Bristol County, Rhode Island

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Bristol County
Bristol County Courthouse in Bristol
Bristol County Courthouse in Bristol
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Bristol County
Location within the U.S. state of Rhode Island
Map of the United States highlighting Rhode Island
Rhode Island's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°42′N 71°17′W / 41.70°N 71.28°W / 41.70; -71.28Coordinates: 41°42′N 71°17′W / 41.70°N 71.28°W / 41.70; -71.28
Country United States
State Rhode Island
Founded1747
SeatBristol
Largest townBristol
Area
 • Total45 sq mi (120 km2)
 • Land24 sq mi (60 km2)
 • Water21 sq mi (50 km2)  46%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total49,875
 • Estimate 
(2019)
48,479
 • Density1,100/sq mi (430/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district1st

Bristol County is a county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,875,[1] making it the least populous county in Rhode Island. In terms of land area, it is the third-smallest county in the United States, at only 25 square miles (65 km2). The county was created in 1747 when it was separated from Bristol County, Massachusetts.[2] Bristol County is included in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn constitutes a portion of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The county was formed by the transfer of part of Bristol County, Massachusetts, to the Colony of Rhode Island in 1746, having been the subject of a long-running border dispute.[3]

The original county was part of the Plymouth Colony and named after its "shire town" (county seat), what is now Bristol, Rhode Island. The new Rhode Island county was formed in 1746 with the full modern territory of Bristol, Barrington, and Warren.[4]

See Bristol County, Massachusetts for later land transfers between Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 45 square miles (120 km2), of which 24 square miles (62 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (46%) is water.[5] It is the smallest county in Rhode Island. In land area only (water area omitted), it is the third-smallest county in the United States, following Kalawao County, Hawaii and New York County, New York (Manhattan). The highest point in the county is Mount Hope, in Bristol, which stands 217 feet (66 m) above sea level.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17903,211
18003,80118.4%
18105,07233.4%
18205,63711.1%
18305,446−3.4%
18406,47618.9%
18508,51431.5%
18608,9074.6%
18709,4215.8%
188011,39420.9%
189011,4280.3%
190013,14415.0%
191017,60233.9%
192023,11331.3%
193025,0898.5%
194025,5481.8%
195029,07913.8%
196037,14627.7%
197045,93723.7%
198046,9422.2%
199048,8594.1%
200050,6483.7%
201049,875−1.5%
2019 (est.)48,479[6]−2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790–1960[8] 1900–1990[9]
1990–2000[10] 2010–2019[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 50,648 people, 19,033 households, and 13,361 families living in the county. The population density was 2,052 people per square mile (792/km2). There were 19,881 housing units at an average density of 805 per square mile (311/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.81% White, 0.69% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Of the population 1.13% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.7% were of Portuguese, 18.6% Italian, 12.4% Irish, 10.5% English and 5.9% French ancestry. 85.4% spoke English, 10.4% Portuguese and 1.3% Spanish as their first language. The United States Census Bureau reported Bristol County as being one of two counties in the United States with a plurality of people of Portuguese ancestry[12] (the other being contiguous Bristol County, Massachusetts).

There were 19,033 households, out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. Of all households 25.10% were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.90% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $50,737, and the median income for a family was $63,114. Males had a median income of $41,902 versus $28,985 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,503. About 4.40% of families and 6.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.20% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 49,875 people, 19,150 households, and 12,750 families living in the county.[13] The population density was 2,064.0 inhabitants per square mile (796.9/km2). There were 20,850 housing units at an average density of 862.8 per square mile (333.1/km2).[14] The racial makeup of the county was 95.7% white, 1.4% Asian, 0.8% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.0% of the population.[13] The largest ancestry groups were:[15]

  • Portugal 24.8% Portuguese
  • Republic of Ireland 22.2% Irish
  • Italy 21.0% Italian
  • England 14.5% English
  • France 9.8% French
  • Germany 8.1% German
  • Canada 4.4% French Canadian
  • Poland 4.3% Polish
  • Scotland 2.9% Scottish
  • United States 2.7% American
  • Sweden 2.4% Swedish
  • Northern Ireland 2.0% Scotch-Irish
  • Greece 1.5% Greek
  • Russia 1.4% Russian

Of the 19,150 households, 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.4% were non-families, and 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.99. The median age was 42.9 years.[13]

The median income for a household in the county was $68,333 and the median income for a family was $87,781. Males had a median income of $59,725 versus $44,060 for females. The per capita income for the county was $35,588. About 3.5% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.[16]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Bristol County, Rhode Island[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2016 8,965 35.19% 14,609 57.35% 1,901 7.46%
2012 9,231 37.41% 14,974 60.68% 471 1.91%
2008 9,260 35.75% 16,162 62.39% 483 1.86%
2004 9,855 39.85% 14,448 58.42% 429 1.73%
2000 8,375 35.99% 13,424 57.68% 1,473 6.33%
1996 6,988 32.25% 12,257 56.56% 2,426 11.19%
1992 8,208 32.95% 11,414 45.82% 5,289 21.23%
1988 10,626 48.56% 11,168 51.04% 89 0.41%
1984 11,635 55.18% 9,386 44.52% 63 0.30%
1980 8,508 38.93% 9,851 45.08% 3,493 15.98%
1976 10,131 47.29% 11,228 52.41% 66 0.31%
1972 12,009 54.62% 9,928 45.16% 48 0.22%
1968 7,403 38.01% 11,561 59.36% 511 2.62%
1964 4,466 23.79% 14,306 76.21% 0 0.00%
1960 7,537 40.44% 11,099 59.56% 0 0.00%
1956 10,070 59.88% 6,748 40.12% 0 0.00%
1952 8,468 50.44% 8,313 49.51% 8 0.05%
1948 5,343 41.16% 7,562 58.25% 77 0.59%
1944 4,919 43.83% 6,287 56.02% 16 0.14%
1940 5,314 47.09% 5,967 52.88% 3 0.03%
1936 4,867 45.65% 5,327 49.96% 468 4.39%
1932 3,833 44.04% 4,775 54.87% 95 1.09%
1928 3,780 48.01% 4,080 51.82% 13 0.17%
1924 4,076 60.57% 2,500 37.15% 153 2.27%
1920 3,692 68.80% 1,569 29.24% 105 1.96%
1916 1,574 53.54% 1,292 43.95% 74 2.52%
1912 1,126 41.78% 1,077 39.96% 492 18.26%
1908 1,606 61.79% 899 34.59% 94 3.62%
1904 1,457 59.08% 963 39.05% 46 1.87%
1900 1,273 61.20% 727 34.95% 80 3.85%
1896 1,321 72.11% 424 23.14% 87 4.75%
1892 1,107 53.09% 905 43.41% 73 3.50%
1888 981 55.58% 703 39.83% 81 4.59%
1884 987 57.25% 654 37.94% 83 4.81%
1880 1,039 69.54% 443 29.65% 12 0.80%

Communities[edit]

Map of Bristol County, Rhode Island showing cities, towns, and CDPs

The following towns are located in Bristol County:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Rhode Island: Individual County Chronologies". Pennsylvania Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Border is Where? Part II". The Rhode Islander: A depository of opinion, information, and pictures of the Ocean State. blogspot.com. 2007. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
  4. ^ History of Bristol County, Massachusetts with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Part 1 edited by Duane Hamilton Hurd. J.W. Lewis and Co., 1883. p. 1.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 Brief - Ancestry" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-09-20. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  13. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  14. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  15. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  16. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-06-09.