The One Minute Geographer: All About Rhode Island

Jim Fonseca
3 min readApr 14
Newport from

Rhode Island: The smallest state in area and maybe the ‘bluest’ state? Here are a series of five short posts that I’ve organized in sequence in case you missed some.

Population density of Rhode Island (2010 data) from Wikipedia. Names of locations added by the author.

As a rule of thumb, if at least 20% or so of a state’s population resides in one metropolitan area, it is considered a primate city. What percent of Rhode Island’s population lives in metropolitan Providence? 100%. !!!???

John F. Kennedy was a Senator from very liberal Massachusetts when he ran for president. But he got the highest percentage of his vote from Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s license plates call it the ‘Ocean State.’ Here’s why.

Rhode Islanders take the Penguin Plunge into frigid water for the Special Olympics. Photo by socialkat on Flickr on

While Massachusetts chased out Catholics, Jews and Quakers, Rhode Island welcomed them. Rhode Island enacted early laws about religious freedom and prohibitions against slavery. They burned a British ship the year before the Boston Tea Party.

Jim Fonseca

Geography professor (retired) writes The One Minute Geographer featuring This Fragile Earth. Top writer in Transportation and, in past months, Travel.