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Washington County, Rhode Island

Washington County, known locally as South County, is a county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of the 2010 census, the population was 126,979.[1] Rhode Island counties have no governmental functions other than as court administrative and sheriff corrections boundaries, which are part of the state government.[2]

Washington County, Rhode Island
West Kingston Courthouse.jpg
Former Washington County Courthouse in West Kingston
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Washington County
Location in the U.S. state of Rhode Island
Map of the United States highlighting Rhode Island
Rhode Island's location in the U.S.
Founded June 3, 1729
Seat South Kingstown
Largest town South Kingstown
Area
 • Total 563 sq mi (1,458 km2)
 • Land 329 sq mi (852 km2)
 • Water 234 sq mi (606 km2), 41%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 126,517
 • Density 386/sq mi (149/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Washington County is included in the Providence metropolitan area, which encompasses most of Rhode Island and several counties in Massachusetts.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Washington County was created as Kings County in 1729 within the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It was renamed Washington County on October 29, 1781 in honor of George Washington.

At the earliest stage of colonial settlement, the area was called "The Narragansett Country", named after the Algonquin tribe and its tributary tribe the (Eastern) Niantics, both of whom lived in the area. (The Algonquin Nipmucs may have lived in the westernmost part of the town of Hopkinton.)

Early land purchases in the Narragansett Country were effected by English settlers after the establishment of Indian trading posts at Fort Neck, today's town of Charlestown, and at "Smith's Castle", Cocumcussoc, now Wickford. A series of conflicts involving the Manisseans on Block Island gave that island to the Massachusetts Bay Colony for a number of years, before being transferred to the Rhode Island Colony under Newport County, and then finally to Washington County in 1959.

The borders of the Narragansett country were disputed for nearly 100 years among the colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The Narragansetts had pledged their fealty to King Charles, and the area was known as "The King's Province" and was placed under the authority of Rhode Island "until the King's pleasure was further known". In 1664, a royal commission under Charles II stepped in to adjudicate these conflicting claims. The commission extinguished the claims of Massachusetts, and Rhode Island was granted jurisdiction until the commission finished processing Connecticut's appeals, which were not ended until 1726. Settlements of King's Province were named to reflect the English Restoration, in honor of King Charles II. Modern towns reflecting this history include the two Kingstowns and Charlestown, as well as the villages of Kingston and West Kingston.

GeographyEdit

 
Historic Downtown Westerly, Rhode Island

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 563 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 329 square miles (850 km2) is land and 234 square miles (610 km2) (41%) is water.[3] It is the largest county in Rhode Island by total area. The county's topography ranges from flat along the shoreline to gently rolling hills farther inland. The highest point is a large area approximately 560 feet (171 m) in the Exeter neighborhood of Black Plain;[4] the lowest point is sea level along the coast. The northern boundary west of Davisville is approximately 41.60°N. The western boundary north of Westerly is approximately -71.79°W.

National protected areasEdit

DemographicsEdit

Census Pop.
1790 18,323
1800 16,135 −11.9%
1810 14,962 −7.3%
1820 15,687 4.8%
1830 15,411 −1.8%
1840 14,324 −7.1%
1850 16,430 14.7%
1860 18,715 13.9%
1870 20,097 7.4%
1880 22,495 11.9%
1890 23,649 5.1%
1900 24,154 2.1%
1910 24,942 3.3%
1920 24,932 0.0%
1930 29,334 17.7%
1940 32,493 10.8%
1950 48,542 49.4%
1960 59,054 21.7%
1970 83,586 41.5%
1980 93,317 11.6%
1990 110,006 17.9%
2000 123,546 12.3%
2010 126,979 2.8%
Est. 2016 126,288 [5] −0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2015[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 126,979 people, 49,177 households, and 32,297 families residing in the county.[10] The population density was 385.7 inhabitants per square mile (148.9/km2). There were 62,206 housing units at an average density of 188.9 per square mile (72.9/km2).[11] The racial makeup of the county was 93.8% white, 1.6% Asian, 1.2% black or African American, 0.9% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.4% of the population.[10]

The largest ancestry groups were:[12]

  • 27.8% Irish
  • 21.4% Italian
  • 19.9% English
  • 11.4% French
  • 10.8% German
  • 4.9% Portuguese
  • 4.8% Polish
  • 4.3% French Canadian
  • 3.5% Scottish
  • 2.9% Swedish
  • 2.7% American
  • 2.5% Scotch-Irish
  • 1.4% Russian

Of the 49,177 households, 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.3% were non-families, and 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 42.3 years.[10]

The median income for a household in the county was $70,285 and the median income for a family was $87,999. Males had a median income of $59,598 versus $44,851 for females. The per capita income for the county was $34,737. About 3.4% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.[13]

CommunitiesEdit

PoliticsEdit

Presidential Elections Results[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 41.0% 27,230 50.8% 33,741 8.1% 5,398
2012 40.3% 25,366 57.1% 35,888 2.6% 1,625
2008 38.7% 25,624 59.1% 39,082 2.2% 1,454
2004 42.4% 26,533 55.4% 34,679 2.3% 1,422
2000 37.8% 21,253 52.6% 29,560 9.6% 5,411
1996 32.7% 16,302 52.1% 25,958 15.2% 7,572
1992 30.6% 16,211 43.5% 23,009 25.9% 13,724
1988 48.0% 21,650 51.5% 23,210 0.5% 202
1984 57.6% 24,365 42.1% 17,793 0.4% 147
1980 41.5% 16,932 40.2% 16,429 18.3% 7,466
1976 49.6% 17,856 49.9% 17,980 0.5% 186
1972 58.5% 19,280 41.4% 13,637 0.2% 62
1968 43.4% 11,639 51.7% 13,851 5.0% 1,328
1964 29.6% 7,342 70.4% 17,434
1960 52.2% 12,651 47.8% 11,580
1956 65.7% 14,278 34.3% 7,450
1952 61.3% 13,389 38.7% 8,448 0.0% 9
1948 55.9% 9,522 43.3% 7,379 0.8% 140
1944 56.1% 8,233 43.8% 6,419 0.1% 18
1940 60.5% 9,233 39.4% 6,001 0.1% 17
1936 58.2% 8,764 39.6% 5,956 2.2% 336
1932 58.4% 7,307 40.4% 5,047 1.2% 153
1928 68.8% 7,793 30.9% 3,500 0.2% 27
1924 75.2% 8,038 22.1% 2,366 2.6% 283
1920 74.9% 6,420 23.5% 2,012 1.6% 136
1916 55.2% 2,837 43.3% 2,224 1.6% 81
1912 44.9% 2,129 35.7% 1,691 19.4% 921
1908 66.5% 3,043 27.9% 1,278 5.6% 258
1904 70.6% 3,189 26.5% 1,197 2.9% 129
1900 66.4% 2,421 26.3% 960 7.3% 268
1896 72.1% 3,040 15.5% 654 12.4% 525
1892 52.8% 2,183 36.3% 1,501 10.8% 448
1888 57.5% 2,346 36.6% 1,492 5.9% 239
1884 60.1% 2,014 34.5% 1,155 5.5% 183
1880 62.0% 2,017 37.8% 1,229 0.2% 6

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ National Associations of Counties listing for Washington County, Rhode Island
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ 41°35′09″N 71°39′16″W / 41.58583°N 71.65444°W / 41.58583; -71.65444
  5. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  11. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  12. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  13. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  14. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°23′N 71°37′W / 41.39°N 71.62°W / 41.39; -71.62