DC Metropolitan Area

The Washington Metropolitan Area, formally known as the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA, and also known as the National Capital Region, is a U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget. It is also part of the larger Baltimore–Washington region, with a population of 8,440,617.

The Washington Metropolitan Area is the most educated and by some measures, the most affluent metropolitan area in the United States. As of the 2009 Census Bureau estimate, the population of the Washington Metropolitan Area was estimated to be 5,476,241, making it the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

Some federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, refer to part of the area as the National Capital Region. The Virginia portion of the area is known as Northern Virginia.

The Washington Metropolitan Area includes the District of Columbia and parts of the states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Metropolitan Area and Metropolitan Statistical Area, should not be confused with Metropolitan Division, which falls the under former.

Political Subdivisions
* District of Columbia
* Alexandria
* Arlington County
* Fairfax County
* Falls Church
* Loudon County
* Prince William County
* Anne Arundel County
* Calvert County
* Charles County
* Frederick County
* Howard County
* Montgomery County
* Prince George’s County

Regional organizations
Metropolitan Washington Council of Government
Founded in 1957, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is a regional organization of 21 Washington-area local governments, as well as area members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the" U.S. Senate":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.Senate, and the U.S. House of RepresentativesRepresentatives. 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.

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, a component of MWCOG, is the federally-designated metropolitan planning organization for the metropolitan Washington area.

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

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.

Racial Composition
The area has been a magnet for international in-migration 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.

Racial composition of the Washington, D.C. area:
White: 51.7%
Black: 26.3%
Asian: 8.4%
Hispanic: 11.6%
Mixed and Other: 2.0%

Educational attainment and affluence
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.”

In recent years 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 $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.

Rosslyn is home to the tallest high-rises in the region. NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda. Gannett Company headquarters in Tysons Corner.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.

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 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 was eclipsed only by New York, Los Angeles, and the combined San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland regions, as well as the highest master’s and/or doctoral degree attainment among the 100 ranked metropolitan areas.

Notably the Washington D.C. Area is home to several major research universities, hundreds of 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 dozens of major conferences & conventions each year which also contribute greatly to the region’s economy.

Primary industries
Biotechnology: 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.
Defense Contracting: 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, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), CACI, and Orbital Sciences Corporation. Northrup Grumman will move its headquarters to the region by the summer of 2011.

Major Airports
*Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), located in Chantilly, 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

Rail transit systems
*Washington Metro – DC, MD, VA (Rapid transit)
MARC Train – DC, MD, WV (Commuter rail)
*Virginia Railway Express – DC, VA (Commuter rail)
Amtrak – DC, MD, VA, WV (Commuter rail, Inter-city rail)

Bus Transit Systems
*DC Circulator – Washington, D.C.
Metrobus – Washington Metropolitan Area
*Ride On – Montgomery County, Maryland
TheBus – Prince George’s County, Maryland
*ART – Arlington County, Virginia
DASH – Alexandria, Virginia
***Fairfax Connector – Fairfax County, Virginia

The Washington DC 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 like 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


DC Metropolitan Area

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