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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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