The District of Columbia, abbreviated DC, is a federal district in the United States. The area is located on the Potomac River and forms an enclave in Maryland, on the border with Virginia. DC covers 177 km2 and has 693,972 residents (US Census, 2017).
DC is the seat of government and territorially identical to the federal capital of Washington DC. Some of America’s most famous buildings – the White House and the Congress Building (Capitol Hill) – are located here.
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The district was created by congressional law in 1790 and 1791 by areas from the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia. Virginia’s portion was returned to the state in 1846. The 21st constitutional amendment in 1961 gave DC residents the right to vote in presidential elections, and citizens could use this right for the first time in 1964. In 1970, DC was entitled to elect a delegate to the House of Representatives, with voting rights, but not voting rights, and in 1974 it gained municipal autonomywith the right to elect their own city council and their own mayor. The reason why the citizens of the District of Coulmbia did not previously have these rights was the original idea that the seat of the federal capital should be on neutral grounds, because the struggle for the position had been fierce and controversial.
DC has been the capital of the United States since 1800, when John Adams moved the government from Philadelphia. The population grew sharply, from around 8,000 in 1800 to around 30,000 in 1830. Since then, the population steadily grew to the peak, with about 800,000 in 1950. Then the number of residents, especially in the 1970s, dropped to 638,000 in 1980., 607,000 in 1990 and 572,000 in 2000 as the trend reversed. In 2000, there were around 602,000 residents and in 2014 659,000 residents.