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City or Location County or District States or Territories States or Territories Abbrieviation Postcode or Zipcode
Adamsville Newport Rhode Island RI 02801
Jamestown Newport Rhode Island RI 02835
Little Compton Newport Rhode Island RI 02837
Newport Newport Rhode Island RI 02840
Newport Newport Rhode Island RI 02841
Middletown Newport Rhode Island RI 02842
Portsmouth Newport Rhode Island RI 02871
Tiverton Newport Rhode Island RI 02878


Description of Rhode Island, US

Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the Northeastern United States' New England region. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and the seventh-least populous, with slightly less than 1.1 million residents as of 2020, but it has the second-highest population density after New Jersey. It derives its name from the eponymous island, but the majority of its landmass is located on the mainland. Rhode Island shares a small maritime border with New York. It is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. Providence is the state's capital and largest city.

Prior to the arrival of English settlers in the early 17th century, Native Americans had inhabited Narragansett Bay for thousands of years. Rhode Island was unique among the Thirteen British Colonies in that it was founded by Roger Williams, a refugee who fled religious persecution in the Massachusetts Bay Colony to establish a sanctuary for religious freedom. In 1636, he founded Providence on land purchased from local tribes, establishing the continent's first settlement with an explicitly secular government. Consequently, the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations became a haven for religious and political dissidents and social outcasts, earning it the nickname "Rogue's Island."

Rhode Island was the first colony to call for a Continental Congress in 1774 and the first to renounce allegiance to the British Crown on May 4, 1776, reflecting its status as a center of relative tolerance and free thought. Rhode Island, which was heavily occupied and contested during the American Revolution, ratified the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778, becoming the fourth state to do so. It boycotted the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution, initially refusing to ratify it; it was the last of the original 13 states to do so on May 29, 1790.

Since the colonial era, its official name has been the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, but it is commonly known as "Rhode Island." Voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in November 2020 that officially dropped "and Providence Plantations" from the state's full name. Its official nickname is the "Ocean State," which refers to its 400 miles (640 km) of coastline and the large bays and inlets that account for approximately 14 percent of its total area.

Geography Description of Rhode Island

Rhode Island encompasses 1,214 square miles (3,144 km2) within the New England region of the Northeastern United States and is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, and Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Between Block Island and Long Island, it shares a narrow maritime boundary with New York State. The mean elevation of the state is 200 feet (61m). It is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, but Rhode Island has 384 miles of tidal coastline on Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean (618 km).

Rhode Island has a number of oceanfront beaches and is nicknamed the Ocean State. Jerimoth Hill, which is 812 feet (247 meters) above sea level, is the state's highest natural point and the state's only real mountain. There are two distinct natural regions in the state. Eastern Rhode Island contains the Narragansett Bay lowlands, while Western Rhode Island is a portion of the New England upland. The forests of Rhode Island belong to the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion.

Narragansett Bay is a prominent geographical feature of the state. The bay contains more than 30 islands, the largest of which is Aquidneck Island, which is home to Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. Conanicut is the second-largest island, followed by Prudence. Block Island is located approximately 19 kilometers south of the mainland and separates Block Island Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.

Cumberlandite, a rare type of rock found only in Rhode Island (specifically in the town of Cumberland), is the state rock. Initially, there were two known deposits of the mineral, but because it is an iron ore, one of the deposits has been extensively mined for its iron content.

Economy of Rhode Island

Colonial Rhode Island's economy was founded on fishing.

The Blackstone River Valley was a significant contributor to the Industrial Revolution in the United States. Samuel Slater established Slater Mill in Pawtucket in 1793, utilizing the waterpower of the Blackstone River to power his cotton mill. Rhode Island was once a leader in the textile industry. During the Great Depression, however, the majority of textile factories relocated to southern states. The textile industry remains a component of Rhode Island's economy, albeit with diminished influence.

Other historically significant industries in Rhode Island included the manufacture of tools, costume jewelry, and silverware. Numerous abandoned factories, many of which are now condominiums, museums, offices, and low-income and senior housing, are an interesting byproduct of Rhode Island's industrial history. Currently, the majority of Rhode Island's economy is based on services, particularly healthcare and education, along with some manufacturing. The state's maritime heritage continues in the twenty-first century through the construction of nuclear submarines.

Rhode Island has the highest-paid elementary school teachers in the country, with an average salary of $75,028 according to the 2013 American Communities Survey (adjusted to inflation).

Providence is home to the headquarters of Citizens Financial Group, the fourteenth largest bank in the United States. CVS Caremark and Textron are Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in Woonsocket and Providence, respectively. Rhode Island is home to numerous Fortune 1000 companies, including FM Global, GTECH Corporation, Hasbro, American Power Conversion, Nortek, and Amica Mutual Insurance.

Rhode Island's total gross state production in 2000 (adjusted for inflation) was $46.18 billion, ranking it 45th in the nation. Adjusted for inflation, its per capita personal income in 2000 was $41,484, placing it sixteenth in the nation. Rhode Island is the state with the lowest energy consumption per capita. Furthermore, Rhode Island is ranked as the fifth most energy-efficient state in the nation. In December 2012, the unemployment rate in the state was 10.2 percent. This has gradually decreased to 3.5% by November 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic caused the unemployment rate to peak at 18.1% in April 2020. This has since decreased to 10.5% in September 2020 and is expected to decrease further to 7% in October 2020.

The largest industry in Rhode Island is the health care sector. In the year 2000, tourism-related sales totaled $4.56 billion (adjusted for inflation). Tourism supports 39,000 jobs and generated $4.56 billion (adjusted for inflation) in sales. Manufacturing is the third largest sector. Submarine construction, shipbuilding, costume jewelry, fabricated metal products, electrical equipment, machinery, and boatbuilding are its industrial outputs. The agricultural outputs of Rhode Island are nursery stock, vegetables, dairy products, and eggs.

Rhode Island's income tax was based on 25 percent of the payer's federal income tax payment, which made its taxes significantly more expensive than those of neighboring states. Former governor Donald Carcieri asserted that the higher tax rate inhibited business growth in the state and called for reductions to increase the state's business environment's competitiveness. In 2010, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed and Governor Carcieri signed into law a new state income tax structure. By lowering its maximum tax rate to 5.99 percent and reducing the number of tax brackets to three, the income tax overhaul has made Rhode Island competitive with other New England states. In 1971, the state's first income tax was enacted.

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