the region is US$72,800. The two highest median household income counties in the nation – Loudoun and Fairfax County, Virginia – are components of the MSA (and #3 is Howard County, officially in Baltimore's sphere but strongly connected with Washington's); measured in this way, Alexandria ranks 10th among municipalities in the region – 11th if Howard is included – and 23rd in the entire United States. 12.2% of Northern Virginia's 881,136 households, 8.5% of suburban Maryland's 799,300 households, and 8.2% of Washington's 249,805 households have an annual income in excess of $200,000, compared to 3.7% nationally.[30]

According to a report by the American Human Development Project, women in the Washington metropolitan area are ranked as having the highest income and educational attainment among the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the nation, while Asian American women in the region had the highest life expectancy, at 92.3 years.[31]

Counties and populations[edit]

County 2019 Estimate 2010 Census Change Area Density
Washington, D.C. 705,749 601,723 +17.29% 61.05 sq mi (158.1 km2) 11,158/sq mi (4,308/km2)
Calvert County, Maryland 92,525 88,737 +4.27% 213.15 sq mi (552.1 km2) 428/sq mi (165/km2)
Charles County, Maryland 163,257 146,551 +11.40% 457.75 sq mi (1,185.6 km2) 345/sq mi (133/km2)
Frederick County, Maryland 259,547 233,385 +11.21% 660.22 sq mi (1,710.0 km2) 375/sq mi (145/km2)
Montgomery County, Maryland 1,050,688 971,777 +8.12% 491.25 sq mi (1,272.3 km2) 2,125/sq mi (820/km2)
Prince George's County, Maryland 909,327 863,420 +5.32% 482.69 sq mi (1,250.2 km2) 1,881/sq mi (726/km2)
Alexandria, Virginia 159,428 139,966 +13.90% 15.03 sq mi (38.9 km2) 10,367/sq mi (4,003/km2)
Arlington County, Virginia 236,842 207,627 +14.07% 25.97 sq mi (67.3 km2) 8,858/sq mi (3,420/km2)
Clarke County, Virginia 14,619 14,034 +4.17% 176.18 sq mi (456.3 km2) 82/sq mi (32/km2)
Culpeper County, Virginia 52,605 46,689 +12.67% 379.23 sq mi (982.2 km2) 132/sq mi (51/km2)
Fairfax County, Virginia 1,147,532 1,081,726 +6.08% 390.97 sq mi (1,012.6 km2) 2,912/sq mi (1,124/km2)
Fairfax City, Virginia 24,019 22,565 +6.44% 6.24 sq mi (16.2 km2) 3,872/sq mi (1,495/km2)
Falls Church, Virginia 14,617 12,332 +18.53% 2.00 sq mi (5.2 km2) 7,007/sq mi (2,705/km2)
Fauquier County, Virginia 71,222 65,203 +9.23% 647.45 sq mi (1,676.9 km2) 107/sq mi (41/km2)
Fredericksburg, Virginia 29,036 24,286 +19.56% 10.44 sq mi (27.0 km2) 2,710/sq mi (1,047/km2)
Loudoun County, Virginia 413,538 312,311 +32.41% 515.56 sq mi (1,335.3 km2) 749/sq mi (289/km2)
Manassas, Virginia 41,085 37,821 +8.63% 9.88 sq mi (25.6 km2) 4,199/sq mi (1,621/km2)
Manassas Park, Virginia 17,478 14,273 +22.45% 2.53 sq mi (6.6 km2) 6,291/sq mi (2,429/km2)
Prince William County, Virginia 470,335 402,002 +17.00% 336.40 sq mi (871.3 km2) 1,353/sq mi (522/km2)
Rappahannock County, Virginia 7,370 7,373 −0.04% 266.23 sq mi (689.5 km2) 28/sq mi (11/km2)
Spotsylvania County, Virginia 136,215 122,397 +11.29% 401.50 sq mi (1,039.9 km2) 329/sq mi (127/km2)
Stafford County, Virginia 152,882 128,961 +18.55% 268.96 sq mi (696.6 km2) 537/sq mi (207/km2)
Warren County, Virginia 40,164 37,575 +6.89% 213.47 sq mi (552.9 km2) 183/sq mi (71/km2)
Total 6,280,487 5,649,540 +11.17% 5,564.6 sq mi (14,412 km2) 1,116/sq mi (431/km2)

[citation needed]


Rosslyn is home to the tallest high-rises in the region, partly due to the District's height restrictions. As a result, many of the region's tallest buildings are outside the city proper.[32][33]

The Washington, D.C. area has the largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation in 2006 according to the Greater Washington Initiative at 324,530, ahead of the combined San Francisco Bay Area work force of 214,500, and Chicago metropolitan area at 203,090, citing data from U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Claritas Inc., and other sources.[7]

The Washington, D.C. area was ranked as the second best High-Tech Center in a statistical analysis of the top 100 Metropolitan areas in the United States by American City Business Journals in May 2009, behind the Silicon Valley and ahead of the Boston metropolitan area.[34] Fueling the metropolitan area's ranking was the reported 241,264 tech jobs in the region, a total eclipsed only by New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the highest master's or doctoral degree attainment among the 100 ranked metropolitan areas.[34] A Dice.com report showed that the Washington–Baltimore area had the second-highest number of tech jobs listed: 8,289, after the New York metro area with 9,195 jobs.[35]

Real estate and housing market[edit]

Changes in house prices for the D.C. area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-city composite index of the value of the U.S. residential real estate market.

McLean ZIP code 22102 had the highest median home prices among ZIP codes within the Washington metropolitan area as of 2013.[36]

Net worth, wealth disparities, and business ownership[edit]

The economy of the Washington metropolitan region is characterized by significant wealth disparities, which were heightened by the Great Recession and the 2007–09 housing crisis, which adversely affected black and Hispanic households more than other households.[37][38]

A 2016 Urban Institute report found that the median net worth (i.e., assets minus debt) for white households in the D.C. region was $284,000, while the median net worth for Hispanic/Latino households was $13,000, and for African American households as $3,500.[37][38] Asian Americans had the highest median net worth in the Washington area ($220,000 for Chinese American households, $430,000 for Vietnamese American households, $496,000 for Korean American households, and $573,000 for Indian American households).[37][38]

Although the median net worth for white D.C.-area households was 81 times that of black D.C.-area households, the two groups had comparable rates of business ownership (about 9%). The Urban Institute report suggests that this "may be driven by the presence of a large federal government and a local district government whose membership and constituents have been largely Black, coupled with government policies designed to increase contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses."[37][38]

Primary industries[edit]

NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda.


The Washington metropolitan area has a significant biotechnology industry; companies with a major presence in the region as of 2011 include Merck, Pfizer, Human Genome Sciences, Martek Biosciences, and Qiagen.[39] Additionally, many biotechnology companies such as United Therapeutics, Novavax, Emergent BioSolutions, Parabon NanoLabs and MedImmune have headquarters in the region. The area is also home to branch offices of many contract research organizations. Firms with a presence in the area include Covance, IQVIA, Charles River Laboratories, and ICON plc. The area's medical research is driven by government and non-profit health institutions, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, J. Craig Venter Institute, and the National Institutes of Health.

Defense contracting

Many defense contractors are based in the region to be close to the Pentagon in Arlington. Local defense contractors include Lockheed Martin, the largest, as well as General Dynamics, BAE Systems Inc., Northrop Grumman,[40] Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), CACI, ManTech International, DynCorp, and Leidos.


The Washington D.C. area contains the headquarters of numerous companies in the hospitality and hotel industries. Major companies with headquarters in the region include Marriott International, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Hilton Worldwide, Park Hotels and Resorts, Choice Hotels, Host Hotels and Resorts, and HMSHost.

Mass media

The media industry is a significant portion of metropolitan Washington's economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Washington DC region has the second largest concentration of journalists and media personnel in the United States after the New York metropolitan area.[41] Washington's industry presence includes major publications with national audiences such as The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and USA Today, as well as new media publishers such as Vox Media, RealClearPolitics, Axios, and Politico. A secondary portion of this market is made up of periodicals such as National Affairs, those by The Slate Group, Foreign Policy, National Geographic, The American Prospect, and those by Atlantic Media, including The Atlantic. There are also many smaller regional publications present, such as The Washington Diplomat, The Hill, Hill Rag, Roll Call, Washington City Paper and the Washington Examiner.


Anchored by the Dulles Technology Corridor, the telecommunications and tech industry in DC spans a diverse range of players across internet infrastructure, broadcasting, satellite communications, and datacenters. Firms headquartered in the area include Cogent Communications, GTT Communications, Hughes Network Systems, iCore Networks, Iridium Communications, Intelsat, Ligado Networks, NII Holdings, Oceus Networks, OneWeb, Tegna Inc., Transaction Network Services, Verisign, WorldCell, and XO Communications.


Tourism is a significant industry in the Washington metropolitan region. In 2015, more than 74,000 tourism-sector jobs existed in the District of Columbia, a record-setting 19.3 million domestic tourists visited the city, and domestic and international tourists combined spent $7.1 billion.[42][43] The convention industry is also significant; in 2016, D.C. hosted fifteen "city-wide conventions" with an estimated total economic impact of $277.9 million.[42]

Tourism is also significant outside the District of Columbia; in 2015, a record-setting $3.06 billion in tourism spending was reported in Arlington, Virginia, and $2.9 billion in Fairfax County, Virginia.[44] A 2016 National Park Service report estimated that there were 56 million visitors to national parks in the National Capital Region, sustaining 16,917 and generating close to $1.6 billion in economy impact.[45]

Largest companies[edit]

Capital One Tower in Tysons, the tallest building in the region and centerpiece of the 5,000,000 sq ft (464,500 m2) headquarter campus for Capital One.[46]
Largest public companies (Fortune 500 2020)[47]
Company Industry Headquarters National rank
AES Corporation Energy Arlington, Virginia 310
Beacon Building Products Roofing Herndon, Virginia 434
Booz Allen Hamilton Consulting McLean, Virginia 450
Capital One Finance McLean, Virginia 97
Danaher Corporation Medical Products Washington, D.C. 161
Discovery Communications Mass media Silver Spring, Maryland 287
DXC Technology Information technology Tysons, Virginia 155
Fannie Mae Finance Washington, D.C. 24
Freddie Mac Finance McLean, Virginia 41
General Dynamics Defense Reston, Virginia 83
Hilton Hotels Corporation Hospitality McLean, Virginia 338
Leidos Defense Reston, Virginia 289
Lockheed Martin Defense Bethesda, Maryland 57
Marriott International Hospitality Bethesda, Maryland 157
Northrop Grumman Defense Falls Church, Virginia 96
NVR, Inc. Construction Reston, Virginia 417
SAIC Information technology Reston, Virginia 466
Largest private companies (Forbes America's Largest Private Companies 2016)[48]
Company Industry Headquarters National rank
BrightView Landscaping Rockville, Maryland 220
Carahsoft Defense Reston, Virginia 161
Clark Construction Construction Bethesda, Maryland 102
Mars, Incorporated Food processing McLean, Virginia 7


NGA headquarters in Fort Belvoir.

The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure resulted in a significant shuffling of military, civilian, and defense contractor employees in the Washington, D.C., area. The largest individual site impacts of the time are as follows:[49]

BRAC 2005 was the largest infrastructure expansion by the Army Corps of Engineers since World War II, resulting in the Mark Center, tallest building they have ever constructed, as well as National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Campus East, which at 2.4 million square feet is the largest building the Corps have constructed since the Pentagon.[50]


The Metro Center station on the Washington Metro

'WMATA'-indicated systems are run by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and always accept Washington Metro fare cards, others may or may not.

Major airports[edit]

Rail transit systems[edit]

Bus transit systems[edit]

Major roads[edit]


U.S. Highways[edit]

Bicycle sharing[edit]


Sports teams[edit]

Listing of the professional sports teams in the Washington metropolitan area:

Club Sport League Founded Venue
Washington Capitals Hockey NHL 1974 Capital One Arena
Washington Nationals Baseball MLB 2005[a] Nationals Park
Washington Wizards Basketball NBA 1973[a] Capital One Arena
Washington Football Team Football NFL 1937[a] FedExField
D.C. United Soccer MLS 1996 Audi Field
Washington Mystics Basketball WNBA 1998 St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena
DC Defenders Football XFL 2018 Audi Field
Washington Spirit Soccer NWSL 2011[b] Maryland SoccerPlex (primary)
Audi Field (secondary)
Segra Field (secondary)
Capital City Go-Go Basketball NBA G League 2018 St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena
Old Glory DC Rugby MLR 2018 Catholic University Cardinal Field
Loudoun United FC Soccer USL Championship 2018 Segra Field
  1. ^ a b c Year team moved to Washington area
  2. ^ Founded as D.C. United Women; rebranded as Washington Spirit in 2012 and started NWSL play in 2013.


The Washington metropolitan area is home to USA Today, C-SPAN, PBS, NPR, Politico, BET, TV One and Discovery Communications. The two main newspapers are The Washington Post and The Washington Times. Local television channels include WRC-TV 4 (NBC), WTTG 5 (FOX), WJLA 7 (ABC), WUSA 9 (CBS), WDCA 20 (MyNetworkTV), WETA-TV 26 (PBS), WDCW 50 (CW), and WPXW 66 (Ion). WJLA 24/7 News is a local news provider available only to cable subscribers. Radio stations serving the area include: WETA-FM, WIHT, WSBN, and WTOP.

Area codes[edit]

  • 202 & 771 (Starting November 2021)[51] – Washington, D.C.
  • 571/703 – Northern Virginia including the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church as well as Arlington, Fairfax, Stafford, Prince William, and Loudoun counties (571 created March 1, 2000; 703 in October 1947).
  • 240/301 – portions of Maryland in the Greater Washington, D.C., metro area, southern Maryland, and western Maryland
  • 540 – Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania/Warrenton
  • 304/681 – Jefferson County, West Virginia

Sister cities[edit]

City Country Year
Washington, D.C.
Bangkok  Thailand 1962, renewed 2002
Dakar  Senegal 1980, renewed 2006
Beijing China 1984, renewed 2004
Brussels  Belgium 1985, renewed 2012
Athens  Greece 2000
Paris[Note 1]  France 2000, renewed 2005
Pretoria  South Africa 2002, renewed 2008
Seoul  South Korea 2006
Accra  Ghana 2006
Sunderland  United Kingdom 2006
Rome Italy (2011, renewed 2013)[52]
Ankara Turkey (2011)
Brasília Brazil (2013)
Addis Ababa Ethiopia (2013)[53]
San Salvador El Salvador (2018)
Alexandria, Virginia[54]
Gyumri  Armenia
Helsingborg  Sweden
Dundee[Note 2]  United Kingdom
Caen  France
Arlington County, Virginia[55]
Aachen  Germany
Reims  France
San Miguel  El Salvador
Coyoacán  Mexico
Ivano-Frankivsk[Note 3]  Ukraine
Herndon, Virginia
Runnymede[Note 4]  United Kingdom
Fairfax County, Virginia
Harbin[Note 5] China 2009
Songpa-gu[Note 6]  South Korea 2009
Falls Church, Virginia
Kokolopori[56]  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2006
District Heights, Maryland
Mbuji-Mayi[57]  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2008
Frederick, Maryland
Aquiraz  Brazil
Moerzheim  Germany
Schifferstadt  Germany
La Plata, Maryland
Jogeva County  Estonia
Walldorf  Germany
Rockville, Maryland
Pinneberg  Germany
  1. ^ Paris is a "Partner City" due to the one Sister City policy of that commune.[1]
  2. ^ "Historic Alexandria | City of Alexandria, VA". Oha.alexandriava.gov. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Exploration phase
  4. ^ Town twin [2] Archived February 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Rejected by Washington due to not being a national capital.[3]
  6. ^ "Sisterhood Partnerships". Fairfaxcounty.gov. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b https://www.ncpc.gov/maps/national-capital-region/
  2. ^ "After initial obscurity, 'The DMV' nickname for Washington area picks up speed". The Washington Post. July 30, 2010.
  3. ^ Yager, Jane (July 30, 2010). "Nation's Capitol Now Known as 'the DMV'". Newser. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. August 12, 2021. Archived from the original on August 21, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016: CSA". 2016 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2016. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Census Urban Area List". United States Census Bureau. 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Washington area richest, most educated in US: report". Washingtonpost.com. June 8, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  8. ^ Bureau, US Census. "2020 Population and Housing State Data". The United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Four Texas Metro Areas Collectively Add More Than 400,000 People in the Last Year, Census Bureau Reports". United States Census Bureau.
  10. ^ "Census Bureau Regions and Divisions with State FIPS Codes" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "National Capital Region – Office of National Capital Region Coordination". Department of Homeland Security. December 21, 2005. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
  13. ^ Cohen, Matt. "The Answers Issue 2017". Washington City Paper. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  14. ^ https://www.mders.org/
  15. ^ https://www.mncppc.org/27/About-Us
  16. ^ a b "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). Office of Management and Budget. March 6, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  17. ^ "About Us". MWCOG.org. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  18. ^ "– Transportation – TPB". Mwcog.org. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  19. ^ "AUC Partners with Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area | The American University in Cairo". The American University in Cairo. June 9, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  20. ^ "– Consortium – CUWMA". consortium.org. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  21. ^ "Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority". Legislative Information System. Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  22. ^ Clarke, Craig (April 28, 2006). "Module Introduction & Document List: Washington Board of Trade". Washington D.C. History Matters. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  23. ^ Frey, William H. (February 2002). "Metro Magnets for Minorities and Whites: Melting Pots, the New Sunbelt, and the Heartland" (PDF). Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
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  25. ^ de Vise, Daniel (July 15, 2010). "Washington region ranks as the best-educated in the country". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  26. ^ "2006–2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  27. ^ Zumbrun, Joshua (November 24, 2008). "America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities". Forbes.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
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  29. ^ "Macerich Tysons Corner Center Market Profile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 3, 2013.
  30. ^ "ACS 2005–2007". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  31. ^ "Women'S Well-Being" (PDF). Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  32. ^ Downey, Kirstin (May 6, 2007). "High-Rises Approved That Would Dwarf D.C". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  33. ^ "List of tallest buildings in DC, MD, VA, WV". Skyscraperpage.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  34. ^ a b "The top 100 tech centers". Bizjournals. May 11, 2009. Archived from the original on February 16, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  35. ^ Nathan Eddy (March 13, 2012). "Tech Jobs Flourish in Silicon Valley, but Other Regions Offer Opportunities: Dice Report". Eweek.com. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  36. ^ Brennan, Morgan. "America's Most Expensive Zip Codes In 2013: The Complete List". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  37. ^ a b c d Perry Stein, Net worth of white households in D.C. region is 81 times that of black households,Washington Post (November 2, 2016).
  38. ^ a b c d Kilolo Kijakazi et al., The Color of Wealth in the Nation's Capital, Urban Institute (October 31, 2016).
  39. ^ Renee Winsky & Mark Herzog, Maryland, Virginia biotech industries take center stage in D.C., Washington Business Journal (June 28, 2011).
  40. ^ Censer, Marjorie (July 30, 2010). "Defense firm Northrop Grumman's second-quarter profit rose nearly 81 percent". The Washington Post.
  41. ^ "Occupational Employment Statistics – Reporters and Correspondents". Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 2018.
  42. ^ a b Perry Stein, D.C. breaks tourist record in 2015 with visitors spending $7.1 billion, Washington Post (May 3, 2016).
  43. ^ Ben Nuckols, DC sets record with more than 2 million foreign tourists, Associated Press (August 24, 2016).
  44. ^ Arlington County Sets Tourism Spending Record with $3 Billion, CBS Washington (September 19, 2016).
  45. ^ Tourism at national parks in the Greater Washington area generates almost $1.6 billion in economic benefit (press release), National Park Service (April 21, 2016).
  46. ^ "Positive review for Capital One's massive headquarters in Tysons". American City Business Journals.
  47. ^ "Fortune 500". Fortune.com. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  48. ^ "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  49. ^ Appendix C BRAC 2005 Closure and Realignment Impacts by State
  50. ^ Justin Matthew Ward (September 14, 2011). "BRAC 2005: on time, on budget in Northeast". army.mil.
  51. ^ https://dcist.com/story/21/04/05/dc-new-area-code-771-to-start-in-november-2021/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  52. ^ "Twinning with Rome". Ville de Paris. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  53. ^ "DC & Addis to Become Sister Cities". Tadias Magazine. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  54. ^ "Code of Ordinances of the City of Alexandria, Virginia (Title 1, Chapter 2, Sec. 1-2-1)". City Council, City of Alexandria, Virginia. June 26, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  55. ^ "Interactive City Directory". Archived from the original on October 4, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  56. ^ "Kokolopori-Falls Church Sister City Partnership". City of Falls Church. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  57. ^ McGill, Natalie (April 24, 2008). "District Heights, Congo city form relationship". The Gazette. Gaithersburg, Md. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′12.33″N 77°2′29.85″W / 38.8867583°N 77.0416250°W / 38.8867583; -77.0416250