RI's population grows for first time in years - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

RI's population grows for first time in years

Posted: Updated:
PROVIDENCE -

New U.S. Census data show the population of Rhode Island is up slightly for the first time in years. The state's population was dropping yearly since 2004.

The Census says the state gained about 1,200 people between July of last year and July of this year to 1,051,511 residents.

"It is probably good news that the Rhode Island population, using these annual estimates, is on the rise. We'll probably have to wait until 2020 to know if this higher estimate was real or not," said Tony Affigne,a political science professor at Providence College.

It's the Census taken every 10 years that is more accurate, and it determines the apportionment of seats in Congress.

Affigne said that is an important head count.

"We have one of the smallest congressional districts in the country. If the population shrinks a little more, we're going to lose the right to have that second seat in Congress. That's never happened since 1790. We've always had two," Affigne said.

Not all population growth is equal. When people rush into a state because jobs are plentiful, that's one thing. But that's not exactly what happening in Rhode Island, according to Justin Katz, the editor of the Ocean State Current website.

"Other statistics show that our labor force is shrinking. So, if we're gaining population and the labor force is still shrinking, what are these people doing? There are no jobs for them here. So, it could actually be a negative if the population itself is indeed growing," Katz said.

Massachusetts has been gaining residents steadily. According to the annual U.S. Census estimate, that trend for the Bay State continues with an increase of 47,521 residents between July 2012 and 2013. The state's estimated population is 6,692,824.

Powered by WorldNow

23 Kenney Drive
Cranston, R.I., 02920

Telephone: 401.455.9100
Fax: 401.455.9140
Email: news@wjar.com

Can't find something?

NBC 10 Outerwear Provided by:

NBC 10 Media Relations
Provided by:

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.