Providence, Rhode Island

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Providence is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island. Located in Providence County, the city is the second-largest city in New England. The population within the city limits is estimated to be 176,862 as of 2005, and is the anchor of the 35th largest metropolitan population in the country, with an estimated metropolitan area population of 1,622,520, exceeding that of Rhode Island by about 60%.[1]

Providence was named by Roger Williams in honor of "God's merciful Providence" in his finding this spot to settle when expelled by the Puritans from Massachusetts. The city was one of the first cities to industrialize in the United States and was noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, Providence city proper alone is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, causing its economy to be heavily dominated by service-oriented industry and, in recent years, retail. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry" and, since the 1990s, "The Renaissance City," though as of 2000 census, its poverty rate was still among the ten highest for cities over 100,000.[2]


Originally a modest settlement, Providence experienced enormous growth in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. Its situation astride several waterways, among them the Providence River, the Seekonk River, and the Woonasquatucket River, made it an ideal site for water-driven mills. Slater Mill, a few miles north in Pawtucket, is widely regarded as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the United States; after its founding in 1793, many similar enterprises sprung in in Providence. Among these were Royal Mills, Rising Sun Mills, and

College and Universities in Providence, Rhode Island

Cultural institutions in Providence, Rhode Island


  1. [ U.S Census Bureau
  2. Poverty 1999 - U.S. Census Brief 2000