Rhode Island Population 2021

1,061,510
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The state of Rhode Island is the smallest in the United States as far as surface area is concerned, but it has a healthy population by comparison. The last official US Census in 2010 showed that there were 1,052,567 people living in the state, and that made Rhode Island larger than seven other states across the country.

Read on to find out more about the population of Rhode Island, or click through to our overview article about the population of the United States to find out more about the demographics of the country as a whole.

The national 2010 Census showed Rhode Island's population was 1,052,567. The state's history has been filled with small falls alongside increases, although it has gone up steadily at every official census.

Rhode Island Area and Population Density

Rhode Island has just 1,545 square miles, and the Rhode Island population figures mean that there are 1,018.1 people on average for every square mile. The state is second only to New Jersey in terms of density.

Rhode Island has a corridor of the population from the large Providence area to the northwest, following Blackstone River to Woonsocket. The state has just five counties, but no county government. Only the city of Providence has a population over 100,000, with an estimated 179,000 residents. Following in size are Warwick (81,699), Cranston (81,076), Pawtucket (71,591) and East Providence (47,408). The two most populated counties in Rhode Island are Providence and Kent with respective populations of 637,357 and 163,760.

Rhode Island Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age across the population of this state is approximately 39.9 years of age. The ratio of females to males in the state is approximately 51.5% females to 48.5% males.

In terms of most preferred religions across the population of Rhode Island, 75% of the population identify with a Christian based faith, while 5% are affiliated with non-Christian based faiths, and 20% are unaffiliated with any religion in particular or do not practice any religion at all.

Rhode Island Boundary, Census, and Statehood History

Rhode Island was one of the 13 original States and has had nearly its present boundaries since Colonial times. However, a long-standing boundary dispute with Massachusetts involved a sizable exchange of territory when finally settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1862. Census coverage included all of Rhode Island from 1790 on.

Rhode Island Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Rhode Island was:

  • White: 80.46%
  • Black or African American: 6.77%
  • Other race: 5.47%
  • Asian: 3.40%
  • Two or more races: 3.33%
  • Native American: 0.50%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%

Rhode Island Population History

Although there has always been a healthy growth as far as the population of Rhode Island is concerned, it has been steady rather than spectacular.

In 1790, there were 68,825 people living in the state, and ten years later that figure had grown by just 0.4% to 69,122. The decade with the largest increase came in 1850 when the Rhode Island population was measured at 147,545, a 35.6% rise on numbers from ten years earlier.

In its early days, Rhode Island was heavily involved in the slave trade, which eventually moved into the Industrial Revolution and fishing. Much of Rhode Island's growth and economy is today based on healthcare, education and some manufacturing.

Rhode Island Population Growth

Rhode Island in the recent past has experienced a small decrease in population, which may continue. This is because its natural growth rate has declined as its population ages. Current estimates show there will be some growth between 2020 and 2035, but it will only be after some population decline.

Net migration has always contributed healthily to Rhode Island population statistics, although time will tell if this continues, and if it can make up for a population that is quickly aging.

The population of Rhode Island in 2016 is an interesting one to monitor because there are only very small fluctuations in numbers and there have even been some falls recorded throughout the State’s history.

Rhode Island Population Projections

With such a densely populated area, Rhode Island may have little capacity for further growth and the 2020 statistics could be very revealing. It's estimated now that Rhode Island's population will reach just 1.07 million in 2035, but then start to decline again by 2040.

The largest ancestry groups in Rhode Island include: Irish (19%), Italian (18.7%), English (11.7%), French (11,3%), Portuguese (9.6%), German (5.6%), French Canadian (4.7%), Polish (4.1%), Dominican (4.02%), Puerto Rican (3.14%) and Chinese (2.2%). The state has the highest percentage of people of Portuguese ancestry than any other state, as well as a high percentage of Liberian immigrants, accounting for 15,000 residents.

When compared to the diversity other states, Rhode Island is ranked 13th in terms of the percentage of its Hispanic and Latino residents. Breaking this down further, Rhode Island is also ranked 6th in the nation for its percentage of Mexican American residents and 6th in Puerto Rican residents.

Rhode Island is ranked 20th out of all 50 states as far as percentage of Asian American inhabitants compared to total population of the state. In terms of pure numbers, the state is ranked 38th for its number of Asian Americans. With just 0.6% of its population made up of Native American residents, Rhode Island's Native American population falls below the national average.

Rhode Island Growth Rate

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Rhode Island Population Rank

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Rhode Island Population 2021

Rhode Island Facts

Providence County

  • Population
  • DensityNaN per sq km
  • Growth Since 20102.40%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State60.56%

As the smallest state in the US, it comes as no surprise that the state of Rhode Island has just five counties, making it easy to evaluate the population growth patterns by county. When examining data from the 2010 population compared to estimates taken in 2015 by the Census Bureau, this information shows that many of Rhode Island's counties saw declines in population. However, the northernmost county of Providence did see a gain in population during the 5-year period, posting a gain of 1.02%.

However, the remaining four counties saw population losses. The biggest happened in Bristol County, with a loss of 1.56% of its population. This was followed by Newport County at 0.86%, Kent County at 0.75%, and Washington County with 0.45%.

Rhode Island Population Growth Rate by County

Providence County

  • Population
  • DensityNaN per sq km
  • Growth Since 20102.40%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State60.56%

Rhode Island Population Density by County

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White850,59780.46%
Black or African American71,5616.77%
Some Other Race57,8075.47%
Asian35,9583.40%
Two or More Races35,2213.33%
American Indian and Alaska Native5,2770.50%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander8100.08%
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Rhode Island Population by Race

Rhode Island Population Pyramid 2021

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Rhode Island Median Age

39.9


Total

38.2


Male

41.5


Female

Rhode Island Adults

There are 849,887 adults, (177,889 of whom are seniors) in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Age Dependency

57.3

Age Dependency Ratio

26.5

Old Age Dependency Ratio

30.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Rhode Island Sex Ratio

Female

543,439

51.40%

Male

513,792

48.60%

Rhode Island Population by Age

Rhode Island Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Rhode Island Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married80.8%19.2%
All60.8%39.2%
Male54.5%45.5%
Non Family44.4%55.6%
Female42.1%57.9%

60.8%

Rate of Home Ownership

Rhode Island Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All410,4892.4760.8
Married182,9243.1780.8
Non Family155,6001.2644.4
Female53,1363.3742.1
Male18,8293.2254.5

3.13

Average Family Size

2.47

Average Household Size

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Rhode Island Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade37,4405.08%
9th to 12th Grade45,0276.11%
High School Graduate208,38728.27%
Some College132,48517.97%
Associates Degree61,7438.38%
Bachelors Degree150,15020.37%
Graduate Degree101,96813.83%
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Rhode Island Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Rhode Island Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Total High School Bachelors
White569,265521,535214,342
Hispanic89,44065,90512,835
Black43,09736,6119,125
Other Race33,82122,1693,483
Asian23,41120,26712,204
Multiple Races14,42412,4344,276
Native American3,2942,397500
Islander495490186

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 98.99%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 52.13%.

Rhode Island Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$45,211$52,335$39,084
Less Than High School$27,880$31,891$21,758
High School Grad$36,009$42,551$29,769
Some College$40,976$49,586$35,313
Bachelors Degree$56,642$68,194$49,041
Graduate Degree$76,777$87,644$69,972

$45,211

Average Earnings

$52,335

Average Male

$39,084

Average Female

Rhode Island Earnings by Educational Attainment

Rhode Island Language by Age

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Rhode Island Language

77.60% of Rhode Island residents speak only English, while 22.40% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 12.31% of the population.

Rhode Island Language

Rhode Island Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White732,35261,2668.37%
Hispanic158,62640,09525.28%
Black68,12815,01522.04%
Other56,25214,59725.95%
Multiple33,2987,45122.38%
Asian33,5795,29215.76%
Native5,0571,24324.58%
Islander78711013.98%

12.38%

Overall Poverty Rate

11.34%

Male Poverty Rate

13.36%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Rhode Island

The race most likely to be in poverty in Rhode Island is Other, with 25.95% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Rhode Island is White, with 8.37% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.64%. Among those working part-time, it was 13.53%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 22.70%.

Rhode Island Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than High School25.00%
High School12.68%
Some College8.93%
Bachelors or Greater4.31%

Rhode Island Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed34.81%
Male Unemployed27.52%
Female Employed5.91%
Male Employed3.95%

Rhode Island Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Rhode Island Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$67,167$89,093
Families$86,258$108,155
Married Families$104,019$127,261
Non Families$37,880$54,143
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Income by Household Type

Rhode Island Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

44.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

47.0%

Male Marriage Rate

42.2%

Female Marriage Rate

Rhode Island Married by Age and Sex

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Rhode Island Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Rhode Island Marital Status by Race

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Rhode Island Marital Status

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54,121

Number of Veterans

50,776

Male Veterans

3,345

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam20,670
Second Gulf War8,279
First Gulf War7,966
Korea5,807
World War II2,665

Rhode Island Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 7416,012
75+15,945
35 to 549,623
55 to 648,690
18 to 343,851

Rhode Island Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White49,6677.10%
Black2,2534.27%
Hispanic1,8701.69%
2 or More7793.97%
Other6681.64%
Asian4161.45%
Indian2405.77%
Hawaiian9816.84%

Rhode Island Veterans by Race

Rhode Island Veterans by Education

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7.26%

Veteran Poverty Rate

30.18%

Veteran Disability Rate

Rhode Island Veterans by Education

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64.8%

Labor Force Participation

60.9%

Employment Rate

5.4%

Unemployment Rate

Rhode Island Employment by Age

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Rhode Island Employment by Race

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Rhode Island Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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56.70%

Born in Rhode Island

86.41%

Native Born

13.59%

Foreign Born

5.93%

Non Citizen

7.66%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

86.41% of Rhode Island residents were born in the United States, with 56.70% having been born in Rhode Island. 5.93% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Rhode Island Place of Birth