Providence, Rhode Island Population 2020

178,901

Providence is a city located in Providence County, Rhode Island. With a 2020 population of 178,901, it is the largest city in Rhode Island and the 146th largest city in the United States. Providence is currently declining at a rate of -0.12% annually but its population has increased by 0.48% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 178,042 in 2010. Providence reached it's highest population of 253,504 in 1940. Spanning over 21 miles, Providence has a population density of 9,720 people per square mile.

The average household income in Providence is $68,769 with a poverty rate of 26.01%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $972 per month, and the median house value is $192,100. The median age in Providence is 30 years, 29.9 years for males, and 30.2 years for females. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males.

The city was founded in 1636, making it one of the oldest cities in the nation.

Providence Population Statistics

Approximately 14% of the total population is of Italian ancestry. The city also has a large Jewish community that makes up about 5% of the population. Many immigrants from all over the world live in Providence, with many originally hailing from Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde.

Providence has a higher rate of property crime than the national average. The rate of violent crimes is about equal to the national average.

The largest employer in the city is Brown University, which employs over 4% of city residents. Other top employers include Rhode Island Hospital, Life Span, Women & Infants Hospital and the Roger Williams Medical Center.

Providence Population Growth

Providence was once on the largest cities in the nation, and it experienced rapid growth in its early history. By the time of the 20th century, the population was nearing 200,000. That number was exceeded by the time of the 1910 census. The community continued to grow until it peaked at 253,504 according to the 1940 poll. However, each 10-year census following through 1980 showed that the population was on the decline, dropping to below 200,000 in 1970 until the population rose again in the '90s. Recent estimates show that the current population is around 0.7% higher than the numbers posted during the 2010 census, indicating that revitalization efforts by the city could be working, despite the financial troubles faced by many residents.

Providence was first settled in 1636 by Roger Williams. The area was one of the original colonies of the United States. The city was founded after Williams withdrew from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and it quickly became an area where persecuted dissenters settled.

Providence was the first colony to renounce allegiance to the British in 1776 and later was the last of the colonies to ratify the Constitution, only doing so after it was assured that the Bill of Rights would be included.

After the American Revolution, Providence was the ninth-largest city in the country by population. In its earliest history, the economy revolved around maritime activity but following the war, this changed. Instead, the economy was based around manufacturing products including - but not limited - to textiles, machinery, and jewelry. This would continue throughout the city’s history, later attracting manufacturers including Gorham Silverware and Brown & Sharpe.

Providence was incorporated as a city in 1832. The city only continued to grow, with the population climbing significantly during the Civil War. Because of its manufacturing, the city thrived during this time.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Providence was one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Its manufacturing industry was thriving, and many immigrants came to the area to work in the city’s industrial manufacturing centers. More companies went to the area, including Fruit of the Loom and Babcock & Wilcox.

Later, in the 1970s, millions of dollars were spent to revitalize the city. This including uncovering the rivers that were paved over, creating river walks and constructing the Providence Place Mall. Today, the city is broken up into 25 official neighborhoods. Providence is home to many attractions, including parks, shopping centers, restaurants, historic landmarks, and buildings. As with most post-industrial cities, poverty is now a problem, with close to 28% of the total population living below the federal poverty line according to the recent census information. Recent increases in median housing prices have further contributed to this problem. The city has also been working on rebranding itself to emphasize its cultural and educational opportunities.

Providence Demographics

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

  • White: 54.23%
  • Other race: 17.95%
  • Black or African American: 16.03%
  • Asian: 6.10%
  • Two or more races: 4.36%
  • Native American: 1.16%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.16%
The current population of Providence, Rhode Island is 178,901, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 179,335. The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 178,042.
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
20201,629,8974,2800.26%
20191,625,6174,2800.26%
20181,621,3374,2800.26%
20171,617,0572,1460.13%
20161,614,9111,8600.12%
20151,613,0511,8280.11%
20141,611,2233,6470.23%
20131,607,5761,8240.11%
20121,605,7522,9240.18%
20111,602,828-287-0.02%
20101,603,1150.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White97,31454.23%
Some Other Race32,21017.95%
Black or African American28,76816.03%
Asian10,9506.10%
Two or More Races7,8204.36%
American Indian and Alaska Native2,0781.16%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2950.16%

Providence Population Pyramid 2020

Providence Median Age

30


Total

29.9


Male

30.2


Female

Providence Adults

There are 138,798 adults, (18,252 of whom are seniors) in Providence.

Providence Age Dependency

48.9

Age Dependency Ratio

15.1

Old Age Dependency Ratio

33.7

Child Dependency Ratio

Providence Sex Ratio

Female

92,920

51.78%

Male

86,515

48.22%

Providence Households and Families

Providence Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Providence Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married55.2%44.8%
Male39.3%60.7%
All35.1%64.9%
Non Family25.5%74.5%
Female23.2%76.8%

35.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All61,6382.6835.1
Non Family26,4171.4325.5
Married19,2143.5955.2
Female12,4033.723.2
Male3,6043.5439.3

3.49

Average Family Size

2.68

Average Household Size

7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.8%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Providence Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade11,41010.63%
9th to 12th Grade10,0869.40%
High School Graduate31,31529.18%
Some College16,64415.51%
Associates Degree5,4105.04%
Bachelors Degree17,34816.16%
Graduate Degree15,11514.08%

Providence Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
Hispanic41,81528,8924,399
White41,80637,40621,406
Other Race17,78110,4541,260
Black16,71113,8043,165
Asian6,2134,7692,929
Multiple Races3,0622,546953
Native American1,10080686
Islander16416412

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 51.20%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,645$37,769$29,961
Less Than High School$24,581$28,587$19,735
High School Grad$29,716$32,371$25,727
Some College$30,714$37,327$25,869
Bachelors Degree$40,520$43,981$35,722
Graduate Degree$66,015$73,588$61,230

$33,645

Average Earnings

$37,769

Average Male

$29,961

Average Female

Providence Language

Providence Language by Age

Providence Language

49.99% of Providence residents speak only English, while 50.01% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 37.97% of the population.

Providence Poverty

Providence Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Hispanic75,51222,68930.05%
White51,6449,48118.36%
Other31,9208,85527.74%
Black27,3256,88125.18%
Asian9,3803,14633.54%
Multiple7,0112,34533.45%
Native2,0211,07353.09%

26.01%

Overall Poverty Rate

23.03%

Male Poverty Rate

28.85%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Providence

The race most likely to be in poverty in Providence is Native, with 53.09% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Providence is White, with 18.36% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.92%. Among those working part-time, it was 27.61%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 41.90%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School36.53%
High School21.55%
Some College20.28%
Bachelors or Greater10.99%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed52.20%
Male Unemployed40.77%
Female Employed13.88%
Male Employed8.46%

Providence Income

Providence Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$42,158$68,769
Families$49,743$77,284
Married Families$73,898$109,042
Non Families$30,754$54,780

Providence Marital Status

Providence Marital Status

Marriage Rates

31.2%

Overall Marriage Rate

34.7%

Male Marriage Rate

27.9%

Female Marriage Rate

Providence Married by Age and Sex

Providence Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 45-54, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Providence Marital Status by Race

Providence Veterans

4,253

Number of Veterans

3,847

Male Veterans

406

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam1,052
First Gulf War758
Second Gulf War747
Korea544
World War II332
Name Veterans % of Total
White3,0813.88%
Black6663.17%
Hispanic5120.97%
Other1490.67%
2 or More1412.86%
Indian1227.95%
Asian941.00%

$Providence Veterans by Education

15.93%

Veteran Poverty Rate

37.76%

Veteran Disability Rate

Providence Employment Status

61.9%

Labor Force Participation

56.4%

Employment Rate

8.8%

Unemployment Rate

Providence Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

39.39%

Born in Rhode Island

70.86%

Native Born

29.14%

Foreign Born

15.85%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

70.86% of Providence residents were born in the United States, with 39.39% having been born in Rhode Island. 15.85% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020178,901-217-0.12%
2019179,118-217-0.12%
2018179,335-168-0.09%
2017179,503-217-0.12%
2016179,7203610.20%
2015179,3591420.08%
2014179,2174330.24%
2013178,784-106-0.06%
2012178,8904950.28%
2011178,3952950.17%
2010178,1004,4820.26%
2000173,61812,8900.77%
1990160,7283,9240.25%
1980156,804-22,312-1.32%
1970179,116-28,382-1.46%
1960207,498-41,176-1.79%
1950248,674-4,830-0.19%
1940253,5045230.02%
1930252,98115,3860.63%
1920237,59513,2690.58%
1910224,32648,7292.48%
1900175,59743,4512.88%
1890132,14627,2892.34%
1880104,85735,9534.29%
187068,90418,2383.12%
186050,6669,1532.01%
185041,51318,3426.00%
184023,1716,3383.25%
183016,8335,0663.65%
182011,7671,6961.57%
181010,0712,4572.84%
18007,6141,2341.78%
17906,3800.00%