A brief history of the state of Rhode Island may provide you with an idea of its population and major cities. Some of the most famous residents include author Cormac MacCarthy, actor James Woods, and television personality Meredith Vieira. Also, the state is home to the oldest school in the United States, and the Crescent Park Carousel. In addition, if you love folk art, you can visit the Crescent Park Carousel in East Providence.
In 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the state's population at 1,076,189, a decrease of three percent from the previous year, but a gain of nearly 27 percent from the year 2000. The state's population is composed of people from six ancestries, primarily Italian, Irish, and French-Canadian. Irish-Americans make up a substantial portion of the population, particularly in Newport and Kent counties. Portuguese-Americans represent a minority, but still have a significant presence in Washington County.
Two major rivers feed the state. The Pawtuxet River flows into Little Narragansett Bay, and the Blackstone River is one of the most polluted in the country. The Sakonnet River is an estuary located east of Aquidneck Island. The Scituate Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in the state. It is fed by precipitation and is the primary drinking water supply for Providence.
While Rhode Island is not an island, it does have a unique landscape. Its coastal area is dominated by the Atlantic Ocean and the Narragansett Bay, and its northern portion is characterized by rolling hills. A ski area is situated only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Its terrain is mostly hilly, although there are some flat areas of arable land in the southeast quadrant. The eastern third of the state is a lowland region with sand beaches and salt marshes that form the drainage basin for many of the state's rivers.