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Bristol County, Rhode Island
Map of Rhode Island highlighting Bristol County
Location in the state of Rhode Island
Map of the U.S. highlighting Rhode Island
Rhode Island's location in the U.S.
Founded 1747
Seat N/A
Largest city Bristol
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

45 sq mi (117 km²)
25 sq mi (65 km²)
20 sq mi (52 km²), 44.80%
 - (2010)
 - Density

2,051/sq mi (792/km²)
Congressional district 1st

Bristol County is a county located in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of 2010, the population was 49,875.


The county was formed by the transfer of part of Bristol County, Massachusetts, to the state of Rhode Island, and was the subject of a long-running border dispute.[1]

The original county was part of the Plymouth Colony and named after its "shire town" (county seat), what is now Bristol, Rhode Island. The new Rhode Island county was formed in 1746 with the full modern territory of Bristol, Barrington, and Warren.[2]

See Bristol County, Massachusetts for later land transfers between Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 45 square miles (116.5 km2), the smallest county in Rhode Island, of which 25 square miles (64.7 km2) is land and 20 square miles (51.8 km2) (44.80%) is water. In land area only (water area omitted), it is the third-smallest county in the United States, following Kalawao County, Hawaii and New York County, New York (Manhattan), if independent cities of Virginia are not counted as counties.

Adjacent counties[]

Bristol County in Rhode Island and Bristol County in Massachusetts are two of twenty-two counties or parishes in the United States with the same name to border each other across state lines. The others are Union Parish, Louisiana and Union County, Arkansas, Big Horn County, Montana and Big Horn County, Wyoming, Sabine County, Texas and Sabine Parish, Louisiana, Kent County, Maryland and Kent County, Delaware, Escambia County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida, Pike County, Illinois and Pike County, Missouri, Teton County, Idaho and Teton County, Wyoming, Park County, Montana and Park County, Wyoming, San Juan County, New Mexico and San Juan County, Utah, and Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana. respectively. (Note, despite the different spellings, the source of the name is the same for Vermilion County, Illinois and Vermillion County, Indiana--the Vermillion River which flows through both counties.)


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 3,211
1800 3,801 18.4%
1810 5,072 33.4%
1820 5,637 11.1%
1830 5,446 −3.4%
1840 6,476 18.9%
1850 8,514 31.5%
1860 8,907 4.6%
1870 9,421 5.8%
1880 11,394 20.9%
1890 11,428 0.3%
1900 13,144 15.0%
1910 17,602 33.9%
1920 23,113 31.3%
1930 25,089 8.5%
1940 25,548 1.8%
1950 29,079 13.8%
1960 37,146 27.7%
1970 45,937 23.7%
1980 46,942 2.2%
1990 48,859 4.1%
2000 50,648 3.7%
2010 49,875 −1.5%
Est. 2012 49,144 −3.0%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 50,648 people, 19,033 households, and 13,361 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,052 people per square mile (792/km²). There were 19,881 housing units at an average density of 805 per square mile (311/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.81% White, 0.69% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 1% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. 1.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.7% were of Portuguese, 18.6% Italian, 12.4% Irish, 10.5% English and 5.9% French ancestry according to Census 2000. 85.4% spoke English, 10.4% Portuguese and 1.3% Spanish as their first language. The United States Census Bureau reports Bristol County as one of two counties in the country with a plurality Portuguese population (the other being the contiguous Bristol County, Massachusetts).

There were 19,033 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 25.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.90% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $50,737, and the median income for a family was $63,114. Males had a median income of $41,902 versus $28,985 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,503. About 4.40% of families and 6.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.20% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Bristol County, Rhode Island showing cities, towns, and CDPs

See also[]

  • List of Registered Historic Places in Bristol County, Rhode Island


  1. ^ "The Border is Where? Part II". The Rhode Islander: A depository of opinion, information, and pictures of the Ocean State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  2. ^ History of Bristol County, Massachusetts with Biographical Sketches of many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Part 1 edited by Duane Hamilton Hurd. J.W. Lewis and Co., 1883. [1]. p. 1.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 41°42′N 71°17′W / 41.70, -71.28

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bristol County, Rhode Island. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.