Middletown, Rhode Island

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Middletown is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 17,335 at the 2000 census. It lies to the south of Portsmouth and to the north of Newport on Aquidneck Island, hence the name "Middletown."



According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.7 km²), of which 13.0 square miles (33.6 km²) is land and 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²)(13.18%) is water. Middletown is known as the "farming community" of Aquidneck Island, today about 45% of the town is farm land, 25% is wooded, and about 30% is developed of its 14.9 square miles (39 km2). Most of the developed land is located towards the southern part of the town near Newport while the rural area is towards the North near Portsmouth. Middletown also has several beaches.


Various issues including unjust taxation and a growing population caused the Newport freeholders living in the northern section of Newport to petition the general assembly for independence. As a result of the petition, the land that Middletown occupies was set apart in 1731. The town was incorporated in 1743.

During the 1980's, large sections of East Main Road and West Main Road running through Middletown began to be commercialized, and by the late 1990's, the area had become Aquidneck Island's central business district.


The town is governed by a seven-member town council, elected at-large in partisan elections. Executive authority is vested in an appointed town administrator (on the council–manager model). The town also elects a non-partisan school committee.

Middletown forms part of Rhode Island's 1st congressional district, represented by Democrat David Cicilline. At the state level, Middletown is part of one state senate and three state house districts. The 12th Rhode Island Senate district, which also includes parts of Newport, Little Compton and Tiverton, is held by Democrat Louis P. DiPalma. In the Rhode Island House of Representatives, Middletown forms part of the 72nd, 73rd and 74th districts. The 72nd, which also includes portions of Newport and Portsmouth, is represented by Republican Daniel Reilly. The 73rd, which is predominantly Newport, is held by Democrat Russell Jackson. The 74th, shared between Middletown and Jamestown, is represented by Democrat Deb Ruggiero.

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