Newport County, Rhode Island

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Newport County is one of five counties located in the state of Rhode Island. As of 2000, the population of Newport County was about 85,433. It is also one of the seven regions of Rhode Island.

Like all of the counties in Rhode Island, Newport County no longer has any governmental function. 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.




According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 314 square miles (812 km²), of which 104 square miles (269 km²) is land and 210 square miles (543 km²) (66.83%) is water.

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

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Newport County was constituted on June 22, 1703, as one of the two original counties of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. As originally established, Newport County consisted of four towns: Portsmouth, Newport, Jamestown, and New Shoreham. In 1746-47, two towns, Little Compton and Tiverton, were acquired from Massachusetts. In 1856, the town of Fall River was split off from Tiverton but was ceded to Massachusetts six years later in 1862 as part of the settlement of the boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In 1963, the town of New Shoreham was transferred to Washington County. County government was abolished in Rhode Island in 1842 and today remains only for the purpose of delineating judicial administrative boundaries.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 85,433 people, 35,228 households, and 22,228 families residing in the county. The population density was 821 people per square mile (317/km²). There were 39,561 housing units at an average density of 380 per square mile (147/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.46% White, 3.73% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. 2.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.6% were of Irish, 13.2% Portuguese, 11.8% English, 9.2% Italian, 6.3% German and 5.2% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.0% spoke English, 2.3% Spanish, 2.1% Portuguese and 1.3% French as their first language.

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