How Big is Washington D.C.?

Geographical Size of Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. covers a total area of 68.34 square miles (177.00 square kilometers), according to the United States Census Bureau. Of this area, 61.05 square miles (158.13 square kilometers) is land, and 7.29 square miles (18.87 square kilometers) is water.

Washington D.C. is located on the east coast of the United States and is bordered by the states of Virginia and Maryland. The city is situated along the Potomac River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay.

Washington D.C. is known for its wide avenues, public parks, and monumental architecture. The National Mall, a large park in the center of the city, is home to many of the city’s famous landmarks, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the United States Capitol Building.

Despite being a relatively small city, Washington D.C. is an important center of politics, diplomacy, and culture. The city is home to many government agencies, embassies, and cultural institutions, and attracts millions of visitors each year.

Population of Washington D.C.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Washington D.C. was estimated to be 689,545 as of July 1, 2021. The population of the city has been steadily growing since the 2000 census, when it was 572,059.

Washington D.C. is a diverse city, with a large African American population and significant numbers of Hispanic and Asian residents. The city is also home to a large number of foreign-born residents, who come from countries all over the world.

The population of Washington D.C. is highly educated, with more than half of residents aged 25 or older holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. The city is home to many prestigious universities, including Georgetown University, American University, and Howard University.

Despite its relatively small size, Washington D.C. is a vibrant city with a rich cultural scene. The city is home to many museums, galleries, and theaters, and hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

Landmarks and Attractions in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is home to many famous landmarks and attractions, many of which are located on the National Mall. Some of the most popular sites include:

  • The Washington Monument: A 555-foot (169-meter) obelisk that was built to honor the first President of the United States, George Washington. Visitors can take an elevator to the top for stunning views of the city.

  • The Lincoln Memorial: A large marble statue of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, surrounded by columns and inscriptions of some of his most famous speeches.

  • The United States Capitol Building: The home of the United States Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. Visitors can take guided tours of the building and learn about the history of American democracy.

  • The Smithsonian Museums: A group of 19 museums and galleries that are part of the Smithsonian Institution. Some of the most popular include the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History.

  • The White House: The official residence of the President of the United States, which is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. While tours of the inside are limited, visitors can take pictures from outside the fence.

Other popular attractions in Washington D.C. include the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Comparison of Washington D.C. to Other Cities

Washington D.C. is a unique city with its own distinct character, but how does it compare to other cities in the United States and around the world?

In terms of size, Washington D.C. is relatively small compared to other major American cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. However, it is still larger than many state capitals and is considered a significant cultural and political center.

Washington D.C. is also known for its distinctive architecture and urban design, which includes wide avenues, public parks, and numerous monuments and memorials. This makes it different from many other American cities, which often have more varied architectural styles and street layouts.

When it comes to global comparisons, Washington D.C. is often compared to other capital cities, such as London, Paris, and Beijing. Like these cities, Washington D.C. is home to many important government buildings and institutions, as well as numerous cultural attractions.

Overall, while Washington D.C. may not be the largest or most well-known city in the world, it is still an important and unique place with a rich history and culture.


Washington D.C. may be a relatively small city in terms of size, but it is an important cultural, political, and historical center. With its numerous landmarks, museums, and government institutions, it is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in American history and politics.

Whether you’re exploring the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, touring the halls of the United States Capitol Building, or enjoying the vibrant arts scene, there is something for everyone in Washington D.C.

Despite its small size, Washington D.C. is a dynamic and diverse city that is home to people from all over the world. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you are sure to find something to love about this unique and fascinating city.

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