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Rhode Island Local Business Directory

The smallest state in the U.S., Rhode Island covers just 1,214 square miles of territory. Nearly 14 percent of that area is covered by water, making the usable land even smaller. Despite its diminutive size, Rhode Island ranks second in population density and sixteenth in median household income. The first colony to declare its independence from England, Rhode Island was the last to ratify the U.S. Constitution after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.

Providence, Rhode Island was established as a settlement by Roger Williams after religious disagreements led to his expulsion from his previous colony. After changing hands and leadership several times, Rhode Island was annexed as part of the British Empire in the Americas. Newport and Providence were among the first areas to resist British aggression; in 1772, the British ship Gaspee was destroyed by residents of Providence in retaliation for what the settlers viewed as unfair trade regulations.

Today, health care and tourism are the two primary sources of income for Rhode Island residents. Service industries provide employment for many workers in the state, and agriculture continues to be an important factor in the state's economy. Popular tourist attractions include the Narragansett Bay waterfront and recreation area, the Roger Williams Park & Zoo and Beavertail State Park near Jamestown. The Cliff Walk near Newport offers scenic vistas of the sea and views of classic Rhode Island mansions to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for guests to the state.

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Updated Rhode Island Profiles