Fact Check on the Rhode Island Population

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the United States of America, but it certainly has a long history as one of the thirteen original colonies established in 1636. The official name is Rhode Island andProvidence Plantations, and that is the longest name among the American states.

Some may say that this was the way to compensate for the fact that Rhode Island was both the smallest and the least populated American territory of all. Jokes aside, we are going to try and offer a viable explanation of this fact by looking back at its history as well as the history of the population.

The Turbulent History of the ‘Ocean State’

The people of Rhode Island were the first to start a rebellion against the British Empire by sinking an English ship two years before the “Boston Tea Party” took place. Despite this fact, this was the last of 13 initial colonies to have been recognized as a state. That happened in 1790 — the same year the Industrial Revolution reached the island when the first water-powered cotton mill started working in Pawtucket.

As if Rhode Island had to be an exception throughout its whole history, they were one of two states that refused to sign the “Prohibition Law.” The other state that did the same was neighboring Connecticut.

There is no state government in Rhode Island. Also, the state is divided into five counties and 38 municipalities that all have local governments.

The History of Its Population Growth

According to the data from the Census Bureau, Rhode Island population was 1,052,567 people in 2010. When you bear in mind that it is 48 km wide and 32 km long, you can easily come to the explanation of why this state has the second-highest population density right after New Jersey.

That’s how things stand nowadays, but let’s see how the population had fluctuated throughout this state’s history.

We may say that the population here grew steadily rather than spectacularly over the years. Demographic records show that there were 68,825 Rhode Island residents in 1790. However, the total population grew by 0.4% in the following ten years, to 69,122 people. The major increase in Rhode Island population happened in 1850 when 145,545 people inhabited the state. That was a 35% increase compared to the previous decade.

Rhode Island Popluation

Back in the days, most of the state’s population was involved in slave trading. The Industrial Revolution was a significant turning point for the economy.

Nowadays, the Rhode Island economy relies on health care, education, and manufactures.

As we have already mentioned, the population, according to the 2010 census, was 1,052,567, and it grew to around 1.06 million in 2019, which presents a 0.3% increase within a decade.

That number of people occupy 1,545 square miles of Rhode Island’s surface. This is how we get the final result of 1,018 residents per square mile, which makes this territory second-most densely populated in America.

The state capital, Providence, is the only city with a population of over 100,000. Warwick follows with almost 82,000, then Cranstone with 81,076, and Pawtucket with a bit over 71,000 residents.

And when we talk about counties, the most populated ones are obviously Providence County, followed by Kent County.

Demographic Picture of This Part of US

The demographic stats show that the female population outnumbers the male, with 51% to 49%, and the average age of the population of Rhode Island is 39.9 years, which doesn’t sound optimistic. The predominant race is white, with around 81%, while the number of the native Hawaiian or the Pacific Islanders has dropped under 1%.

Things are similar when it comes to religion. Most of the state inhabitants declare as Christians, 75% of them to be exact, 5% opted for some other religion, and 20% of people declared as non-religious.

The prospects of population growth on Rhode Island are neither grim nor extremely promising. Let’s face it; this is a small place with a steady but relatively small population increase throughout history. The experts predict that there will be a period of decline followed by a period of a slight increase between 2025 and 2030.

Rhode Island May Be a Perfect Place to Live In

There is no plausible explanation of why this American territory has the lowest population besides the fact it is the smallest one in America. Some may think that people don’t want to live in Rhode Island because it doesn’t have a profitable industry and commerce and that this state is poor.

However, according to some surveys, Rhode Island had a major wage rate increase a few years ago. Wages in this state increased by 8.3% between 2016 and 2017.

This place is too small to be dangerous to live in. There are some overpopulated areas people should avoid at night like South Providence, but that’s it. There was no evidence of any acrimonious criminal activity that would make people massively leave this New England state.

If you need some additional reasons to visit Rhode Island, here is a list of things that make the smallest U.S. state stand out among others.

  1. The capital city, Providence, is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in America. You can visit a famous art installation called WaterFire, or you can enjoy its vast historical heritage and vibrant artistic scene.
  2. This would be a perfect place for you if you were a true nature lover. You can go cycling or kayaking if you are an adventurous type, or you can spend the whole day sunbathing on one of the amazing Rhode Island beaches.
  3. For those with a quirkier taste, there is a famous “Big Blue Bug” installation on the roof of New England Pest control. This giant termite that is almost sixty feet long has become a huge tourist attraction soon after it was constructed. The unofficial Rhode Island mascot has made a significant movie career appearing in movies like “Dumb and Dumber.” It was even featured on Oprah.

So if you are considering to make this place your home, go ahead! It is going to be a little crowded, but we’ve heard the beaches are great.

Year Population
1640 300
1740 25,225
1840 108,830
1940 713,346
2000 1,048,319
2019 1,056,738
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