Discover the Largest Cities in Rhode Island (By Population, Total Area, and Economic Impact)

Written by Justin Sexton
Updated: October 25, 2023
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Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on Narragansett Bay and town of Jamestown aerial view in summer, Jamestown on Conanicut Island, Rhode Island RI, USA.

Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on Narragansett Bay and the town of Jamestown aerial view in summer, Jamestown on Conanicut Island, Rhode Island RI, USA.

©Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.com

Rhode Island is a recognizable state thanks to the comedy cartoon show Family Guy as the show takes place in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. The fictional city however is based on various aspects of Rhode Island. Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States and one of the original thirteen colonies. It has a rich colonial history that’s worth the drive up the Atlantic coast.

Rhode Island has plenty of popular beaches. The state of Rhode Island has nearly 400 miles of coastline. Some famous beaches in Rhode Island are Narragansett Beach, Scarborough North State Beach, and East Beach. The mild summer climate also makes it a perfect place to visit.

Aside from the beaches, people visit Rhode Island for their unique winding trails, small farms, and easily walkable cities. The state is known for being a welcoming, diverse, and progressive area with many family-friendly events. Rhode Island is called The Ocean State for its coastal towns and their seafood. The Ocean State is also home to the Ivy-league Brown University. Founded in 1764, it’s one of the oldest colleges in the United States and one of nine colleges founded before the American Revolution. Today, Brown University is a driving factor in the state’s culture and economy.

This article will cover the largest cities in Rhode Island through different parameters. Some of those parameters are its population size, total land area, and economic impact.

Largest Cities In Rhode Island By Population

RankCityPopulation
1Providence189,563
2Warwick83,016
3Cranston82,421
4Pawtucket75,006
5East Providence46,691
6Woonsocket42,942
7Cumberland36,382
8Coventry35,898
9North Providence33,871
10South Kingston32,056
A summary of the largest cities in Rhode Island by population.

Providence is the largest city in Rhode Island with a population of 189,563. The city of Providence is in the northeastern part of Rhode Island at the tip of Narragansett Bay. Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design are in Providence.

Providence, Rhode Island Skyline

Providence, Rhode Island was one of the first cities established in the United States.

©SeanPavonePhoto/iStock via Getty Images

Warwick is the second largest city in this list with a population of 83,016. The city is in Kent County off Interstate 95. It’s home to the Warwick Veterans Memorial High School which has notable MLB alumni such as Bill Almon and Roco Baldelli.

Cranston is the third largest city in this list with a population of 82,421. It’s home to two of the premier shopping centers in the state.

Pawtucket is fourth on the list. Pawtucket is a historical city in the early industrial days of the United States. The Slater Mill Historical Site was once a major cotton factory that spun cotton yarn for years. It now has over three hundred different industries in the city with the three biggest being jewelry, metal, and textiles.

East Providence is fifth and has a population of 46,691. It’s a residential city that didn’t gain its city name until 1958. Although it’s mostly a residential town, it is another industrial city in The Ocean State. The industries they specialize in are jewelry and textiles.

Largest Cities In Rhode Island By Income

RankCityMedian Income
1Barrington$190,749
2East Greenwich$186,605
3Little Compton$180,571
4Jamestown$167,635
5West Greenwich$130,914
6Portsmouth$129,711
7North Kingston$128,077
8Scituate$120,803
9South Kingston$119,020
10Richmond$118,386
A summary of the Rhode Island cities with the largest income. These metrics came from ACS data in 2021.

Barrington is the largest city in income. It’s a suburban residential town in Bristol County and seven miles southeast of Providence. Their real estate is fantastic as it has many suburban homes in a historical region. Barrington was once home to the Mayflower. The city of Barrington has several historical monuments relating to the First World War and the city’s early agricultural days.

Barrington has a slightly lower unemployment rate than the United States. The growing job industries in Barrington have been technology and science, educational services, and healthcare.

East Greenwich is second on this list. The city is just south of Providence and has a median income of $186,605. East Greenwich also has a lower unemployment rate than the United States with similar growing industries as Barrington. Technology is a growing sector there along with educational services and healthcare. But, the financial sector is a popular job sector in East Greenwich.

Little Compton is third on this list with a median income of $180,571. It is a coastal town in Newport County, Rhode Island. It’s bounded on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. Little Compton has a higher unemployment rate average than the United States with a two percent difference. The city has plenty of construction jobs along with opportunities in education and science-related occupations.

Jamestown is fourth with a median income of $167,635. It’s a town that almost covers the entirety of Conanicut Island, the second-largest island in Narragansett Bay. It has a lower unemployment rate than the United States with a two percent difference. The job sectors are fairly even in regard to employment and popularity. Yet, the technological and scientific sectors greatly stand out the most in their job market.

Largest Cities In Rhode Island By Land Size

RankCityLand Area per sq mi
1Warwick35.04
2Cranston28.34
3Providence18.40
4Westerly15.82
5East Providence13.24
6Pawtucket8.68
7Woonsocket7.74
8Newport7.67
9Greene6.07
10Newport EAst5.74
A summary of the top ten largest cities by square miles.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States so most of the top ten cities are fairly small. The largest city square mile-wise is about five times larger than the city of Woonsocket and seven times larger than the city of Newport East. Providence, which also has the state’s largest population, is three times the size of Newport East and Greene.

Observations

It’s interesting that the cities with the highest median incomes are almost entirely different than the other two lists. South Kingston is on the highest income and highest population lists at ninth and tenth respectively. The combination of South and North Kingston is 1.56 square miles. North Kingston is seventh on the highest income list.

East Providence

East Providence is fifth on the list of the largest cities list by land area and fifth by the population list. The area is an industrial town known for its textiles, metals, and jewelry industries. It also has a booming healthcare job sector. The nation’s first psychiatric facility exclusively for children, Bradley Hospital, was founded in 1931. It’s a teaching hospital for the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Cranston

Cranston, Rhode Island is second on the largest cities list in land area and third on the list in population size. It’s home to two of the state’s finest shopping and dining centers- Garden City Center and Chapel View. It’s one of the best places to live in Rhode Island as a offers residents a suburban feel and a peaceful aura in the area. Cranston was called one of the “100 Best Places To Live” in the United States by Money in 2006. In 2014, Cranston was ranked 36th on the “America’s 50 Best Cities To Live” in a survey by 247wallist.com. Cranston is home to the first auto race track in the country with Narragansett Park.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jim Schubert/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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