Providence metropolitan area

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Providence Metropolitan Area
Providence–Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area
The skyline of Providence, Rhode Island
Map of Greater Providence–Warwick, RI–MA MSA
Country United States
State Rhode Island
Largest cityProvidence, RI
Other cities - New Bedford, MA
 - Fall River, MA
 - Warwick, RI
 - Pawtucket, RI
 - Cranston, RI
 • Total1,635.76 sq mi (4,236.6 km2)
Highest elevation
812 ft (247.5 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
 (2005 est.)
 • Total1,612,989
 • Rank38th in the U.S.
 • Density1,006.21/sq mi (380.78/km2)
 • MSA$105.561 billion (2022)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)

The Providence metropolitan area (Providence MSA) is a region extending into eight counties in two states. Its core is in the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts,[2][3] and it is the 38th largest metropolitan area in the United States.[4][5] The largest city in the Providence MSA is Providence, Rhode Island, with an estimated population of 1,622,520, exceeding that of Rhode Island by slightly over 60%. The MSA covers all of Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts, with an average population density of 2300 per mi2 (888 per km2).[6][7][8]

The region's Gross Metropolitan Product is the country's 42nd largest at $64.7 billion, just above the Gross State Product of the entire state of Hawaii.[9] Since 2006, the Providence metropolitan area has been officially included in the Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area (CSA), the sixth-largest CSA in the country, with over eight million residents.[4]


Metropolitan statistical area[edit]

The Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area (defined at the county level by the US Census Bureau) contains all five counties in Rhode Island and one county in Massachusetts, namely:

Its principal cities are:


The Providence-based NECTA (defined at the municipal level by the Office of Management and Budget) does not include the separate New Bedford NECTA, but they are unified in a Combined NECTA.[10]

The Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA NECTA includes:


Tracks leading to Providence Station


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates commuter rail in the region, with the Providence branch of the Providence/Stoughton Line connecting the metropolitan area to Boston. Existing Providence line stations in Providence, South Attleboro, and Attleboro were supplemented by an extension to T.F. Green airport in Warwick and Wickford Junction in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, completed in 2012. A new Pawtucket/Central Falls station on the Providence Line was opened to the public in January 2023.

An extension of the Stoughton branch to Fall River and New Bedford is also planned as part of the South Coast Rail project. Phase I is expected to be completed in 2024, with trains running via the current Middleborough/Lakeville Line and stops at Freetown, Fall River, and in New Bedford at both Church Street and downtown New Bedford. Full completion of Phase II of the project, via the Stoughton branch, is expected by 2030, with a new seasonal stop opening on Fall River's waterfront at Battleship Cove at that time.

Amtrak provides regional rail service over the Northeast Corridor to the Providence and Kingston train stations. Northeast Regional trains stop at both stations, while Acela service is available in Providence.

Bus transit[edit]

Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which has its hub in downtown Providence manages local bus transit for the state, serving 35 out of 39 Rhode Island communities as well as South Attleboro and Seekonk, Massachusetts. RIPTA operates 55 bus lines as well as Flex service and paratransit service.[11] Ferry services link Block Island, Prudence Island, and Hog Island to the Rhode Island mainland. Additionally, there is a seasonal ferry service between Providence and Newport from late May to mid-October. Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) provides local bus service in the Massachusetts locales of Fall River and New Bedford. The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) serves much of the Massachusetts portion of the metropolitan area, and areas eastward to the South Shore.

Air transport[edit]

T. F. Green Airport in Warwick

The major airport is T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, (though its airport code is PVD) though Logan International Airport in Boston is also used. The MBTA Providence/Stoughton Line passes through T.F. Green and connects the airport to Providence and Boston, offering additional airport flexibility in the Greater Boston Area.


Two interstates connect major population centers in the region: 95, which runs diagonally across Rhode Island and connecting with Boston and New York City, and 195, which runs east from Providence into Fall River and New Bedford. The auxiliary interstate 295 provides a bypass around Providence.

Additional highways serving the area include Route 146 (connecting Providence and Worcester), Route 138 (serving Newport), Route 24 (connecting Fall River and Newport with the Boston area), Route 4 (serving the Wickford area), Route 99 (connecting Route 146 with Woonsocket) and Route 140 (connecting Route 24 with New Bedford).


Historical population
2022 (est.)1,673,802−0.2%
data source:[5][12][13]

Significant Lusophone populations exist across the region, particularly the area from East Providence to New Bedford. The two Bristol counties (RI and MA) are the only counties in the U.S. in which Portuguese-Americans are the largest ancestry group.[14]


  1. ^ "Total Gross Domestic Product for Providence-Warwick, RI-MA (MSA)". Federal Reserve Economic Data. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. ^ "2020 Census Urban Areas of the United States and Puerto Rico" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  3. ^ "Federal Register/Vol. 75, No. 123/Monday, June 28, 2010/Notices" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Update of Statistical area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses" (PDF). pp. 52, 108, 150. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Providence Metropolitan Area:2000–2005 Population & Migration". Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  6. ^ "July 1, 2005 Population Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  7. ^ Wendell Cox. "Providence: Least Sprawling Metropolitan Area: Colorado Springs Sprawls less than Portland" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  8. ^ "May 2006 OEC Metropolitan Statistical Area definitions". Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) pages 15 and 40
  10. ^ "Current Lists of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Definitions". Archived from the original on May 8, 2012.
  11. ^ "About". RIPTA. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  12. ^ DIvision, US Census Bureau Systems Support. "Ranking Tables for Metropolitan Areas (PHC-T-3)".
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  14. ^ "Bristol County, Massachusetts – Select a Race, Ethnic, or Ancestry Group – American FactFinder". Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2008.