Providence metropolitan area

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Providence Metropolitan Area
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area
Providence Rhode Island skyline 2017.jpg
Map of Providence Metropolitan Area
Coordinates: 41°49′26″N 71°24′47″W / 41.824°N 71.413°W / 41.824; -71.413Coordinates: 41°49′26″N 71°24′47″W / 41.824°N 71.413°W / 41.824; -71.413
CountryUnited States
State(s) - Rhode Island
 - Massachusetts
Largest cityProvidence
Other cities - New Bedford
 - Fall River
 - Pawtucket
 • 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)

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


The Providence metropolitan area contains towns and cities from all five counties in Rhode Island and one county in Massachusetts, including:

The New Bedford metro area is not included in the Providence NECTA, but is included in the Combined NECTA[7] and MSA definitions.

Principal cities[edit]


Tracks leading to Providence Station


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operates a commuter rail connecting the metropolitan area to Boston. There are commuter rail stations in Providence, South Attleboro, and Attleboro. An extension of the commuter rail to T.F. Green airport in Warwick and Wickford Junction in North Kingstown, Rhode Island was completed in 2012. Extensions to Fall River and New Bedford have also been planned. Amtrak provides regional rail service to the Providence and Kingston train stations as well.

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. RIPTA operates 55 bus lines as well as Flex service and paratransit service.[8] 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 from Pawtucket to Middleboro, Bellingham-Medway-Norfolk-Wrentham-Franklin, and from Scituate to Bourne.

Air transport[edit]

The major airport is T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, 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 195, which runs east from Providence into Massachusetts. The auxiliary interstate 295 provides a bypass around Providence.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,624,5781.5%
data source:[2][9][10]

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.[11]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b "Providence Metropolitan Area:2000–2005 Population & Migration". Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  3. ^ "July 1, 2005 Population Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Wendell Cox. "Providence: Least Sprawling Metropolitan Area: Colorado Springs Sprawls less than Portland" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2007.
  5. ^ "May 2006 OEC Metropolitan Statistical Area definitions". Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 28, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) pages 15 and 40
  7. ^ "Current Lists of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Definitions". Archived from the original on May 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "About". RIPTA. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  9. ^ DIvision, US Census Bureau Systems Support. "Ranking Tables for Metropolitan Areas (PHC-T-3)".
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019". United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Bristol County, Massachusetts – Select a Race, Ethnic, or Ancestry Group – American FactFinder". Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2008.