D.C.: Life in the Capital

Fast facts about D.C.

U.S. state: The District of Columbia

City size: 68.34 mi2

Population: 6,097,684 (metropolitan area)

Demographics: Black, 46.5 %; White, 36%; Hispanic, 10.6%; Asian, 3.8%

Average temperature: 25 °C in January, 32°C in May, 31°C in September

Key industries: Scientific, Professional, Management, Administration, Waste Management, Educational Services & Healthcare, and Public Administration

D.C. Neighborhoods

View of Georgetown from the river.

D.C. is split up into four sections: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast, with the Capitol building at the center. Read on for some of the coolest neighborhoods within these areas.


With cobblestoned streets, quaint, colorful houses, and charming coffee and ice cream shops, the big city has never felt so far away. Traditional retail favorites such as Kate Spade and Urban Outfitters are among the many shopping options. Finish your afternoon by heading to the waterfront for a relaxing view of the Potomac River.
Penn Quarter
Accessible via most Metro lines, Penn Quarter is home to a blooming collection of restaurants, art galleries, and unique museums. Check out favorites such as the International Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery, or the Verizon Center—home to the NBA’s Washington Wizards!
Adams Morgan
Eclectic restaurants and cafés are scattered throughout this trendy neighborhood. The area is within walking distance of several Metro stations and just north of Dupont Circle, another busy favorite offering eateries and scenic city views.
U Street Corridor
Blues and jazz kings like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong once dominated this neighborhood with their musical numbers, and today, U Street boasts new shops, restaurants, and jazz clubs.

Must-See Sights

The capital of the nation and iconic to the world, Washington, D.C. is full of historic monuments, art collections, government business, and a buzzing energy.

Madam Tussauds Wax Museum:

See your favorite famous stars in wax form at the world-renowned wax museum.

The Lincoln Memorial:

A stunning American monument honoring the Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.

The United States Capitol:

Sitting atop Capitol Hill lies the Capitol Building, home to the U.S. Congress as well as the legislative branch of U.S government.

The Smithsonian Institution:

Established in 1846, the Smithsonian is a collection of research centers and museums headed by the U.S. government.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

Located on the Potomac River, this arts center hosts rich performances from the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and others.

Can you guess the most popular degree?

At American, nearly 2,000 students major in international studies. This famous and highly respected program is a great choice if you’re considering a career in government, diplomacy, public service, or advocacy.
See undergraduate degrees