Rhode Island Facts



Rhode Island Location In The US Rhode Island State Map

Geography & Demographics

State Abbreviation RI
State Capital Providence
State Size Total (Land + Water): 1,545 sq miles; Land Only: 1,045 sq miles
Number of Counties 5
Time Zone Eastern Time Zone
Bordering States Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York (water border)
Highest PointJerimoth Hill, 811 feet
National ParksNone
State Population (2015)1,056,298
State Population Density1,010.8 people / square mile
Area Codes 401
Top 5 Cities (2010 population) Providence (178,042)
Warwick (82,672)
Cranston (80,387)
Pawtucket (71,148)
East Providence (47,037)

Government & Legislature

Statehood May 29, 1790
Electoral Votes4
State Flag Rhode Island State Flag
GovernorOfficial Rhode Island Governor Website
U. S. SenatorsList of U. S. Senators From Rhode Island
U. S. RepresentativesList of U. S. Representatives From Rhode Island
State SenatorsList of Rhode Island State Senators
State RepresentativesList of Rhode Island State Representatives
State GovernmentOfficial Site
State ConstitutionRhode Island State Constitution
Road ConditionsRhode Island Road Conditions
State Quarter Issue Date May 21, 2001

State Symbols

State AppetizerCalamari
State Bird Rhode Island red
State DrinkCoffee milk
State Flower Violet
State FishStriped bass
State FruitRhode Island greening apple
State InsectAmerican burying beetle
State MineralBowenite
State Motto Hope
State Nickname The Ocean State
State RockCumberlandite
State ShellQuahaug
State Symbol of American Folk ArtThe Charles I.D. Looff Carousel
State Tall Ship and Flagship USSProvidence
State Tree Red maple
State YachtCourageous, US-12/26

Sports Teams

Major Sports Teams None
NCAA Division I Schools Brown University (Ivy)
Bryant University (Northeast)
Providence College (Big East)
University of Rhode Island (Atlantic 10)

Taxes

State Gas Tax$0.3400 / Gallon
State Cigarette Tax$3.75 / Pack

Rhode Island Fun Facts

  • The Rhode Island colony was founded on present-day Aquidneck Island, the largest island in Narragansett Bay. There are two theories on how Aquidneck Island came to be known as Rhode Island: 1) Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano visited the island near the mouth of Narragansett Bay in 1524, and he compared it to the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. 2) Dutch explorer Adraen Block called Aquidneck "een rodlich Eylande," meaning "an island of reddish appearance" in 1625.
  • On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island declared its independence from Great Britain, the first state to do so. 
  • Judge Darius Baker imposed the first jail sentence for speeding in an automobile on August 27, 1904, in Newport, Rhode Island. The offender was found guilty of speeding at 15 miles per hour.
  • The first U.S. Open Championship was played on the nine-hole course of Newport Golf and Country Club in Rhode Island on October 4, 1895.
  • The Tennis Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island.  
  • Even though Rhode Island has five counties, there is no county government. Local governance is provided by the eight cities and 31 towns.
  • The start of the Industrial Revolution is often attributed to the development and construction in 1790 of Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
  • Nine Men's Misery monument in Cumberland, Rhode Island, is the oldest known monument to veterans in the United States.
  • Roger Williams founded the first Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1638.  It is the oldest Baptist congregation in America. 
  • In 1852, Rhode Island became the first state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
  • In Rhode Island, the law requires that one must give a timely, audible signal before passing a car on the left.

This page was last updated on August 23, 2016.




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