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Washington

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About Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is a city known by many different names. While its official title is the District of Columbia, it's generally referred to as D.C. or Washington. Washington, D.C., is the home of all three branches of the United States government, nearly 200 foreign embassies, and the headquarters of many companies and non-profit organizations.

The History of Washington, D.C.

While Washington, D.C., is best known as the capital of the United States, it's also home to a growing population. The city was officially founded as the nation's capital on July 16, 1790. In the early days of the city, Pierre Charles L'Enfant created a design of long boulevards and open ceremonial spaces that reminded him of his home country of France. African-American and self-taught mathematician Benjamin Banneker then put together the calculations for laying out the city.

Although most of the city burned to the ground during the War of 1812, it was quickly rebuilt and even expanded beyond what L'Enfant had originally planned. Today it's a cosmopolitan city with an incredibly diverse ethnic population. Foreign delegations from around the world continually bring new residents, restaurants and entertainment to the city.

Jobs in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. economy is extremely diverse and robust, counted among the largest metropolitan economies in the country. A large percentage of jobs in the district are related to the federal government, which has created a well-insulated job market that typically remains very stable. You'll also find a number of professional and business service jobs in the many organizations that are headquartered in the area. Law firms, trade unions, lobbying firms, professional associations and industry trade groups are among the major employers in the area.

However, government and business jobs are not your only options in D.C. Tourism is the city's second-largest industry, so there are plenty of roles to fill within the hospitality and leisure sectors. In addition to tourism, you can also consider jobs in the growing industries of education, finance and scientific research.

Washington, D.C., Schools

District of Columbia Public Schools operates the public schools of Washington, D.C. In addition to its traditional elementary, middle and high schools, the district also offers adult education, special education and youth engagement schools.

If you're looking for higher education, D.C. is also home to 15 different colleges and universities. The city has a variety of public and private universities, colleges and community colleges that attract people from around the world for programs ranging from continuing education to graduate work.

Resources for Moving to Washington, D.C.

As you prepare for your move to D.C., here's some information that might be helpful:

  • Utilities: DC Water provides water and wastewater services for the city. Pepco and Washington Gas are the city's primary energy providers.
  • Garbage and Recycling: The city provides trash pickup either once a week or twice a week, depending on the ward you live in. The Department of Public Works also has a once-a-week recycling program.
  • Transportation: The Washington Metro and the MetroBus serve Washington, D.C., as well as its suburbs. The city is extremely well-connected via public transit, making it possible to get around without the need for a personal vehicle.
  • Personal Vehicles: If you intend to drive in Washington, D.C., you must obtain a D.C. DMV driver's license within 30 days of moving to the city. You can also get a non driver license for identification.
  • Pets: If you have a dog, you must show proof that your pet has had rabies and distemper shots. You must also renew your dog's license every year. The Animal Services Program issues dog licenses, and you can renew them by mail or in-person.

Washington, D.C., Housing

Because Washington, D.C., has an incredible array of amenities, a job market that's rich with opportunity and many popular attractions, it's also a fairly expensive place to live. The median home price is well above the national average, but you'll find a variety of options whether you're planning to rent or buy.