Washington metropolitan area
Washington metropolitan area
(Washington – Arlington – Alexandria)
|Metropolitan statistical area|
Washington, D.C. in September 2003
|Country||United States of America|
|U.S. state/federal district||
District of Columbia
|Principal municipalities||Washington, Arlington, Alexandria|
|• Metro||14,412 km2 (5,564.6 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0–716 m (0–2,350 ft)|
|• Metropolitan statistical area||6,033,737 (7th)|
|• Density||418.7/km2 (1,084/sq mi)|
|• Urban||4,586,770 (8th)|
|• CSA||9,331,587 (4th)|
|MSA = 2014, CSA = 2012, Urban & Densities = 2010|
|Time zone||ET (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EST (UTC-4)|
The Washington metropolitan area 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 and Virginia, along with a small portion of West Virginia.
The Washington metropolitan area is the most educated and, by some measures, the most affluent metropolitan area in the United States. As of the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the population of the Washington metropolitan area was estimated to be 6,033,737, making it the largest metropolitan area in the Census' Southeast region and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the country.
- Etymology 1
Political subdivisions 2.1
- District of Columbia 2.1.1
- Partly associated counties 22.214.171.124
- Virginia 2.1.3
- West Virginia 2.1.4
- Political subdivisions 2.1
Regional organizations 3
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 3.1
- Principal cities 4
- Politics 5.1
- Racial composition 5.2
- Social indicators 5.3
- Primary industries 6.1
- Largest companies 6.2
- History 6.3
- Major airports 7.1
- Rail transit systems 7.2
- Bus transit systems 7.3
- Bicycle sharing systems 7.4
- Sports teams 8.1
- Media 8.2
- Area codes 9
- Sister cities 10
- See also 11
- References 12
- External links 13
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 area includes as its principal cities Washington as well as the Virginia county of Arlington and 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 9,331,587 as of the 2012 Census Estimate.
The area is also sometimes referred to as the National Capital Region, particularly by federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security. Another term used to describe the region is the D.C. Area. The area is referred to by a few as the DMV, a shorthand for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The area in the region that is surrounded by Interstate 495 is also 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 it is the federal District of Columbia, and is not part of any state. The Virginian portion of the region is known as Northern Virginia.
The U.S. Census Bureau divides the Washington statistical metropolitan area into two metropolitan divisions:
- Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Division, comprising the majority of the metropolitan area
- Silver Spring–Frederick–Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division, consisting of Montgomery and Frederick counties
Note that metropolitan area and metropolitan statistical area should not be confused with Metropolitan Division.
The area includes the following counties, districts, and independent cities:
District of Columbia
The following counties are categorized as part of the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV metropolitan statistical area:
- Calvert County
- Charles County
- Frederick County
- Montgomery County
Major metropolitan areas
(over 100,000)Annapolis (capital)
Topics Society Regions Cities Towns CDPs
- Aspen Hill
- Baltimore Highlands
- Camp Springs
- Cockeysville-Hunt Valley
- Ellicott City
- Fort Washington
- Glen Burnie
- Green Haven
- Hillcrest Heights
- Langley Park
- Middle River
- Milford Mill
- Montgomery Village
- Owings Mills
- Oxon Hill
- Perry Hall
- St. Charles
- Severna Park
- Silver Spring
- South Gate
- White Oak
CountiesRichmond (capital) Topics
- Administrative divisions
- Colleges and universities
- Congressional Districts
- Historic Landmarks
- Sports teams
- State Fair
- State parks
- Visitor attractions
- Allegheny Mountains
- Atlantic Coastal Plain
- Blue Ridge
- Chesapeake Bay
- Cumberland Mountains
- Delmarva Peninsula
- Eastern Shore
- Hampton Roads
- Middle Peninsula
- Northern Neck
- Northern Virginia
- Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians
- Shenandoah Valley
- South Hampton Roads
- Southwest Virginia
- Tennessee Valley
- Virginia Peninsula
Metro areas Counties
- Charles City
- Isle of Wight
- James City
- King and Queen
- King George
- King William
- New Kent
- Prince Edward
- Prince George
- Prince William
- Buena Vista
- Colonial Heights
- Falls Church
- Manassas Park
- Newport News
- Virginia Beach
Topics Politics Society Government Principal citiesMarylandVirginiaColumbia Counties and
county equivalents*MarylandVirginiaOtherThe District of Columbia itself, and Virginia's incorporated cities, are county equivalents. Virginia's incorporated cities are listed under their surrounding county. The incorporated cities bordering more than one county (Alexandria, Falls Church and Fredericksburg) are listed under the county they were part of before incorporation as a city.
- OMB Bulletin No. 05-02
- Urban Areas of Virginia
- May 2006 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates; Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Division
- May 2005 Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates; Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Division
- Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA Population and Components of Change
- (Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas)
- "Washington area richest, most educated in US: report". Washingtonpost.com. 2006-06-08. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2009
- State Totals: Vintage 2012 - U.S Census Bureau. Census.gov. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- "National Capital Region – Office of National Capital Region Coordination". Department of Homeland Security. December 21, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- "After initial obscurity, 'The DMV' nickname for Washington area picks up speed". Washington Post. July 30, 2010.
- "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF).
- The cities bordering more than one county (Alexandria, Falls Church and Fredericksburg) are listed under the county they were part of before incorporation as a city.
- "Glossary of Housing Words and Terms". Housingvirginia.org. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "About Us". MWCOG.org. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "– Transportation – TPB". Mwcog.org. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). U.S. Office of Management and Budget. February 28, 2013. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- "Metro Magnets for Minorities and Whites: Melting Pots, the New Sunbelt, and the Heartland" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Population Estimates
- de Vise, Daniel (2010-07-15). "Washington region ranks as the best-educated in the country". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "2006–2008 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates". Census.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Zumbrun, Joshua (2008-11-24). "America's Best- And Worst-Educated Cities". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "Washington, DC (Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA) 2010 AFI Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Macerich Tysons Corner Center Market Profile" (PDF).
- "ACS 2005–2007". Census.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "Women'S Well-Being" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Downey, Kirstin (2007-05-06). "High-Rises Approved That Would Dwarf D.C". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "List of tallest buildings in DC, MD, VA, WV". Skyscraperpage.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "The top 100 tech centers". Bizjournals. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- Nathan Eddy (2012-03-13). "Tech Jobs Flourish in Silicon Valley, but Other Regions Offer Opportunities: Dice Report". Eweek.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Censer, Marjorie (July 30, 2010). "Defense firm Northrop Grumman's second-quarter profit rose nearly 81 percent".
- "Fortune 500". Fortune.com.
- Appendix C BRAC 2005 Closure and Realignment Impacts by State
- Justin Matthew Ward (14 September 2011). "BRAC 2005: on time, on budget in Northeast". army.mil.
- List of people from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
- List of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas in Virginia
- Potomac primary
- Northeast megalopolis
- Paris is a "Partner City" due to the one Sister City policy of that commune.
- "Historic Alexandria | City of Alexandria, VA". Oha.alexandriava.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- Exploration phase
- Town twin 
- Rejected by Washington due to not being a national capital.
- "Sisterhood Partnerships". Fairfaxcounty.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
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 Alexandria, Virginia Gyumri Armenia Helsingborg Sweden Dundee[Note 2] United Kingdom Caen France Arlington County, Virginia 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 Congo District Heights, Maryland Mbuji-Mayi Congo Frederick, Maryland Aquiraz Brazil Moerzheim Germany Schifferstadt Germany La Plata, Maryland Jogeva County Estonia Walldorf Germany Rockville, Maryland Pinneberg Germany
- 202 – Washington, D.C.
- 571/703 – Northern Virginia including the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church as well as Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties (571 created 1 March 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 – Jefferson County, West Virginia
The Washington metropolitan area is home to USA Today, C-SPAN, PBS, and BET. 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). NewsChannel 8 is a 24/7 local news provider available only to cable subscribers. Radio stations serving the area include: WETA-FM, WIHT, WMAL-AM, and WTOP.
- National Basketball Association (NBA)
- Major League Baseball (MLB)
- National Football League (NFL)
- National Hockey League (NHL)
- Major League Soccer (MLS)
- Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
- Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
Listing of the professional sports teams in the Washington metropolitan area:
- Capital Bikeshare - Washington, D.C., Arlington, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland
Bicycle sharing systems
- DC Circulator – Washington, D.C. (WMATA)
- Metrobus – Washington metropolitan area (WMATA)
- Metroway - Arlington County, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia (bus rapid transit) (WMATA)
- Ride On – Montgomery County, Maryland
- ART – Arlington County, Virginia
- DASH – Alexandria, Virginia
- Fairfax Connector – Fairfax County, Virginia
- CUE Bus – Fairfax, Virginia
- PRTC – Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park
- TransIT - Frederick County, Maryland
- FRED – Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and Stafford County
Bus transit systems
- Washington Metro – DC, MD, VA (rapid transit) (WMATA)
- MARC Train – DC, MD, WV (commuter rail)
- Virginia Railway Express – DC, VA (commuter rail)
- Amtrak – DC, MD, VA, WV (commuter rail, inter-city rail)
Rail transit systems
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), located in Dulles, Virginia – the busiest in the region
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), located in Arlington County, Virginia – the closest to Washington
- Baltimore–Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), located in Linthicum, Maryland – in the Baltimore metropolitan area and the busiest in the Baltimore-Washington area
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.
- Fort Belvoir gained 11,858 employees, primarily as a result of the relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency into a massive new headquarters within the fort.
- Fort Lee gained 7,344 mostly military employees.
- Fort Meade gained 5,361 employees, primarily as a result of the expansion of the National Security Agency.
- Walter Reed Army Medical Center lost 5,630 employees as part of its realignment. It was later closed and consolidated into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
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:
Company Industry Headquarters Fortune 500 rank AES Corporation Energy Arlington, Virginia 174 Booz Allen Hamilton Defense McLean, Virginia (Tysons Corner) 443 Capital One Finance McLean, Virginia (Tysons Corner) 124 Computer Sciences Corporation Defense Falls Church, Virginia 185 Danaher Corporation Conglomerate Washington, D.C. 149 Discovery Communications Media Silver Spring, Maryland 460 Fannie Mae Finance Washington, D.C. 13 Freddie Mac Finance McLean, Virginia (Tysons Corner) 32 Gannett Company Media McLean, Virginia (Tysons Corner) 481 General Dynamics Defense Falls Church, Virginia 99 Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Hospitality McLean, Virginia (Tysons Corner) 289 Host Hotels and Resorts Hospitality Bethesda, Maryland 477 Leidos Holdings Inc. Defense Reston, Virginia 442 Lockheed Martin Defense Bethesda, Maryland 59 Marriott International Hospitality Bethesda, Maryland 219 NII Holdings Communication Reston, Virginia 495 Northrop Grumman Defense Falls Church, Virginia 122
The following Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the region:
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 Raytheon, General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Northrup Grumman, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), CACI, and Orbital Sciences Corporation.
Not limited to its proximity to the National Institutes of Health, Maryland's Washington suburbs are a major center for biotechnology. Prominent local biotech companies include MedImmune, The Institute for Genomic Research, Human Genome Sciences, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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.
The Washington D.C. area is home to hundreds of major research universities, think tanks, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, Washington, D.C. is a top tourism destination as flocks of Americans and foreigners from around the world visit the museums and monuments of the Capital city year round with the peak season being during the Spring and Summer months of April through August. Moreover, the Washington D.C. area attracts tens of major conferences and conventions each year which also contribute greatly to the region's economy.
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. 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 combined San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland regions, as well as the highest master's or doctoral degree attainment among the 100 ranked metropolitan areas. 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.
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.
The various agencies of the Federal Government employ over 140,000 professionals in the Washington D.C. area. A sizable number in the Washington D.C. area work for defense and civilian contracting companies that conduct business directly with the Federal Government (many of these firms are referred to as 'Beltway Bandits' under the local vernacular). As a result, the Federal Government provides the underlying basis of the economy in the region. However, the Washington D.C. area is increasingly home to a diverse segment of businesses not directly related to the Federal Government.
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.
In the 21st century, the Washington metropolitan area has overtaken the San Francisco Bay Area as the highest-income metropolitan area in the nation. 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.
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.
The Washington metropolitan area has ranked as the highest-educated metropolitan area in the nation for four decades. 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%). 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."
- White : 67.8%
- Black : 26.0%
- Asian : 2.5%
- Hispanic : 2.8%
- Mixed and Other : 0.9%
- White : 54.8%
- Black : 25.8%
- Asian : 9.3%
- Hispanic : 13.8% (4.1% Salvadoran, 2.1% Mexican, 0.9% Guatemalan, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.8% Peruvian, 0.7% Honduran, 0.7% Bolivian)
- Mixed and Other : 3.7%
- 2010 U.S. Census
- Non-Hispanic White : 48.2%
- Black or African American : 25.3%
- Hispanic or Latino : 14.1%
- Asian : 9.3%
- Mixed and Other : 3.1%
- 2011 American Community Survey
Racial composition of the Washington, D.C. area:
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). Census estimates show that persons of post-1965 immigrant stock will likely represent 25% of the region's population by 2010, forming a bigger population bloc than native blacks for the first time.
The relative strength of the major political parties within the region is shown by the presidential election results since 1960, as presented in the table to the right.
Presidential election results Year DEM GOP Others 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
- Washington, D.C.
- Arlington, Virginia
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Bethesda, Maryland
- Frederick, Maryland
- Gaithersburg, Maryland
- Reston, Virginia
- Rockville, Maryland
- Silver Spring, Maryland
The metropolitan area includes the following principal cities (not all of which are incorporated as cities; one, Arlington, is actually a county):
Founded in 1957, 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.
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
- Arlington County
- City of Alexandria
- Clarke County
- Culpeper County
- Fairfax County
- City of Fairfax
- City of Falls Church
- Fauquier County
- Loudoun County
- Prince William County
- City of Manassas
- City of Manassas Park
- Rappahannock County
- Stafford County
- Warren County
Counties and independent cities (Independent cities are listed under their bordering county):
Although partly associated with the Washington metropolitan area, the following counties are officially categorized as part of other metropolitan areas:Partly associated counties