According to the 2000 national census, Rhode Island ranked 43rd among the states, with a total population of 1,048,319. This represented an increase of 4.5 percent over the 1990 census figure of 1,003,464. The average population density of 394 persons per sq km (1,022 per sq mi) in 2006 is the second highest in the United States, behind only New Jersey. Some 91 percent of the people live in urban areas.
According to the 2000 census, whites constitute 85 percent of the people, blacks 4.5 percent, Asians 2.3 percent, Native Americans 0.5, Native Hawaiians and other Pacifid Islanders 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 7.7 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 8.7 percent of the people.
The principal cities of Rhode Island are Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Cranston, and Woonsocket, all of which are part of a larger continuous urban area that is defined by the Bureau of the Census as the Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket metropolitan area. This metropolitan area had a total population of 1,612,989 in 2006. Providence, the state capital, is the largest city in Rhode Island and had a total population of 175,255 in 2006. A great mercantile city in the past, Providence is now primarily an industrial and educational center. Warwick, with a population of 85,925, has some textile mills and electronics plants but is mainly a residential suburb of Providence and a retail trade center. Cranston, with a population of 81,479, is a center for textile printing, machinery, machine tools, and fire extinguishers.
Pawtucket, with 72,998 residents, is famous as the site of the first successful American cotton mill, built by Samuel Slater, and is still primarily a textile center and a world leader in toy production. Woonsocket, with a population of 43,940, is primarily a textile center. Newport, which is outside the Providence-Pawtucket metropolitan area, had a population of 24,409 and is noted as a summer resort and yachting center. "Rhode Island" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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