Rhode Island Counties
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Rhode Island Counties

There are five counties in the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island has the second lowest number of counties of any US state (only Delaware has fewer, with three counties). Although Rhode Island is divided into counties, it does not have any local government at the county level.

Newport County, Rhode Island

Newport County Education, Geography, and HistoryNewport County, Rhode Island Courthouse

Newport County is one of five counties located in the state of Rhode Island. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 82,888. It is also one of the seven regions of Rhode Island. The county was created in 1703. Like all of the counties in Rhode Island, Newport County no longer has any governmental functions (other than as court administrative and sheriff corrections boundaries). All of those functions in Rhode Island are now carried out either by the state government, or by the cities and towns of Rhode Island.

Newport County is included in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Newport County Name

Renamed for Newport, Wales and was formerly named Rhode Island, after Aquidneck Island.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Newport County History

Established: June 22, 1703
Original County
Former Name: Rhode Island
Date of Name Change: June 16, 1729

Bristol County was created from Bristol, Mass., 1747. Kent County was made from Providence County in 1750. Newport County was originally created as Rhode Island County in 1703 and renamed in 1729. Providence County was formed as Providence Plantations County in 1703. Washington County was originally created as Kings County from Providence Plantations in 1729 and renamed in 1781. Block Island was transferred from Newport County to Washington County May 6, 1963. Although you will see the "South County" mentioned in many places, it does not exist as an actual county. Basically, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, Westerly and West Greenwich, make up what is known as South County, RI

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 314 square miles (812 km2), of which, 104 square miles (269 km2) of it is land and 210 square miles (543 km2) of it (66.83%) is water.

The county consists of Aquidneck Island, Conanicut Island, Prudence Island, and the eastern portion of the state on the mainland. The highest point is Pocasset Hill, 320 feet (98 m) above sea level, located in Tiverton. The lowest elevation is sea level.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Bristol County, Rhode Island - north
  • Bristol County, Massachusetts - east
  • Washington County, Rhode Island - west


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