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. Providence has an unusually large stock of pre-World War II architecture, making it one of the older and more historic cities.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, Providence is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce 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 (12.29%), sales jobs (9.71%), and teaching (8.19%).

Combining city textures and college town sensibilities, Providence really has a nice blend of characteristics. While not a huge city, Providence is big enough to offer a healthy dose of diversion, opportunity, and amenity to its residents and to the thousands of college students who descend on it every fall. Its size and diversity makes Providence more than just a college town, but removing the students from the equation would undeniably change Providence’s character and quality of life.

One of the nice things about Providence is that it is nautical, which means that parts of it are somewhat historic and touch the ocean or tidal bodies of water, such as inlets and bays. Because of this, visitors and locals will often go to these areas to take in the scenery or to enjoy waterfront activities.

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.

In terms of college education, Providence is substantially better educated than the typical community in the nation, which has 21.84% of the adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree: 29.29% of adults in Providence have a college degree.

The per capita income in Providence in 2010 was $22,270, 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 $89,080 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. People of Hispanic or Latino origin are the most prevalent group in Providence, accounting for 40.23% of the city’s residents (people of Hispanic or Latino origin can be of any race). The greatest number of Providence residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. 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 30.01% of the city’s population.

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