Hispanic growth prevents RI population from shrinking

Providence, RI – Rhode Island grew ever so slightly during the last decade, but its Hispanic population exploded. That's according to new data out Wednesday from the US Census Bureau.

The Ocean State's population increased by less than a half of a percent over the past 10 years to just over 1,052,00. That's the slowest growth rate out of every state except for Michigan, which lost population.

The only thing that kept Rhode Island's population from shrinking was its growing Hispanic population. Between 2000 and 2010 the state gained nearly 40,000 people who identified themselves as Latino.

That increase also prevented the state from losing a seat in congress. The number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives is determined by population.

Washington County experienced the most population growth over the decade, increasing by nearly three percent. Newport County shrunk by almost the same amount. The fastest growing town was West Greenwich where population jumped by more than 20 percent.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.