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Washington, DC

Washington, DC, is the capital of the United States of America. Often referred to as "the District" or "DC," Washington is home to all three branches of government, 172 foreign embassies, and several international organizations. The exact site of Washington on the Potomac River between the states of Maryland and Virginia was chosen by President George Washington. The population of Washington, DC, is nearly 600,000 residents, the majority of whom are African American.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Washington, DC, is divided into four quadrants -- Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast -- with the United States Capitol Building at the center.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

The federal government is the largest employer in Washington, DC, accounting for more than a quarter of all of the city's jobs. As a result of Washington's position as the nation's political and governmental center, lobbying firms, think tanks, nonprofit organizations, and union and professional organizations make up a large percentage of the city's employers. K Street is the traditional home of lobbying activity. Washington has the country's third-highest volume of commercial downtown office space, behind New York City and Chicago, but ordinances mandating the maximum height of buildings prohibit skyscrapers.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Historic and civic tourism is a major draw in Washington.

Washington also boasts substantial offerings in the performing arts.

EDUCATION

LOCAL MEDIA

Headquartered in Washington are such media companies and outlets as National Public Radio, Voice of America, C-SPAN, National Geographic Channel, Black Entertainment Channel, and XM Satellite Radio.

The Washington Post is the primary local newspaper. The area also hosts The Washington Times and specialty periodicals such as Washington Informer, The Hill, and Washington Afro American.

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