Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Rhode Island is the smallest in area, the eighth least populous, and the second most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states, following New Jersey. The capital of Rhode Island is Providence. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. The state also shares a short maritime border with New York, between Block Island and Long Island. Rhode Island’s official nickname is „The Ocean State“, a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14% of its total area.
Narragansett Bay is a major feature of the state’s topography. There are more than 30 islands within the bay. The largest is Aquidneck Island, shared by the municipalities of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth. The second-largest island is Conanicut; the third-largest is Prudence. Block Island lies about 12 miles (19 km) off the southern coast of the mainland and separates Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean proper.
Block island is a popular summer tourist destination and is known for its bicycling, hiking, sailing, fishing, and beaches. It also hosts two historic lighthouses: Block Island North Light on the northern tip of the island, and Block Island Southeast Light on the southeastern side. Much of the northwestern tip of the island is an undeveloped natural area and resting stop for birds along the Atlantic flyway.
Most of Rhode Island has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The far southern and coastal portions of the state are the broad transition zone into temperate climate or subtropical climates, with hot summers and cool winters with a mix of rain and snow.
The Rhode Island economy had a colonial base in fishing. Other important industries in Rhode Island’s past included toolmaking, costume jewelry, and silverware. An interesting by -product of Rhode Island’s industrial history is the number of abandoned factories, many of them now being used for condominiums, museums, offices, and low-income and elderly housing.
Today, much of the economy of Rhode Island is based in services, particularly healthcare and education, and still manufacturing to some extent. Health services are Rhode Island’s largest industry. Second is tourism.