Whether you love it or hate it, the first thing you likely think of when you hear of Washington, D.C. is the federal government. However, there is a lot more to our nation’s capital. We have put together this little guide to help you learn more about the people, wildlife, and climate in D.C.
Washington is home to more than 670,000 people. Of these, almost 39 percent identify as white, more than half of D.C.’s residents are black, about four percent are Asian, and about one out of every ten Washingtonians are Hispanic according to the 2010 United States Census numbers. Women make up nearly 53 percent of the population of D.C., and more than one in nine residents is aged 65 years or older.
With its uniquely attractive core and vibrant arts and culture scene, Washington has become a favorite place for people across the country and beyond to move to. Fourteen percent of Washingtonians were born outside of our nation, and about one in six speak a language other than English at home. There are a number of ethnic communities throughout the city. In fact, D.C. has its own Chinatown, which features about twenty ethnic Chinese and other Asian small businesses and restaurants.
D.C. is in the humid subtropical climate zone. Winters are typically cool with average lows right around freezing. Snow is common, but it is rarely heavy. Summers are hot and humid with average highs in the mid-80s and the relative humidity is close to 70 percent.
The heat and humidity combination in the summer brings very frequent thunderstorms. These will sometimes produce tornadoes in the area. Strong blizzards affect the city every five years or so. In late summer and early fall, hurricanes and their remnants track through the city once in awhile. Yet, these storms are usually quite weak by the time they reach D.C. since it is inland. Lastly, flooding is also a problem with the Potomac River right there. This is especially true in the Georgetown neighborhood.
The District of Columbia does not just leave its citizens fending for themselves when disasters are imminent. They have a number of emergency preparedness resources and services. You can sign up to receive notifications of potentially severe weather, learn what to do in case of a hurricane, how to handle flooding, and how to make an emergency kit.
The hurricanes and floods do not wash away all of the animals and plants, and the government cannot regulate them out of existence. You might be surprised to find that Washington is full of animals and plants. The district is perhaps best known for its cherry trees. In fact, there is a whole website dedicated to tracking the cherry blossoms each year.
The metropolitan area is also home to hawks, mockingbirds, doves, deer, chipmunks, rabbits, snakes, and more. Most importantly, what would our nation’s capital be without bald eagles?
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