The Largest Cities in Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island.
Providence, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island is one of the least populated states in the U.S and the smallest in terms of land area. Located in the northeastern end of United States, Rhode Island is subdivided into 39 municipalities and ruled by town administrators. There are various cities with the largest and capital city being Providence. Other cities include Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket and East Providence.

The 5 Largest Cities in Rhode Island


Providence is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., having been founded in 1636. It was named in honor of “God’s merciful providence” by a Baptist theologian known as Roger Williams after he landed there as an exile seeker from Massachusetts Bay Colony. The city is located near the mouth of the Providence River near the Narragansett Bay. The population has, over the years, increased steadily to 178,042 making it the most populated city in Rhode Island. 


Warwick is the second largest city in Rhode Island with 82,672 people according to the 2010 census. The population density is 2,328.8 people per square miles. Located in Kent County, the city is 12 miles south of Providence city, 63 miles southwest of Boston and 171 miles northeast of New York City. 


Cranston, previously known as Pawtuxet, is the third largest city in Rhode Island with over 80,387 inhabitants according to 2010 census. It covers a total area of 29.9 square miles with land being 28.6 square miles and water covering 1.4 square miles. Cranston was in 2006 classified as one of the safest places and one of the “100 Best Places to Live” according to the Money Magazine of U.S. Founded in 1754, the city was officially incorporated as a city in March 1910 and is governed by a mayor


As the fourth largest city, Pawtucket covers a total area of 9 square miles with a population of 71,148. Industrialization and farming led to the growth of the city in the 18th century.

East Providence City

East Providence is the fifth largest city occupying an area of 16.61 square miles. The city has 47,037 dwellers. The main villages making up the city are Riverside, Rumford, and East Providence center.

Other Cities in Rhode Island

Woonsocket is the sixth largest city with 41,186 people followed by Coventry which has 35,014 inhabitants. Cumberland, with a total population of 33,507, is ranked eighth while North Providence and South Kingstown are ranked ninth and tenth with a population of 32,078 and 30,639 respectively.

Major Economic Activities in Rhode Island Cities

The major economic activities in coastal cities are centered on fishing. Industrial revolution contributed to the growth of the cities with manufacturing majoring on textiles, silverware, shipbuilding, metalwork, and toolmaking. Currently, the backbone of the economy is based on services such as education, tourism, commerce, and healthcare. The government employs a huge chunk of the population in its numerous departments across all the cities

The Largest Cities in Rhode Island

5East Providence47,037
9North Providence32,078
10South Kingstown30,639

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