Rhode Island Overview

Rhode Island Overview

Rhode Island. Its full and official name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations or simply known as Rhode Island is a state located in the New England region of the northeast of the United States. It is the smallest state by area and is also the state with the longest official name. Rhode Island was the first of the original thirteen colonies to declare independence from British rule, marking the beginning of the American Revolution. Later it was the last of the thirteen to ratify the Constitution of the United States. According to CountryAAH.com, major cities include Providence, Cranston, Warwick, and Pawtucket.

Origin of name name

According to Abbreviationfinder, the common name of the state, Rhode Island, actually refers only to the largest island in Narragansett Bay, it is also known as Aquidneck Island. Some historians think that the name comes from Roodt Eylandt, which in Old Dutch means “Red Island”, given to the island by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block due to the reddish coloration of the land on the island. Other historians think that the name owes its origins to the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, when upon discovering the nearby Block Island he called it Rhode Island, due to its similarity in shape to the Greek island of Rhodes (where the famous Colossus of Rhodes was built, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). Later explorers, mistaking the island Verrazzano was referring to, applied the name Rhode to Aquidneck Island.


Location and relief.

Rhode Island occupies an area of ​​approximately 4,002 km². Its bordering states are Massachusetts to the north and east, and Connecticut to the west. On the southern border is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean that Rhode Island shares with the state of New York. Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island is home to numerous beaches. Rhode Island is mostly flat, the average altitude is 60 meters above sea level. The highest point in the state is Jerimoth Hill, only 247 meters high.

Located in the New England province of the Appalachian region, Rhode Island has two distinct natural regions. Eastern Rhode Island, which contains the Narragansett Bay Lowlands, while Western Rhode Island is part of the New England Highlands.

Narragansett Bay is very characteristic of the topography of the State. Block Island is 9 km from the southern coast of the State. In the interior of the bay there are approximately 30 islands. The largest is Aquidneck Island, which shares municipalities with Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. The second largest is Conanicut, the third Prudence.

In Rhode Island you can find a very rare type of rock called Cumberlandite. Initially in the State there were two known mineral deposits, but since they could be exploited through the use of gunpowder, one of the deposits was almost completely depleted during the American Civil War.


Rhode Island is an example of a continental oceanic climate, combining hot, rainy summers with very cold winters. The average temperature in the state ranges between 28 ° C (above zero) and 7 ° C below zero. The highest temperature recorded was 42 ° C in June 2006, in Providence; the lowest, of -25 ° C in Coventry, on February 6, 1996.


Currently the state of Rhode Island has a population of 1,067,610 people, of which:

78.9% are white (European or of European descent).

11.0% are Latin American.

5.1% are African American.

2.8% are Asian.

The rest are made up of people of other ethnic groups.


The religious affiliation of the people of Rhode Island is:

  • Christians – 87.5%
  • Roman Catholics – 63.6%
  • Protestants – 21.6%
  • Episcopalians – 8.1%
  • Baptists – 6.3%
  • Other Protestants – 3.2%
  • Protestants, non-denominational – 7%
  • Other Christians – 2.3%
  • Jews – 1.4%
  • Muslims – 1.2%
  • Self-defined as non-religious – 6%
  • Other religions – 1.9%.

In Rhode Island are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has the highest percentage of Catholics in the nation, mainly due to the massive immigration of Irish, Italians, and French-Canadians and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Puerto Rican, and Cape Verdean communities. It is interesting to note that having the number of Catholics indicated, it does not have any county among the counties with a Catholic majority in the country. This is because Catholics are spread throughout the state. Rhode Island and Utah are the only states in which the majority of their population belongs to a single religious cult.


From the Great Depression to the present: since 1929

In the 20th century, the state continued its economic growth, although the decline of heavy industry devastated large areas. The old industrial areas were especially affected, along with the rest of urban areas, by the construction of interstate highways over urban centers and the suburbanization resulting from the “GI” law, which greatly benefited war veterans. After industrial reconversion, and due to the influx of Boston residents in recent years, prices in the real estate sector have grown spectacularly. Since the Great Depression of 1929, the Rhode Island Democratic Party has dominated local politics, although there are exceptions, such as Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci., Mayor of Providence, or Donald Carcieri, the current governor of the state.

Rhode Island Overview

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