Facts About Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.
The Providence city limits enclose a small geographical region with a total area of 20.5 square miles (53 km²); 18.5 square miles (48 km²) of it is land and the remaining 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) is water (roughly 10%). Providence is located at the head of Narragansett Bay, with the Providence River running into the bay through the center of the city, formed by the confluence of the Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers. The Waterplace Park amphitheater and river walks line the river's banks through downtown.
As of the census of 2000, the population consisted of 173,618 people, 162,389 households, and 35,859 families. The population density was 9,401.7 inhabitants per square mile (3,629.4/km²), characteristic of comparatively older cities in New England such as New Haven, Connecticut, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut. Its population peaked in the 1940s, just prior to the nationwide period of rapid suburbanization. Providence has a racially and ethnically diverse population. In 2010, white Americans formed 49.8% of the population, including a sizable white Hispanic community. Non-Hispanic whites were 37.6% of the total population, down from 89.5% in 1970. Providence has had a substantial Italian population since the start of the 20th century, with 14% of the population claiming Italian ancestry. Italian influence manifests itself in Providence's Little Italy in Federal Hill. Irish immigrants have also had considerable influence on the city's history, with 8% of residents claiming Irish heritage. The city also has a sizeable Jewish community, estimated at 10,500 in 2012 or roughly 5% of the city's population.
Serving Providence, Rhode Island
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