Overview

Economy

Real Estate

Location

Fast Facts

Additonal Resources

 

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Overview

Washington D.C., also referred to as the District of Columbia (the “District”), is the capital city of the United States, the world’s most powerful democracy. The city’s growing economy, cultural diversity, world class attractions, educational institutions and livability work to draw a steady stream of new residents and visitors year after year. The Greater Washington region is the 4th largest regional economy in the United States and has the 5th largest population.

In 2008, the gross regional product was $454 billion, 4th in the country only surpassed by New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The District is a vibrant, growing, epicenter of the mid-Atlantic regional economy. In the past 10 years the city has undergone a complete renaissance. The Washington DC market has transitioned from a government focused market to a strong commercial center, while remaining one of the top tourist destinations in the world. As the seat of the national government, the market enjoys a strong and stable core of business generated through this sector. The region has also experienced significant growth in the private sector in industries ranging from technology and defense to international business and hospitality.

The District is located between the states of Virginia and Maryland. The District is often referred to as two cities in that there is a local city and the federal city including the White House, the Capitol, the monuments and museums which have become internationally recognized symbols of the nation’s capitol. The other city, the local city is the focus of DCRC.

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Economy

The regional economy is increasingly diverse and among the fastest growing in the country. From 1998 to 2008 Washington has led the nation in professional employment growth, adding 50% more jobs compared to second place New York. As the economy has diversified, the population employed by the federal government has shrunk to a low of 11 percent.
In October 2009, the U.S. government released a survey with Washington D.C. ranked 3rd highest household incomes in the U.S. just behind San Jose, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley and Stamford, Conn., the heart of banking.

The world understands the value of the safety of the Washington D.C. economy. In 2008, Washington DC was ranked “Number 1” top global city for foreign investment in properties, followed by London and New York by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) and #5 retail investment market by Marcus & Millichap.

For the thirteenth consecutive year, the region has the largest number of fastest growing private companies in America, according in Inc. Magazine. The region has 48 companies on the 2009 Inc. 500 list a dozen more than Los Angeles and New York. Chicago only has 23 companies; San Francisco has 19 companies; and Boston has 18.

The Washington DC metro area serves as home to 3.0 million employees and has the third highest employment level of the major Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States. The region traditionally maintains one of the nation's lowest unemployment levels, due in part to the stability of the government focused jobs based in the city. Total employment has grown by 1.1% annually over the last decade.

Education
The region provides the talent to continue to grow the local economy. The area is home to more than 50 colleges and universities. The colleges are fed by a strong regional k-12 education system with more than 13 public high schools in Newsweek magazine’s list of “top 100 public high schools.”

Largest Colleges/Universities (by number of undergraduates) (Source: Washington Business Journal Book of Lists, 2008)

Northern Virginia Community College (60,000)
University of Maryland, College Park (25,000)
George Mason University (18,000)
The George Washington University (10,000)
Howard University (10,000)
Georgetown University (7,000)
American University (6,000)

Washington is considered one of the leading tourist destinations in the world with the industry generating more than $10 billion in direct spending each year which supports 260,000 jobs in the region, 70,000 of which are in the city itself. DC hosts approximately 15 million visitors a year. To support the vast economic growth and tourism, the District completed a new 2.3 million square foot convention center five years ago.

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Real Estate

In 2008, Washington DC was ranked “Number 1” top global city for foreign investment in properties, followed by London and New York by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE). This association has 200 members, from 21 countries, which hold approximately $371 billion of real estate in the United States.  Washington DC was also the most attractive U.S. city for investment over New York (#2), San Francisco (#3), and Los Angeles (#4).

The amount of development going on throughout the city supports the outlook of Foreign Investors. Over the past several years Washington, DC has emerged as one of the strongest and most resilient economies in the United States. From hospitality/tourism to government and educational institutions. The past 10 years have ushered in $22.1 billion of completed projects with $8.8 billion currently under construction. Growth is not specific to one sector.  According to the DC Economic Partnership, significant projects are planned or under construction in the District’s core economies – office, retail, residential, education, hospitality/tourism and government.

Location

Washington DC sits in the middle of the East Coast and serves as a major commercial center between the northern and southern halves of the United States. The District is surrounded by both Virginia and Maryland and with easy access to all the major destinations along the East Coast. The City's location offers quick access to other major commercial centers on the East Coast including Baltimore (40 miles), Philadelphia (140 miles), New York (230 miles) and Boston (440 miles).

Fast Facts

• Regional Population: 6.2 million
• City Population: 591,833
• 74,000 residents are foreign born
• 85,0000 speak a language other than English
• Median household income: $61,105
• Median home value: $450,900
• 46% of DC residents hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher (compared to 27% of the US population)
• Greater Washington has the largest percent of adults with advanced degrees (19%) in the US, more than twice the national average. 43.9% of women have bachelor’s degrees, the highest in the nation.

Additonal Resources

Anacostia Waterfront
Cultural Tourism DC
DC Convention Center
DC Convention Center Interactive Map
Destination DC
Government of the District of Columbia
Greater Washington Initiative
Historical Society of Washington, DC
NOMA: Capitol Hill North
Washington, DC Economic Partnership

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