Providence, RI
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Living in Providence


Providence is a relatively large coastal city (i.e. on the ocean, a bay, or inlet) located in the state of Rhode Island. With a population of 179,207 people and 39 constituent neighborhoods, Providence is the largest community in Rhode Island. Much of the housing stock in Providence was built prior to World War II, making it one of the older and more historic cities in the country.

Unlike some cities, Providence isn’t mainly white- or blue-collar. Instead, the most prevalent occupations for people in Providence are a mix of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Providence is a city of service providers, professionals, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in Providence who work in office and administrative support (12.47%), sales jobs (9.80%), and food service (8.30%).

Providence is made interesting by being both a reasonably big city and having a major college student population: students here will find that the city provides a lot of amenities, culture, and opportunities for them. Providence is more than just a college town, however, though the thousands of students certainly are a major part of the character of the city, as well as a contributor to the local economy.

Providence is also nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Such areas are often places that visitors and locals go for waterfront activities or taking in the scenery.

Many people in Providence take advantage of public transportation to get around. In fact, for the size of the city, the number of people who use the bus to commute to work is quite high. This helps to fill a need among Providence citizens for affordable transportation.

The overall education level of Providence is somewhat higher than in the average US city of 21.84%: 28.61% of adults 25 and older in the city have at least a bachelor's degree.

The per capita income in Providence in 2010 was $21,924, which is low income relative to Rhode Island, and middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $87,696 for a family of four. However, Providence contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

Providence is an extremely ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Providence home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Providence residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Providence also has a sizeable Hispanic population (people of Hispanic origin can be of any race). People of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 40.36% of the city’s residents. Important ancestries of people in Providence include Irish, English, French , and German.

Foreign born people are also an important part of Providence's cultural character, accounting for 29.76% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in Providence is English. Other important languages spoken here include Spanish and Portuguese.