Rhode Island

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Rhode Island
Flag of Rhode Island.svg Seal of Rhode Island.svg
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Capital: Providence
State motto: Hope (Hope)
Surface: 3,144 km²
Residents: 1,056,426 (2016 estimated) (334 U / km²)
Member since: May 29, 1790
Time zone: Eastern: UTC − 5 / −4
The highest point: 247 m ( Jerimoth Hill )
Average Height: 60 m
Deepest point: 0 m ( Atlantic Ocean )
Governor : Gina Raimondo ( D )
Post  / Office /  ISO RI / RI / US-RI
Map of Rhode Island
Map of Rhode Island

Rhode Island ( English pronunciation  [ ˌɹoʊ̯dˈaɪ̯lənd ] ) is the smallest state in the United States and part of the New England region . The official name of Rhode Island is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations . Adriaen Block , a Dutch researcher, named the country “Rhode Eylandt” because of its red earth, which over the years became the English Rhode Island. The nicknames Rhode Islands are The Ocean State and Little Rhody . The origin of the state is today's capital Providence , which was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams and is located on Narragansett Bay . Please click to listen!Play


Position and extent

Rhode Island counties

Located in New England, Rhode Island is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east , the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Connecticut to the west . The eponymous island of Rhode Island is located in Narragansett Bay .

With its total size of 3144 km² it is the smallest US state in terms of area. Its land area of ​​2709 km² is about as large as the Saarland (2569 km²), Vorarlberg (2533 km²) or the canton of Ticino (2812 km²). The water area is 438 km², which is about 13.9% of the total area.

Rhode Island extends in a north-south direction of 65 km between 41 ° 18'N to 42 ° 1'N and in an east-west direction 50 km between 71 ° 8'W to 71 ° 53'W.


The state is divided into the counties of Providence , Kent , Bristol , Newport and Washington .

county Resident
July 1, 2005
Administrative headquarters
Bristol 52,743 Bristol
Kent 171,590 East Greenwich
Newport 83,740 Newport
Providence 639.453 Providence
Washington 128,463 South Kingstown

Rivers and bodies of water

The coastline is almost 800 kilometers long. A six-kilometer coastal footpath runs between the Atlantic Ocean and the gardens and parks of the mansions on the edge of Newport.


Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1790 68,825 -
1800 69.122 0.4%
1810 76,931 11.3%
1820 83.059 8th %
1830 97.199 17%
1840 108,830 12%
1850 147,545 35.6%
1860 174,620 18.4%
1870 217.353 24.5%
1880 276,531 27.2%
1890 345.506 24.9%
1900 428,556 24%
1910 542.610 26.6%
1920 604.397 11.4%
1930 687.497 13.7%
1940 713,346 3.8%
1950 791.896 11%
1960 859.488 8.5%
1970 946.725 10.1%
1980 947.154 0%
1990 1.003.464 5.9%
2000 1,048,319 4.5%
2010 1,052,567 0.4%
2015 estimate 1,056,298 0.4%
Before 1900, 1900–1990, 2000, 2015 estimate
Population density

Rhode Island has 1,052,567 inhabitants (as of the 2010 census ), of which 81.4% are white, 5.7% African-American, 12.4% Central or Latin American, 2.9% Asian, 0.6% Indians.

Rhode Island is grappling with a population decline. In the 2010 US census, only Michigan experienced a population decline. In Rhode Island, the population increased by only 0.4%, or 4,248 people, in 10 years. The US authorities now estimate that the population fell by 0.1 percent or 1,265 people between April 1, 2010 (census) and July 1, 2011. For many states on the east coast, this ends the phase of population growth that has sometimes lasted well over 100 years.


A little over 51% of Rhode Island's residents are Catholic . The Anglican Episcopal Church has 26,756 and the American Baptist Churches USA 20,997. This makes Rhode Island one of only five US states in which a single religious group has an absolute majority. (The others are the majority Catholic states of Massachusetts and New Mexico, as well as Mississippi, where Baptists make up the majority of the population, and the Mormon Utah ). Christians from all walks of life make up 64% of the population, followed by 2% Jews and 2% others. In addition there are 37% non-denominational and religious people of different views.


Biggest cities

South Kingstown North Providence Cumberland (Rhode Island) Coventry (Rhode Island) Woonsocket (Rhode Island) East Providence Pawtucket Cranston (Rhode Island) Warwick (Rhode Island) Providence


Native Americans, including the Wampanoag , Narraganset, and Niantic , lived throughout the area that is now Rhode Island. Most of the Indians were killed by the white colonialists or perished from diseases brought in. The Narragansett language practically died out and was no longer spoken. The language was preserved in the book A Key into the Languages ​​of America (1643) by the anthropologist, state philosopher, politician, and theologian Roger Williams , a Baptist who had been banished from the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony . The descendants of the Narragansett are recognized in Rhode Island today. In 1511, for the first time, a European explorer took note of the coasts of what would later become the Rhode Islands. The Portuguese navigator Miguel Corte-Real sailed past the coast without landing there.

The colony, later named Rhode Island and Providence Plantations , was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams . The colony's constitution, drafted by Williams, was democratic and granted members of all denominations full freedom of belief and conscience. Rhode Island outlawed slavery as early as 1652. During the American Revolutionary War , Rhode Island was a theater of war.

British troops occupied Newport between 1777 and 1778 and persuaded the rebels to move to Bristol.

In the Battle of Rhode Island in the summer of 1778, the attempt to drive the British from Narragansett Bay failed. The British later wanted to concentrate on New York and left Newport without a fight.

In 1780 the French landed at Newport under the command of Rochambeau and held their headquarters there. The French were so popular there that the legal discrimination against Catholics was lifted. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th state of the United States as one of the Thirteen Colonies .

During the American Civil War , Rhode Island added 25,236 men to the Northern Army, 1,685 died. In 1866, Rhode Island abolished segregation . Between the 1860s and 1880s immigrants immigrated from England, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and Quebec. At the end of the 19th century, immigrants came increasingly from the Mediterranean area. In the early 20th century, Rhode Island had a booming industry. 28,817 Rhode Island men fought in World War I , 612 of whom died. The Spanish flu hit Rhode Island hard after the war.

In the 1920s and 1930s the number of immigrants increased, which gave the Ku Klux Klan a boost. The Watchman Industrial School in Scituate, Rhode Island , a school for black children, was reportedly set on fire by the clan.

The Rhode Island Democratic Party has dominated local politics since the Great Depression . In March 2010, Rhode Island was hit by a flood. Among other things, the Pawtuxet River overflowed its banks.

Movie and TV


Rhode Island State Capitol
Rhode Island State Capitol

The Rhode Island Constitution dates back to 1842 and has been changed many times. At the head of the executive is the governor , who is elected for four years. The Legislative Rhode Islands ( General Assembly ) consists of a Senate with 50 and a House of Representatives with 100 members. Both are elected for two years. Rhode Island sends two MPs to the United States House of Representatives and has four electors in the presidential election. Rhode Island has the largest electoral density for its area.

For a long time, Senator Lincoln Chafee was by far the most liberal Republican in the Senate, until he was voted out of office in 2006 in favor of Sheldon Whitehouse . Chafee later resigned from the Republican Party and won the November 2010 gubernatorial election in Rhode Island as an independent candidate. He has been a member of the Democratic Party since 2013 .

In 2009 there was an initiative by primarily Afro-American citizens of the state to have the addition of the state name ... and Providence Plantations due to its reference to the age of slavery in the USA by the legislature deleted.



Culture and sights

Regular events

The so-called Newport Folk Festival has been held in Newport since 1958 . The festival was founded by George Wein , who founded the Newport Jazz Festival five years earlier , and Albert Grossman , who later became Bob Dylan's manager . Over the years, many later well-known musicians made their first appearance here. B. Joan Baez , Arlo Guthrie, and James Taylor .

Economy and Infrastructure

The real gross domestic product per capita (English per capita real GDP) was USD 54,365 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 24 of 50). The unemployment rate was 4.3% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Economic sectors are tool making, textile industry, metal processing industry, plastics industry, shipbuilding, tourism, medical research, oceanic research institutions, fishing and agriculture (2%).


air traffic

The state has a number of airports , from which the Theodore Francis Green State Airport in the city of Providence is served by major American airlines.


The only railroad company in Rhode Island is the Providence and Worcester Railroad . It operates the former New Haven route from New York , NY to Boston , Massachusetts and the route to Worcester, Massachusetts .

Amtrak has set up its high-speed service in the northeast corridor on this route with the Acela Express . The only stop for the Acela Express trains in Rhode Island is Providence. The other Amtrak trains (called Northeast Regional) also stop in Westerley and Kingston.


  • Patrick T. Conley: The Rhode Island State Constitution. Oxford University Press, New York 2011, ISBN 978-0-19-977871-3 .
  • William McLoughlin: Rhode Island: A History. W. W. Norton, New York 1986, ISBN 0-393-30271-7 .

Individual evidence

  1. Volker Mehnert: A world of its own. In: welt.de . May 11, 2014, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  2. ^ Census of Population and Housing. United States Census Bureau , accessed May 14, 2011 .
  3. Rhode Island - Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990. United States Census Bureau , accessed May 14, 2011 (English).
  4. ^ Rhode Island - Fact Sheet. In: American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau , accessed May 14, 2011 .
  5. Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015. (CSV) US Census Bureau , December 26, 2015, accessed September 3 2016 (English).
  6. ^ Rhode Island: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics 2010. In: American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau , accessed May 14, 2011 .
  7. Quickfacts: Rhode Island ( Memento October 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  8. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives | Maps & Reports
  9. O'Brien, Francis J. (2004) Bibliography for Studies of American Indians in and Around Rhode Island, 16th - 21st Centuries
  10. berkeley.edu website
  11. James Ernst (1932): Roger Williams: New England Firebrand. Macmillan, p. 82. Edwin S. Gaustad (1999): Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America. Valley Forge: Judson Press, p. 28.
  12. - ( Memento of February 3, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved 3/28/06.
  13. - ( Memento of September 25, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved 3/28/06.
  14. - ( Memento of March 2, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved 3/28/06.
  15. ^ Robert Smith, In The 1920s the Klan Ruled the Countryside , The Rhode Island Century, The Providence Journal , 4/26/1999.
  16. www.270towin.com
  17. www.270towin.com/states/New_Jersey
  18. See RI debates changing state name linked to slavery , https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-us-providence-plantations-071109-2009jul11-story.html
  19. ^ US Bureau of Economic Analysis: Regional Economic Accounts
  20. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .

Web links

Commons : Rhode Island  - collection of pictures, videos, and audio files
Wikivoyage: Rhode Island  Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Rhode Island  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Coordinates: 41 ° 41 ′  N , 71 ° 28 ′  W