The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more frequently known as Rhode Island, is a state in the New England area of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area. The state of Rhode Island is bounded by Connecticut towards the west and the state of Massachusetts towards the north and east, and it shares a water boundary with New York's Long Island towards the southwest.
When the state declared independence from British rule on May 4, 1776, the state of Rhode Island was the very first to do so, a couple of months before other states. The state was likewise the last to ratify the United States Constitution.
"The Ocean State" is the official nickname for Rhode Island, a reference to the geography of the state. There are numerous large inlets and bays within the state which amount to 14% of its entire area. The land area is about 1,045 square miles or 2706 km2, with a total area that is significantly larger. The state of Rhode Island covers an area of about 1,214 square miles or 3,140 km2 and is surrounded on the west by the state of Connecticut, on the east and north by the state of Massachusetts, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and Rhode Island Sound. It shares a narrow maritime border with New York State between Block Island and Long Island. Rhode Island's mean elevation is 200 feet or60 m. Called the Ocean State, Rhode Island has several oceanfront beaches. It is mostly flat with no real mountains, and Rhode Island's highest natural point is Jerimoth Hill, 812 feet or 247 m above sea level.
The economy of Rhode island had a colonial base in fishing and farming, each of which respectively became shipping and manufacturing upon independence. Rhode Island's 2000 total gross state product was $33 billion, placing it 45th in the country. Its per capita personal income during the year 2000 was $29,685, 16th within the nation. The state of Rhode Island has the lowest level of energy consumption per capita of whichever state.
Citizens Financial Group is the 14th largest bank in the US and has its company head office within Providence. Textron and CVS Caremark, which are Fortune 500 companies are based respectively within the cities of Providence and Woonsocket. FM Global, GTECH Corporation, American Power Conversion, Hasbro, Amica Mutual Insurance and Nortek are all Fortune 1000 companies which are based in the state of Rhode Island.
The largest industry within the state of Rhode Island is Health Services. Tourism ranks next with roughly 39,000 jobs, leading to related sales of around $3.26 billion during the year 2000. Manufacturing ranks as the third-largest industry within Rhode Island. Its industrial outputs are costume jewelry, fabricated metal products, electrical equipment, machinery, shipbuilding and boatbuilding. The agricultural outputs of the state are vegetables, nursery stock, eggs and dairy products.