Providence metropolitan area: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Providence–New Bedford–Fall River
Map of the Providence Metropolitan Area

Common name: Providence Metropolitan Area
Largest city Providence
Other cities  - New Bedford
 - Fall River
 - Warwick
Population  Ranked 35th in the U.S.
 - Total 1,612,989 (2005 est.)
 - Density 1,006.21/sq. mi. 
Area 1,635.76 sq. mi.
4,236.60 km²
State(s)   - Rhode Island
 - Massachusetts
 - Highest point 812 feet (247.5 m)
 - Lowest point 0 feet (0 m)

The Providence metropolitan area is a region covering six counties in two states, and is the 37th largest metropolitan area in the United States.[1][2] Anchored by the city of Providence, Rhode Island, it has an estimated population of 1,622,520, exceeding that of Rhode Island by slightly over 60%. The area covers all of Rhode Island's five counties, making it the only U.S. metropolitan area that covers an entire state, and extends into southern Massachusetts with an average population density of 2300 per mi² (888 per km²).[3][4][5] Its Gross Metropolitan Product the country's 42nd largest at $64.7 billion, just above the Gross State Product of Hawaii[6]

In 2006, this area was officially added to the Boston Combined Statistical Area (CSA), the fifth-largest CSA in the country.[1]

In 2004, Smart Growth America named the New York City metro area the "Least Sprawling" metropolitan area in the country, though Wendell Cox, correcting for the fact that this is only true when New Jersey's and Connecticut's contributions are ignored, asserts that this title should belong to the Providence metropolitan area. Cox makes clear, however, that he is criticizing the definitional criteria of "sprawl" developed by Smart Growth America, sarcastically pointing out the incongruity of Providence winning the crown when, for example, only 0.4% of transportation uses mass transit.[4]



The Providence metropolitan area contains towns from all five counties in Rhode Island and one county in Massachusetts, including:

The New Bedford metro area is not included in the Providence NECTA, but is included in the Combined NECTA[7] and MSA definitions.


Principal Cities


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates a commuter rail connecting the metropolitan area to Boston. There are commuter rail stations in Providence, South Attleboro, and Attleboro. An extension of the commuter rail to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick is expected to be completed in 2009. Extensions to Fall River and New Bedford have also been planned. Amtrak provides regional rail service to the Providence and Kingston train stations as well.

A Pawtucket bound RIPTA bus on the #51 line loads at Kennedy Plaza.

Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which has its hub in downtown Providence manages local bus transit for the state, serving 38 out of 39 Rhode Island communities, RIPTA has 58 bus lines, 2 tourist trolley lines known as LINK, and a seasonal ferry to Newport.[8] Ferry services link Block Island, Prudence Island, and Hog Island to the Rhode Island mainland. Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) provides local bus service in the Massachusetts locales of Fall River and New Bedford.

The major airport is T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, though Logan International Airport in Boston is also used. The commuter rail is in the process of being extended to the airport, which will link by rail T.F. Green to Providence and Boston.

Two interstates connect major population centers in the region: 95, which runs diagonally across Rhode Island, and 195, which runs east from Providence into Massachusetts. The auxiliary interstate 295 provides a bypass around Providence.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1990 1,134,350
2000 1,188,613 4.8%
Est. 2007 1,600,856 [9] 34.7%
data source:[2][10]

The Metro Area is marked by large populations of Irish-American, Italian-American, and French Canadians French-American throughout the region. The Irish form the largest group in Newport, and Washington Counties. The Italians in Kent, and southern Providence County. the French in northern and western providence county. All groups however can be found throughout the region in large numbers.

Also included are very large concentrations of Lusophone populations across the region with the largest density being from East Providence to New Bedford. The two Bristol counties (RI, and MA) are the only two counties in America where Portuguese-Americans form a plurality of the Population.[11]

Pockets of English and Scots-Irish Americans are found in rural areas of the region such as South County where they are known locally as "Swamp Yankees", and also in towns such as Barrington, East Greenwich and the East Side of Providence.

Other Groups include Poles, Swedes, Germans, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and Arabs (especially Lebanese and Syrians).

More recent immigrant groups include continued migrations from Portugal, cape Verde, Brazil and other Lusophone nations, South East Asia specifically Laos, Cambodia, Hmong (mostly from Vietnam), small but growing Chinese, Japanese and Korean populations, and the Former Soviet Union (primarily Ashkenazi Jews). Between Hope and Elmgrove in the Historic East Side of Providence, nearly 40% of the population is Jewish. West Africans including, but not limited to, Liberians, Ghanaians and Nigerians make up significant and growing population especially in Providence ana Pawtucket.

However, the largest Immigrant group is Hispanics, the Hispanic population is very diverse with older populations of Puerto Ricans (many 3rd and 4th generation) being joined more recently by extremely significant and growing Dominican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Venezuelan and Bolivian communities. Providence, RI recently became the first city where a native born Dominican was elected to the Senate in the state of Rhode Island.


  1. ^ a b "Update of Statistical area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses". pp. 52,108,150. Retrieved 2007-06-11.  
  2. ^ a b "Providence Metropolitan Area:2000-2005 Population & Migration". Retrieved 2007-06-11.  
  3. ^ U.S Census Bureau "July 1, 2005 Population Estimates". US Census Bureau. U.S Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-03-22.  
  4. ^ a b Wendell Cox. "Providence: Least Sprawling Metropolitan Area: Colorado Springs Sprawls less than Portland". Retrieved 2007-06-11.  
  5. ^ "May 2006 OEC Metropolitan Statistical Area definitions". Retrieved 2007-06-09.  
  6. ^ pages 15 and 40
  7. ^ Current Lists of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Definitions
  8. ^ "About RIPTA". RIPTA. Retrieved 2007-12-16.  
  9. ^ Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006
  10. ^
  11. ^ Bristol County, Massachusetts - Select a Race, Ethnic, or Ancestry Group - American FactFinder

Federation of American Immigrant Reform demographic figures


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address