Founder and religious exile Rogers Williams named the city area in honor of “God’s merciful providence” as a haven for his followers to settle.
Nicknames for Providence range from The Creative Capital and Renaissance City to abbreviations PVD and Prov. Monikers for Rhode Island are The Ocean State and less formally Little Rhody.
Providence represents one of the country’s biggest centers for silverware and jewelry design and manufacturing.
A major tourist attraction in Providence is its State House, the second-biggest marble dome trailing only St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
The Westminster Arcade in Providence is America’s oldest enclosed shopping center.
In the southern part of Providence has the famous roadside attraction Nibbles Woodaway, known as the “Big Blue Bug”–the world’s biggest termite.
Research website numbeo lacks sufficient data to rank Rhode Islands’ capital city on its comprehensive global quality of life rating which benchmarks 250 cities worldwide. Numbeo does evaluate Providence on several individual factors. Providence ranks relatively well for traffic commute time (fastest 29%), property price to income ratio (least expensive 34%) and pollution (cleanest 37%). On the negative side, Providence places in the bottom 21% for safety.
Guinness World Records identifies Providence, Rhode Island as where Kevin “KRob” Robinson achieved the longest back flip using a power-assisted bicycle which covered 84 feet (25.6 meters). The Providence-based record was set after Robinson’s second try after crashing on August 13, 2016 during a live TV event called “America’s Navy Presents World of X Games KRob Flips Providence.”
Providence serves as headquarters for two major corporations recognized as belonging to the Forbes Global 2000 world’s biggest companies. These large businesses are Citizens Financial Group and advanced technologies industrial conglomerate Textron.
From an international trade perspective, Rhode Island exported US$2.679 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports include precious metal scrap (13.3% of Rhode Islands’ global total), gold scrap (7.9%), ferrous scrap (7.3%), immunological products (6.8%), jewelry (6.4%), gold compounds (2.3%), silver powder (1.9%), silver jewelry (1.8%), miscellaneous imitation jewelry of base metal (1%), and chemical goods (also 1%) according to United States Census Bureau data.
The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Providence County was 12.6% in July 2020, up from 4.3% one year earlier.
Capital Facts for Providence, United States: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Lippitt House Museum, Prospect Terrace, Providence Performing Arts Cente, Rogers Williams National Memorial and The Stephen Hopkins House
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Providence, United States.
- Paul Konerko, MLB baseball all-star first baseman (born Mar. 5, 1976)
- Jason Marsden, actor, director & producer (born Jan. 3, 1975)
- Holly Metcalf, Olympic rowing gold medalist (born Mar. 25, 1958)
- Damien Chazelle, screenwriter & director (born Jan. 19, 1985)
- Claudia Jordan, model (born Apr. 12, 1973)
- Jon B, platinum-selling singer-songwriter (born Nov. 11, 1974)
- Robert Capron, actor (born Jul. 9, 1998)
- Meredith Vieira, TV show host (born Dec. 30, 1953)
- Kacey Bellamy, Olympic ice hockey silver medalist (born Apr. 22, 1987)
- Marissa Castelli, Olympic figure skating Bronze medalist (born Aug. 20, 1990)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches of published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Providence resident: Providentian
Population: 178,901 (Providence) at September 22, 2020
Density: 9,718 people per square mile (3,753 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,056,160 (Rhode Island)
Density: 1,011 people per square mile (390 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$87.415 billion in 2018 (Providence-Warwick metropolitan area)
GDP per person: $53,915
Note: The above GDP metrics are on a current basis and are in U.S. dollars.
Official currency used in Providence: U.S. dollars
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Dilemma X, U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan population estimates July 1, 2016.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Total Gross Domestic Product for Providence-Warwick, RI (MSA).
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Unemployment Rate in Providence County, RI (MSA).
Forbes Global 2000, The World’s Biggest Public Companies.
Guinness World Records, Longest power assisted bicycle backflip.
Nations Online, Capital Cities of the USA.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Official Government Website, City of Providence official website.
United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade: State by 6-Digit HS Code and Top Countries.
United States Census Bureau, State Population Totals Tables: 2010-2016.
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics: Seasonally Adjusted Metropolitan Area Estimates.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product by Metropolitan Area, 2015 (Tables Only).
Wikimedia Commons, Rhode Island flag.
Wikipedia, List of Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Wikipedia, Providence, Rhode Island.
Wikipedia, Providence metropolitan area.
Wikipedia, Rhode Island.
World Population Review, Providence, Rhode Island Population.
Providentians celebrate Independence Day as a national holiday each July 4.
Providence’s land area occupies 18.41 square miles (47.67 square kilometers). The state capital’s population was 178,901 Providentians at September 22, 2020.
At the state level, Rhode Islands’ land area covers 1,045 square miles (2,707 square kilometers) home to a population of 1.1 million people.
Providence’s population density is more concentrated averaging 9,718 residents per square mile (3,753 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Rhode Islands’ state boundaries, population density dilutes to an average 1,011 inhabitants per square mile (390 per square kilometer).