Rhode Island, the smallest US state, is one of the 13 colonies that passed the American Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Rhode Island is a state in the northeastern United States, part of the New England region, with Providence being its largest city and capital.

Name, location and residents of Rhode Island

It was the red earth that the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block noticed when he saw the island in Narragansett Bay and so he called it “Rhode Eylandt”. Today the entire state bordering Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Atlantic Ocean bears this name. With a total size of only 3,144 square kilometers, it is the smallest US state. Around one million people live in Rhode Island (as of 2019). Rhode Island is suffering from a population decline; of all US states, only Michigan has to struggle with this problem.

History of the State of Rhode Island

The American history of Rhode Island begins with the theologian Roger Williams, who founded a colony in the mid-17th century in what is now Rhode Island. British soldiers occupied the city of Newport in the late 18th century, when almost all of the Indians previously living in the area had been killed or died of imported diseases. After their departure, French troops followed and set up their headquarters here. In May 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th state in the United States. During the 19th century, with a booming industry, more and more immigrants came to Rhode Island from England, Germany, Ireland and the Mediterranean.

Rhode Island today

In terms of the prosperity indicator, real GDP per capita, Rhode Island ranked 24th (out of 50) in 2016. Important branches of industry are tool making, textile and metal processing. In the “Ocean State” – as Rhode Island is nicknamed – shipbuilding, oceanic research and fishing also play an important role, as does tourism. Due to its natural beauty, Rhode Island was and is a retreat and vacation home for the American upper class, who had magnificent, sometimes castle-like villas built here. An important tourist and cultural attraction is the Newport Folk Festival, which has been taking place annually since 1958 with a few interruptions and at which many well-known artists had their performances.

Rhode Island State Bird and Flower

Largest Counties in Rhode Island by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Rhode Island are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Providence County 1,059 km2
2 Washington County 852 km2
3 Kent County 435 km2
4 Newport County 264 km2
5 Bristol County 62 km2