The state of Rhode Island is located in the northeast United States. Providence is the capital of Rhode Island, and the city has an area of about 20.5 square miles and a population of about 179,154, which makes it the most populated city in the state.
In 1636, Roger Williams left Massachusetts Bay Colony due to religious persecution, and eventually settled the area now known as Providence as a religious refuge. The state of Rhode Island was one of the original thirteen colonies that declared independence from Britain, and was involved in the American Revolution. After the war, Providence was the ninth largest city in the newly formed United States of America, and was officially incorporated as a city in 1832.
Providence's early economy was highly dependent of the manufacturing, especially metals, silverware, jewelry and textiles, jewelry, and textiles. Although the silverware and jewelry industries continue to exist in Providence, the economy has expanded to include health care eduction and government services. The city is also serves as the headquarters for numerous large corporations, including Textron, which is a Fortune 500 company, United Natural Foods, and Nortech, and Citizen's Bank.
The climate in Providence is categorized as humid continental, which means the city experiences warm summers and cold winters, with consistently high humidity levels throughout the year. Given its proximity to the eastern seaboard, Providence receives high levels of precipitation, but is generally warmer than other states in the New England region. .
Providence offers a variety of ethnic neighbourhoods and is described as being "littered" with restaurants and cafes. The city is has a growing gay and lesbian population, and was rated as one of the "Best Lesbian Places to Live." Similarly, Providence elected an openly gay mayor in 2010. The city also has a variety of historic sites, including the First Baptist Church in America, the Old State House and St. Peter's Basilica.