The area of Rhode Island was part of the original territory of the United States. An original patent was granted for the Providence Plantations in 1643, and a charter was granted for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1663. Rhode Island ratified the Constitution on May 29, 1790; it was the 13th of the original 13 states to join the Union, with generally the same boundary as the present state. However, there were changes to the boundary between Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 1862, and additional changes from a resurvey of that boundary in 1897. The official name of the state is "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
Census data for Rhode Island are available beginning with the 1790 census.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
There are five counties in Rhode Island. Counties in Rhode Island were legally abolished as governmental units but they continue to serve as geographic subdivisions of the state for Census Bureau purposes.
There are 40 county subdivisions in Rhode Island which are known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 31 towns which are functioning governmental units, each governed by a town council. The eight cities in Rhode Island are independent of MCDs and serve as county subdivisions. In addition, there is one undefined MCD which consists of water area.
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
Rhode Island has 34 places; 8 incorporated places and 26 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places in Rhode Island are all cities and can legally exist in a single county only. All MCD and place governments in Rhode Island have the same powers and function. Incorporated places are independent of county subdivisions.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
Rhode Island Civil Features
Rhode Island Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas
There are 1 Metropolitan and 0 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Rhode Island. RI Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
Rhode Island ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 77 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Rhode Island. View Rhode Island ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
Rhode Island has 5 elementary school districts, 1 secondary school district, and 30 unified school districts. View Rhode Island Public and Private Schools.
For the 111th Congress (January 2009-January 2011), Rhode Island had two congressional districts. For the 113th Congress (January 2013-January 2015), Rhode Island continues to have two congressional districts as a result of reapportionment based on the 2010 Census. View Map of Rhode Island Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
There are 38 state senate districts and 75 state house districts in Rhode Island.
American Indian Areas
Rhode Island has one federally recognized American Indian reservation.
Other Information Of General Geographic Interest
Rhode Island is the smallest in land area of the 50 states.