RHODE ISLAND / WELCOME
The smallest of the United States is also one of the most panoramic and diverse regions in the nation, born out of a desire for religious freedom and tolerance. It was Roger Williams who founded Providence in 1636, after he was banished from Massachusetts for expressing his beliefs. Through the centuries, Rhode Island has matured into a land as diverse and appealing as the dynamic people who call it home. Little wonder that Money magazine consistently ranks Providence as the best city in the East in which to live.
Complete in just 1,045 square miles, Rhode Island is approximately the size of Los Angeles’ urban sprawl or metropolitan Houston. In spite of its location in the heart of the cosmopolitan East Coast, the state’s western border from Block Island Sound to the Massachusetts border preserves rural charm and beauty. The impressive capital city of Providence serves as the bustling hub of government, commerce, education, business, and culture for the entire state.
Rhode Island is only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, which creates a unique relationship between urban amenities and small-town living. At the same time, the state claims 400 miles of pristine coastline for oceanfront recreation. Rhode Island residents are never faced with difficult compromises between choices of lifestyles, environments, and conveniences. Wherever they decide to settle, they can access the complete array of premier advantages. The state maintains no county government but empowers its 39 municipalities with local jurisdiction. The result is an exceptionally high level of governmental efficiency with a strong pulse on community needs.
Three powerful industries drive the state’s diverse economy: health services, tourism, and manufacturing. This corner of New England has traditionally been a major producer of jewelry and boats but is expanding into fields like electronics and ocean technologies. The booming tourist industry is responsible for many supportive businesses and billions of dollars in related sales each year. In the services sector, information technology and finance are two of the rapidly growing industries.
On every academic level, Rhode Island provides residents with an outstanding educational environment. The cluster of private and state colleges and universities attracts students from around the world, preparing them for careers in medicine, business, culinary arts, law, visual and fine arts, economics, liberal arts and technology. Brown University is celebrated as one of the nation’s Ivy League institutions, while such specialized colleges as the Rhode Island School of Design have achieved national recognition. Opportunities for state-supported higher education include campuses and extensions for Rhode Island Community College, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island.
The presence of such premier educational facilities as Brown University Medical School ensures state-of-the-art healthcare facilities throughout Rhode Island. Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence is affiliated with the Boston University School of Medicine. Other acclaimed institutions include Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and Women & Infants Hospital of RI. Although Providence is a leading center for medical and research facilities, several outstanding hospitals are strategically located in every quadrant of the state. Pawtucket is home to Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. South County Hospital in Wakefield, Westerly Hospital, Newport Hospital, and Landmark Medical Center in North Smithfield and Woonsocket are all vital connections within the statewide healthcare network.