70 Facts About Rhode Island

1. Rhode Island has one of the largest Catholic populations in the United States, as well as one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in the country.

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2. Rhode Island was a leader in the push for racial equality after the Civil War, desegregating portions of the state as early as 1866.

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3. Rhode Island is one of two states with no county government.

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4. Rhode Island was once the home of world-class industrialists, magnates, manufacturers, and business leaders.

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5. Rhode Island joined the Union cause and over 25,000 of its men joined the battle.

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6. Rhode Island is the smallest state in America with 1,045 square miles of land.

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7. Around the start of the 20th century, Rhode Island had a booming economy, which fed the demand for immigration.

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8. Rhode Island was heavily involved in the slave trade during the post-Revolutionary era prior to industrialization.

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9. State of Rhode Island was the last of the 13 states to ratify the United States Constitution, only doing so after being threatened with having its exports taxed as a foreign nation.

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10. The first Catholic mass in Rhode Island was said in Newport during this time.

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11. The largest tribes that lived near Rhode Island were the Wampanoags, Pequots, Narragansetts, and Nipmucks.

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12. Rhode Island was therefore more closely attuned than other colonies of British America to the economic and political issues that led to the Revolution.

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13. Rhode Island weathered both a major hurricane and a locally unpopular confrontation with England (the War of 1812).

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14. Rhode Island declined to dispatch delegates to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which drafted the United States Constitution, and then delayed ratification until 1790.

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15. Rhode Island was a leader in the American Revolutionary movement.

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16. Rhode Island was the last of the original thirteen colonies to join the Union.

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17. Rhode Island is one of six New England states in the northeastern United States and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

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18. Rhode Island had five television stations, including one public broadcasting affiliate.

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19. In 2001, Rhode Island had 48 public library systems, with a total of 72 libraries, of which 24 were branches.

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20. In 2004, Rhode Island had 361 doctors per 100,000 residents and 987 nurses per 100,000 residents in 2005.

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21. In 2004, Rhode Island had a per capita income of $34,207, 16th highest in the United States.

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22. In 2005, Rhode Island ranked 45th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia with a gross state product of $44 billion.

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23. In 1980, Rhode Island was one of only six states to favor Jimmy Carter.

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24. In 2006, Rhode Island ranked 43rd in population among the 50 states with an estimated total of 1,067,610 residents.

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25. In 2003, Rhode Island had 187 hazardous waste sites listed in the Environmental Protection Agency's database, 12 of which were on the National Priorities List in 2006.

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26. Rhode Island has a humid climate with cold winters and short summers.

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27. In 2001, there were 16,000 Jews in Rhode Island, including 14,200 in the Providence area.

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28. In 2005, Rhode Island had six daily newspapers with three Sunday editions.

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29. Rhode Island had five television stations, including one public broadcasting affiliate operated by the state's Public Telecommunications Authority.

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30. In 2003, Rhode Island had 11 community hospitals with about 2,400 beds.

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31. In 2004, a total of 55,367 people in Rhode Island were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM.

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32. Rhode Island is part of the New England regional power grid and imports most of its electric power.

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33. In 2005, Rhode Island had around 5,500 cattle and calves, valued at $5.5 million.

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34. Rhode Island is one of 28 states with a right-to-work law.

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35. Rhode Island firms received more than $417 million in defense contracts during 2004.

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36. Rhode Island was the setting for a landmark lawsuit settlement in 1999.

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37. In 2005, Rhode Island had a total of 28 public and private-use aviation-related facilities.

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38. In 2004, Rhode Island had only 39 mi of navigable inland waterways.

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39. Rhode Island has a humid climate, with cold winters and short summers.

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40. Rhode Island is bordered on the n and e by Massachusetts; on the s by the Atlantic Ocean; and on the w by Connecticut (with part of the line formed by the Pawcatuck River).

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41. Rhode Island is nicknamed the Ocean State because it has more than 400 miles of coastline.

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42. Rhode Island now has a strong arts community, a notable LGBT community, and it is again a popular tourist destination.

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43. Rhode Island is heavily involved in ship and submarine manufacturing.

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44. Rhode Island was one of a few states to not approve Prohibition.

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45. Rhode Island has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state.

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46. In 1993, the official drink of Rhode Island became Coffee Milk.

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47. Rhode Island hosted the first National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1899, and is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame.

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48. Rhode Island has no civics requirement, no civics teachers training program, and no state testing of civics, attorney Michael Rebell said.

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49. Rhode Island gas prices down 5 cents per gallon, to $2.59.

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50. Rhode Island is home to the headquarters of the governing body for youth rugby league in the United States, the American Youth Rugby League Association or AYRLA.

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51. Rhode Island has two professional sports teams, both of which are top-level minor league affiliates for teams in Boston.

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52. Rhode Island is the only state to still celebrate Victory over Japan Day.

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53. In 2014, Rhode Island received grants from the Environmental Protection Agency in the amount of $2,711,685 to clean up Brownfield sites in eight locations.

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54. In 2011, Rhode Island completed work on a marked on-road bicycle path through Pawtucket and Providence, connecting the East Bay Bike Path with the Blackstone River Bikeway, completing a 33.5 miles bicycle route through the eastern side of the state.

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55. Rhode Island has the lowest level of energy consumption per capita of any state.

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56. Rhode Island is divided into five counties but it has no county governments.

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57. Rhode Island has the highest proportion of Roman Catholic residents of any state, mainly due to large Irish, Italian, and French-Canadian immigration in the past; recently, significant Portuguese and various Hispanic communities have been established in the state.

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58. Rhode Island has a higher percentage of Americans of Portuguese ancestry, including Portuguese Americans and Cape Verdean Americans than any other state in the nation.

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59. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Providence County, in the city of Cranston.

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60. Rhode Island became the eighth state to fully recognize either same-sex marriage or civil unions.

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61. In 2011, Rhode Island became the third state in the United States to pass legislation to allow the use of medical marijuana.

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62. Rhode Island was the second to last state to make prostitution illegal.

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63. Rhode Island was the Democrats' leading state in 1988 and 2000, and second-best in 1968, 1996, and 2004.

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64. The last 16 presidential elections in Rhode Island have resulted in the Democratic Party winning the Ocean State's Electoral College votes 12 times.

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65. Rhode Island is one of a few states that do not have an official Governor's residence.

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66. Rhode Island is vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes due to its location in New England, catching the brunt of many storms blowing up the eastern seaboard.

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67. Rhode Island is nicknamed the Ocean State and has a number of oceanfront beaches.

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68. Rhode Island has comprehensive health insurance for low-income children and a large social safety net.

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69. Rhode Island was heavily involved in the Industrial Revolution, which began in America in 1787 when Thomas Somers reproduced textile machine plans which he imported from England.

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70. Rhode Island was heavily involved in the slave trade during the post-revolution era.

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