Newport, Rhode Island

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A side street in Newport, Rhode Island, showing the historic buildings near the waterfront
A side street in Newport, Rhode Island, showing the historic buildings near the waterfront

Newport is a city located in Newport County, Rhode Island, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. It is the largest (and only) city on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 26,475.

The city has long been entwined with the U.S. Navy. It has been home to many warships, though none since the early 1970s. It held the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy during the Civil War, when the undergraduate officer training school was temporarily moved north from Annapolis, Maryland. It remains today the location of the U.S. Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and a major naval training center.

The Newport Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in New England, connects Newport to neighboring Conanicut Island across the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay.



Newport was founded in 1639 by William Coddington, John Clarke, and others, who left Boston on account of their sympathy with the Antinomians. A public school was established in 1640. In 1727, James Franklin (brother of Benjamin) was printing in Newport; in 1732, he published the first newspaper, the Rhode Island Gazette. In 1758, his son James founded the Mercury, a weekly paper. One of the first acts of resistance to British authority occurred in 1769 when the British sloop Liberty was destroyed and its boats dragged in Washington Square.

Newport was incorporated from 1784 to 1787 and again in 1853. It was an important port during the slave trade (particularly a key port in the Triangular trade) and has since become a favourite holiday location and well-known summer colony.

The city is the site of the last residence of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the birthplace of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the Reverend William Ellery Channing, and the mansion of General Nathanael Greene.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in St. Mary's Church in Newport on September 12, 1953.[1]

In 1900, 22,204 people lived in Newport, Rhode Island; in 1910, 27,149; in 1920, 30,255; and in 1940, 30,532.


Location of Newport, Rhode Island.
Location of Newport, Rhode Island.

Newport is located at 41° 29′ 17″ N, 71° 18′ 45″ W.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.7 km² (11.5 mi²). 20.6 km² (7.9 mi²) of it is land and 9.2 km² (3.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 30.86% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 26,475 people, 11,566 households, and 5,644 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,287.4/km² (3,336.3/mi²). There are 13,226 housing units at an average density of 643.1/km² (1,666.7/mi²).

The racial makeup of the city is 84.12% White, 7.75% African American, 0.85% Native American, 1.33% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 2.41% from other races, and 3.44% from two or more races. 5.54% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 11,566 households out of which 22.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% are married couples living together, 13.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 51.2% are non-families. 39.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.11 and the average family size is 2.86.

In the city the population is spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 14.6% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $40,669, and the median income for a family is $54,116. Males have a median income of $37,780 versus $27,492 for females. The per capita income for the city is $25,441. 14.4% of the population and 12.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.8% of those under the age of 18 and 8.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Newport is the home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where important tennis players are commemorated, as well as a number of mansions dating back to the Gilded Age, including The Breakers, Belcourt Castle, Chateau-sur-Mer, Malbone Castle and Estate, Rosecliff, Marble House and The Elms. Some of these are open for guided tours. The nearby Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum has a fine collection of trees and plants, including the largest sequoia on the East Coast.

With coastlines on the west, south and east, Newport is a maritime town. Its harbors teem with commercial fishing boats, power and sail pleasure craft. Many defenses by the New York Yacht Club of the America's Cup yachting prize took place here. Newport Country Club was one of the five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association, and the venue of the first U.S. Open, which was played in 1895.

Newport is also home to the Newport Tower, Salve Regina University, Hammersmith Farm and the Touro Synagogue, the oldest Jewish house of worship in the United States.

The city is also known for the Newport Jazz Festival.

Notable people born in Newport

Further reading

  • S. G. Arnold, History of the State of Rhode Island, (two volumes, New York, (1859-60)
  • G. W. Mason, Reminiscences of Rhode Island, (Newport, 1884)
  • E. M. Stone, Our French Allies, (Providence, 1884)

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

Flag of Rhode Island The State of Rhode Island



Blackstone Valley | Block Island | East Bay | Newport County | Providence | South County | Warwick/West Bay


Central Falls | Cranston | East Providence | Newport | Pawtucket | Providence | Warwick | Woonsocket


See List of towns in Rhode Island


Bristol | Kent | Newport | Providence | Washington

Indian Tribe Reservations

Narragansett Indian Tribe

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