Washington D.C. is a great place to live with more than 130 distinct neighborhoods, excellent dining and entertainment venues and one of the most diverse population's in the nation. Many people think that everyone in D.C. is a lobbyist or a bureaucrat. While politics is a prevailing part of the culture, Washington is more than just a government town.
Recognized for its top-notch colleges, non-profit associations, high-tech and biotech companies and healthcare facilities, Washington D.C. offers opportunities and impressive cultural experiences.
As the capital city, Washington has historically ranked as one of the strongest job markets in the U.S. D.C. area residents typically work for the federal and state governments, universities and hospitals, government and private contractors, information technology companies, law firms, business and finance companies, non-profit organizations, hotels and tourist attractions.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, long-term projections predict that the job market will stabilize and continue to grow in the coming years.
The cost of living in Washington D.C. is higher than the U.S. average, especially high housing costs. On average, you'll find a one-bedroom apartment for about $2,400 and a two-bedroom apartment in D.C. for around $3,200 a month depending on the neighborhood. Both of these prices are considerably higher than the national average.
Living in the city is more costly than in the suburbs. When making a decision of where to live, it's important to consider the stress of commuting and the cost of public transportation. D.C. has a good transit system, but the Metro is one of the most expensive subway systems in the country with prices ranging from $2.25 to $6 for a one-way ride. D.C. sales tax is relatively low at six percent. A beer at a bar will cost $8 while a meal at a sit-down restaurant will set you back $35-50, on average.
Traffic has to be one of the more frustrating things about living in Washington D.C. Rush hour lasts for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. There are too many tourists who don't know the roads. There are traffic circles that are confusing. But there are also plenty of public transportation options.
However, if you live in the city, it's pretty easy to get around. Many areas are easily walkable.
The nation's capital is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S.
Capital Bikeshare was the first bike-share program in the country and allows people to use a bicycle to easily get around the busy urban areas. In recent years the city has expanded bike lanes across the city. With many parks and green spaces, D.C. residents enjoy bicycling for recreation as well as transportation.
Washington D.C.'s most famous landmarks are free to visitors. National memorials dedicated to the country's founding fathers and war heroes are aplenty. The Smithsonian museums and many others exhibit a wide range of historic artifacts ranging from dinosaur fossils to early spacecraft to modern art and technology.
All branches of the armed forces offer free concerts throughout the summer and a variety of festivals are also held throughout the year. In addition, as home to 175 foreign embassies, D.C. has endless opportunities to celebrate cultures from around the world.
Washington is much more diverse than the average U.S. city. with a wide variety of people from different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, religions and economic levels.
Many residents are transplants who moved to the nation's capital to work for the government, a law firm or a non-profit organization. Most are highly educated and ambitious to get ahead in their field or to make a difference in the community. In recent years, the population has been growing with an influx of young people who enjoy the city lifestyle.
Washington D.C. is centrally located on the east coast within an easy drive to cities including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond, the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic coast or the mountains in western Maryland or Virginia. The region offers a wide range of places to visit and things to do. Getaways are endless.
Washington D.C. attracts some of the nation's top talent to perform at its venues. Theatergoers enjoy performances at the Kennedy Center, the National Theater, the Warner Theatre, Arena Stage, Fords Theatre and other theaters. The Capital One Arena, Constitution Hall, the 9:30 Club and other venues around town hold concerts throughout the year.
In summer, free concerts are held in various neighborhoods throughout the city. The Capitol grounds hosts its annual concerts for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The National Mall is periodically used for special events that include live music.
D.C. sports fans are dedicated to their home teams. The Washington Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the MLB's National League and have a state-of-the-art ballfield built in 2008. Washington Football plays at FedEx Field and has long had a strong following. The Capitals ice hockey and DC United soccer games are fun to watch at the Capital One Arena.
People flock to Washington D.C. to make a difference. There are hundreds of non-profit organizations that are in constant need of volunteers to help with fundraising events and the daily operations to help promote their cause.
Washington D.C. is a great city with endless opportunities to learn new things and take in our nation's history and culture. Whether you prefer a quiet residential area or a bustling urban community, you'll find a neighborhood that fits your budget and lifestyle.