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Difference Between Washington and Washington DC

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Although Washington DC and Washington State are sometimes mistaken for one another, the two locations are distinct from one another in every way. Washington is an American state in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. It is situated to the north of Oregon and the west of Idaho. On the other side, the capital city of the United States of America is Washington DC, a metropolis that is unlike any other.

The main difference between Washington and Washington DC is that the former is a state, while the latter is a federal district.

This blog post will further discuss the differences between the two destinations in more detail. We shall also discuss how life is and other factors in both of these destinations.

What is Washington?

washington state
The State of Washington

Washington is one of the 50 states that constitute the United States. It is situated on the Pacific Ocean's coast, west of Idaho, north of Oregon, and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia. 

The city was given the name of George Washington after the first president of the United States. With a population of almost 7 million, Washington is the 18th-largest state by area (184,827 km2). Washington's state capital is Olympia. In addition, the state is home to cities including Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver.

Washington is the top producer of fruits such as pears, apples, hops, red raspberries, cherries, and spearmint oil. It is also the main timber producer, apricots, grapes, asparagus, potatoes, and lentils. In addition, the region serves as a manufacturing center for metal goods, ships, missiles, and other aviation and aircraft-related products.

What is Washington DC?

washington dc
The Capital of the United States, Washington DC

The American nation's capital is Washington, DC. DC is an acronym for the District of Columbia. In everyday speech, Washington, DC and the district refer to Washington, DC. It lies on the East Coast of the United States, along the Potomac River. No state has jurisdiction over this region.

The administrative importance of the capital city cannot be overstated. It serves as the headquarters for almost 200 foreign embassies and international organizations. It is a well-known location for developing big businesses, NGOs, unions, etc. Additionally, Washington, DC, also witnesses plenty of tourists every year.

Differences between Washington and Washington DC

Differences in importance

While Washington DC serves as the nation's capital, Washington is a state in the United States of America. Washington DC is a capital city, although it does not belong to any state. However, Olympia is the capital of Washington State.

Difference in area

With a total size of over 184,827 km2, Washington is a sizable state, although Washington, DC only covers about 177 km2.

Differences in location

While Washington DC is situated on the eastern coast of the USA, Washington State is situated on the country's western coast near the Pacific Ocean.

Differences in the timezone

Washington State is located in the UTC -8 Pacific Time Zone. Washington, DC, on the other hand, is in the eastern time zone, or UTC -5.

Differences in population

Compared to Washington DC, which has a population of 9,443,180, Washington State has a population of 7,061,530 as of the 2014 census.

Differences in climate

Washington's climate varies from west to east; an oceanic climate reigns in the west, while a semi-arid climate does so in the east. Washington, DC, is located in the subtropical climatic area, which has four distinct seasons such as spring, winter, fall and autumn.

Differences in territorial makeup

Washington, DC, has a large number of strategically placed offices and buildings, which creates an artificial beauty as a byproduct of excellent architecture. Washington, in contrast, is more recognized for its breathtaking scenery such as mountains, woods, waterfalls, etc.

Differences in lifestyle

The lifestyles seen in the two cities are also highly different; in Washington State, there is greater variety, while it is more frequent to see businessmen and women in suits at work in DC. There are also young individuals, elderly, retired people, and other professionals in Washington state in addition to businesspeople and other professions.

Comparison Chart: Washington Vs Washington DC

ParametersWashingtonWashington DC
CreationOfficially became a state on November 11, 1889.Created on July 16, 1790, after the signing of the Residency Act.
Area184,827 km2.177 km2.
RegionWashington consists of rainforests, mountain ranges and a semi-arid basin region.Located near the Potomac River.
IndustryWashington is an industry leader and producer of various fruits, essential oils and lumber. Washington is also a lucrative industry for defense and shipbuilding equipment, metals, chemicals and transportation equipment.29% of the jobs in Washington DC are in areas of education, public policy, research and finance.
ClimateThe weather varies when you travel from the west to the east.Washington has four distinct seasons such as autumn, spring, winter and fall. It is located in a humid subtropical climatic zone.
National ParksThe Washington State Park System and the United States Forest Service are in charge of the 143 state parks and 9 national forests.19% of the entire area of the city are parks in Washington DC.

Similarities between Washington and Washington DC

The main similarity between Washington and Washington DC is that they are both prominent destinations in the United States of America.


Are there two states named Washington?

The distance between the two Washingtons is around 3,000 miles. British Columbia is immediately south of the state of Washington. The heart of the American east coast is where Washington, DC, is located.

Why is Washington followed by DC?

Christopher Columbus, an explorer, was honored by having the new federal territory and city named after him: the District of Columbia.

What distinguishes Washington DC from Washington?

There is a significant distinction between Washington, a state, and Washington, DC, a district that serves as the nation's capital.


Despite the differences between the two states or cities, each one is as important and has a strategic role to fulfill. While the other is crucial for government or organizations and tourists, the first is a crucial center for manufacturing and industry.


Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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