According to statistics, there are ~19 million people living in the NYC metropolitan area. In comparison, there are only ~2.8 million people in the DC/Baltimore metropolitan area, which is ~7 times smaller. Naively this means that those pushing for statehood for DC should also be interested in granting statehood to NYC, as well as the 19 other metropolitan areas that are bigger than DC. However this does not seem to be the case - we can find numerous articles on granting statehood to Puerto Rico or DC, but none about NYC or other cities.

Why is this the case? What makes DC unique compared to others? Do note that the issue of "no taxation without representation" could just as well be solved by merging DC into Maryland instead, so this cannot be the only argument.

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    You're on firmer ground with your why not join DC to Maryland? question. The citizens in DC do not have full electoral representation they should expect, which makes that very different from wanting to splinter off NYC, California, etc. Other countries with federal systems do not generally find it necessary to disenfranchise voters in their capital cities. That said, people more cynical than me might find that the motivations to hive off DC as its own state do seem conveniently aligned with Dem interests. Jul 2, 2020 at 22:13
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica this question is basically "given that DC rejects the option of joining Maryland to gain full representation, how do they justify not giving extra Congress votes to NYC first?" Jul 2, 2020 at 22:55
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    This question is based on a total strawman argument. I doubt that there have been any polls among DC residents on whether New York City should be turned into its own state. The assertion that people support one but not the other is simply made up
    – zinfandel
    Jul 3, 2020 at 7:41
  • @zinfandel but then why didn't Congress vote on granting statehood to NYC first, if we're granting statehood to important cities now? Jul 3, 2020 at 8:11
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    Most likely because NYC is simply not demanding it
    – zinfandel
    Jul 3, 2020 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


Simply, the citizens of D.C. do not get to vote for Senators or a full member of the House. Also, the decisions of their city council can be overridden by congress. That drawback is unique in the USA.

Merger with Maryland has been proposed, but neither the residents of D.C. nor Maryland like this idea.


As pointed out by Michael M, there is the representation issue.

What wasn't completely fleshed out is that NYC is already part of a state, which is why they have the representation mentioned.

Washington, DC, is not part of any state. Given the immense power, influence and money controlled by the federal government, it would probably not make sense to have the seat of federal power as a sub-set of any individual state. A state's authority over one of its cities would be severely undermined by the power federal government has over states, which in turn could be influenced or potentially compromised by authority only one individual state would have over that seat of federal power.

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    Are there any practical concerns about the Capital being inside a state? It doesn't seem to be an actual issue for any other country.
    – Jontia
    Jul 3, 2020 at 6:20
  • @Jonita - I know that in my own state, there is a very bitter partisan divide and my city is on the opposite end of that scale, in terms of voter demographics, from the party that has had control. They have passed specific measures and allocated funding in ways that are designed, clearly, to administer partisan spite. A state could make day to day life in convenient or miserable (roads, schools) if they feel they aren't getting the kind of consideration they deserve for federal funding or laws that impact the whole state. Federal government generally can't directly fund cities, I think. Jul 6, 2020 at 15:32
  • @Jontia - The United States was specifically designed to give the states a certain amount of autonomy and also control towards the federal government, so the logistics might be a bit different than some other nations in what federal government can do directly for cities, and the relationship between states/provinces and the central government. Just spit-balling on that. I might post a question about what the similarities and differences are. Jul 6, 2020 at 15:35
  • It all seems a bit self defeating. Say you have opposite government to the state government, if you defund the schools, or infrastructure you're hurting your own voters much more than the federal government. And you end up looking like a tool. So I imagine you don't remain the local government for long. Especially in a small/concentrated state like proposed here. Though I am sorry to hear that the vote divide is causing issues for you at home.
    – Jontia
    Jul 6, 2020 at 16:44
  • @Jontia - Many politicians are primarily interested in power and exercise of that power, and constituents seem to get pushed to the side, unfortunately. Jul 6, 2020 at 18:53

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