|ABOUT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA|
For information relevant to the purchase of a specific series of District of Columbia bonds, please review the preliminary official statement and/or final official statement, as applicable, for such series of bonds.
The District of Columbia (the "District") was created in 1791 by act of the United States Congress (the “Congress”) and Presidential proclamation and has served as the capital of the United States of America since 1800. Under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, Congress has exclusive legislative authority over the District as the Nation’s Capital. Since January 2, 1975, the District has been governed in accordance with the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Pub. L. 93-198, an Act of Congress signed by the President on December 24, 1973, as amended (the “Home Rule Act”). Under the Home Rule Act, the District is governed by an elected Mayor and an elected Council. With limited exceptions, including the payment of the principal of and interest on bonds, the District may not obligate or expend funds absent annual Congressional appropriation.
The District is a unique governmental entity, combining state, county, and municipal characteristics. Functions performed by the District government include public safety (police, fire, corrections), consumer and business regulatory affairs, public works (highways, streets and traffic control, and sanitation), human services (health, welfare, and employment assistance), community services (recreation and libraries), economic development (planning, zoning, urban renewal, and housing), public education, and general administration. The District and its instrumentalities also operate a university, a stadium and armory complex, a convention center, a water and sewer system, and a lottery.
Although the District is primarily known as the Nation’s Capital, it is also an international city, a cultural center, and the central city of the Washington metropolitan area, which encompasses 20 jurisdictions in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and is the seventh largest metropolitan area in the United States. The District covers approximately 61 square miles (land) and had approximately 646,449 residents as of July 1, 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
As the Nation’s Capital, the District is the seat of the three branches of the federal government and headquarters for most federal departments and agencies. In addition, the District is host to nearly 200 foreign embassies and other recognized diplomatic missions. A number of international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Organization of American States, have their headquarters in the District.
A copy of the District's most recent comprehensive Annual Financial Report is available here.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.