1. Providence

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  2. About Providence


    Providence is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island, and one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the estimated third-largest city in the New England region. Despite having an estimated population of 175,255 as of 2006, it anchors the 35th largest metropolitan population in the country, with an estimated MSA population of 1,622,520, exceeding that of Rhode Island by about 60% due to its reaching into southern Massachusetts. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River, on Narragansett Bay, the city's small footprint is crisscrossed by seemingly erratic streets and a rapidly changing demographic using them.

    Providence was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for his finding such a haven to settle. After being one of the first cities in the country to industrialize, Providence became noted for its jewelry and silverware industry. Today, Providence city proper alone is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning, which has shifted the former's economy into service industries, though it still retains significant manufacturing work. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry", while today "The Renaissance City" is more common, though as of 2000 census, its poverty rate was still among the ten highest for cities over 100,000."