Delaware is the second smallest state, but it is nearly double the size of Rhode Island. If D.C. were to become a state, it would be the smallest though, at 61 sq miles.
However the Vatican remains the smallest state in the world at only 0.2 sq miles. While Rhode Island is the smallest in area size, it has the longest name. Its official name is “The State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.”
The smallest US state is also known as the Ocean State. Although major portions are linked to the mainland, no point is more than 30 miles from water. Narragansett Bay is in the middle, cutting the state in half.
The biggest island is Aquidneck Island (also called Rhode Island). Here, Newport, Portsmouth and Middletown can be found. Block Island is more renowned for its beaches. It is just 12 miles off the mainland.
Its population as of 2008 has been estimated at 1,050,788. It is the 43rd biggest in America. The density is 1,012 sq mi 990.78 km2). Of these, 90.96% have been estimated to be white and 6.45% black. The others are divided among the Asians, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and other races.
The biggest ancestry groups in the smallest US state are the Irish and Italian at 19%. The French Canadian are next with 17% followed by English (12%), Hispanic at 11% and the Portuguese at 8%. As of 2000, 6% of the population were under age five and 24% below 18 years of age. 15% were over 65 and females made up 52% of the total population.
Providence is the biggest with a population of 175,255 followed by Warwick with 85,825. Other major cities are Cranston, Newport, Central Falls, Pawtucket and East Providence. Other cities include Bradford, Harrisville, Hope Valley and Pascoag.
Other Facts about the Smallest US State
Rhode Island was the first state to pass a law banning slavery (May 18, 1852). Bristol was the site of the first Fourth of July Parade. The first act of rebellion against the British by the colonies took place in Narragansett Bay on June 10, 1772. The first standing armies of the colonies were also created at Rhode Island.
Providence meanwhile, was the site of the first Baptist church in the US. It was also the place where the first health lab was created in the US. Pawtucket was the place that women first took part in a strike.
Rhode Island was also the site where the motion picture device got its patent. Newport was also the place where the first nine hole course in the US was invented. Rhode Island is also the first and only state to legalize prostitution.
Although it is the smallest US state, Rhode Island is not lacking in history. Its mansions and historical landmarks make it one of the most attractive states in the US.