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Rhode Island

Population: 1,048,319 (2000)

State Background
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Rhode Island Division of Fish & Wildlife
4808 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879

401-789-3094
www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild

State Background

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is the smallest state by area, and it is also the state with the longest official name.

Rhode Island covers an area of approximately 1,214 square miles and is bordered on the north and east by Massachusetts, on the west by Connecticut, and on the south by Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It shares a water border with New York, but that area was originally part of Connecticut Colony. The mean elevation of the state is 200 feet.

Located within the New England province of the Appalachian Region, Rhode Island has two distinct natural regions. Eastern Rhode Island contains the lowlands of the Narragansett Bay, while Western Rhode Island forms part of the New England Upland. Narragansett Bay is a major feature of the state's topography. Block Island lies approximately 12 miles off the southern coast of the mainland. Within the Bay, there are over 30 islands. The largest is Aquidneck Island, shared by the municipalities of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. Among the other islands in the Bay are Hope and Prudence.

Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island has the most oceanfront per capita as well as per land area of any United States state, and is home to a number of oceanfront beaches.

The landscape is mostly flat with no real mountains. Rhode Island's highest natural point is Jerimoth Hill, only 812 feet above sea level.

The climate in Rhode Island is an example of a warm summer humid continental climate with hot rainy summers and cold snowy winters.

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