Central Falls, Rhode Island

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Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 18,928 at the 2000 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles (3.3 km2), it is the smallest[3] and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the thirty-second most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. Central Falls takes its name from a waterfall on the nearby Blackstone River. In May 2010, Central Falls went into receivership[4] and is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. As it is immediately north of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, one of the options under discussion is municipal merger.



Central Falls is located at 41°53′24″N 71°23′33″W / 41.89°N 71.3925°W / 41.89; -71.3925 (41.889863, -71.392606)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.3 km²), of which, 1.2 square miles (3.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (6.20%) is water.


Central Falls was the home of Elizabeth Buffum Chace, an abolitionist and conductor in the Underground Railroad. Chace was also the first woman in Rhode Island to be commemorated with a statue in the Rhode Island State House.[5]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 18,928 people, 6,696 households, and 4,359 families residing in the city. The population density was 15,652.0 people per square mile (6,039.8/km²). There were 7,270 housing units at an average density of 6,011.7/sq mi (2,319.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.16% White, 5.82% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 28.35% from other races, and 7.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47.77% of the population.

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