Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. An Act of Congress in 1871 created a single government for the entire federal territory, effectively merging the City and the District into a single entity. The District of Columbia is located on the north bank of the Potomac River and is bordered by the states of Maryland to the northwest, northeast, and southeast and Virginia to the southwest. The District has a resident population of 588,292; however, its population rises to over one million people during the workweek, due to commuters from the surrounding suburbs. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District of Columbia is a part, has a population of 5.3 million, the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the country.
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