Washington D.C.

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 U.S. Congress approved the creation of a federal district to become the national capital as permitted by the Constitution. The District is therefore not a part of any State of the U.S.

A new capital city named after George Washington was founded in 1791 to the east of the preexisting port of Georgetown. Washington, D.C., had an estimated population of 617,996 in 2011. The city was the 24th most populous place in the United States as of 2010. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of nearly 5.6 million, the 7th largest metropolitan area in the country.

The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are located in the District, as are many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, D.C., hosts 176 foreign Embassies as well as the headquarters of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States and many others. The headquarters of many other institutions such as trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations are also located in the city.

The District is governed by a locally elected mayor and 13-member city council. However, the United States Congress has supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents could not vote in presidential elections until the ratification of the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1961.
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