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Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Top: Downtown Providence skyline and the Providence River from the Point Street Bridge; Middle: Federal Hill, University Hall at Brown University, Roger Williams Park, and the First Baptist Church in America; Bottom: WaterFire at Waterplace Park, and the Rhode Island State House.
Official seal of Providence, Rhode Island
Nickname(s): The Creative Capital, Beehive of Industry, the Renaissance City, the Divine City, PVD, "Prov"
Motto: What cheer?
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Providence County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°49′25″N 71°25′20″W / 41.82361°N 71.42222°W / 41.82361; -71.42222Coordinates: 41°49′25″N 71°25′20″W / 41.82361°N 71.42222°W / 41.82361; -71.42222
Country United States
State Rhode Island
County Providence
Settled 1636
Incorporated (city) 1832
 • Type Providence City Council
 • Mayor Jorge Elorza (D)
 • City 20.6 sq mi (53 km2)
 • Land 18.5 sq mi (48 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)
Elevation 75 ft (23 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 178,042
 • Estimate (2015) 179,207
 • Rank US: 134th
 • Density 9,676.2/sq mi (3,736.0/km2)
 • Urban 1,190,956 (US: 39th)
 • Metro 1,604,291 (US: 38th)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
ZIP code 02901–02912, 02918, 02919, 02940
Area code 401
FIPS code 44-59000
GNIS feature ID 1219851
Website www.providenceri.com
Crime rates* (2013)
Violent crimes
Homicide 12
Robbery 365
Aggravated assault 641
Total violent crime 1,115
Property crimes
Burglary 1,828
Larceny-theft 5,184
Motor vehicle theft 962
Arson 22
Total property crime 7,974

*Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.

2013 population: 178,887

Source: 2013 FBI UCR Data

Providence is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Rhode Island, founded in 1636, and one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is located in Providence County and is the third most populous city in New England, after Boston and Worcester. Providence has a city population of 179,154; it is also part of the Providence metropolitan area which extends into southern Massachusetts. The Providence metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,604,291, which exceeds that of Rhode Island as a whole by about 60%. This can be considered, in turn, to be part of the Greater Boston commuting area, which contains 7.6 million people.

Providence was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence", which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River, at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Providence was one of the first cities in the country to industrialize and became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, the city of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning which have shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing activity. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry"; it began rebranding itself as the "Creative Capital" in 2009 to emphasize its educational resources and arts community.