State Resources

Rhode Island Business Resources

In the early years of its history, much of Rhode Islandís economic activities revolved around the manufacture of textiles, jewelry and silverware. The nationís first successful water-powered textile mill is located in the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, which is commonly referred to as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America.

The past few decades have seen a shift in the stateís economy from manufacturing to services. Jobs in finance, insurance, and real estate have grown steadily, while the manufacturing sector has lost over 30% of its workforce over the past ten years. Despite the decline, manufacturing is still one of Rhode Islandís top three industries along with health services and tourism. Tourists to the state are attracted to the many beaches, recreational activities and historic sites. They contribute $1.4 billion dollars to the state economy every year.

Business Data

Per Capita Real GDP$36,292 Rank: 22/50 (2006)
Population1,048,320 Rank: 43/50 (2000)
Per Capita Personal Income$37,388 Rank: 15/50 (2006)
Unemployment Rate5.70% Rank: 45/50 (2008)
Business Tax Climate IndexRank: 50/50 (2008)
Corporate Tax Rate9%
Individual Tax Rate 3.75% - 9.9%
Sales Tax Rate 7%

Business Tax Climate Index

Individual Income Tax Index Rank47
Sales Tax Index Rank33
Unemployment Insurance Tax Index Rank50
Property Tax Index Rank48
Business Tax Climate Index50
Corporate Tax Index Rank34

State Information

Nick NameOcean State
State Web Site

Top 5 Export Partner Countries

Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China

Top 5 Export Merchandise

Chemicals Sales Computers and Electronic Products Sales Computers and Electronic Products Manufacturing Machinery Manufacturing Primary Metals Manufacturing

Major Cities

Cranston, Providence, Warwick


Total Gross Domestic Product (USD Millions) $46,900.00 (2007)
Per Capita Real GDP (USD)$36,543.00 Rank: 23 (2007)

Population Stats

Population 1,050,788 Rank: 43 (2008)

Age Distribution

Under 18 Population247,822
Under 18 Percent of Total Population24%
65 and older Population152,402
65 and older Percent of Total Population15%

Gender Distribution

Male Population48%
Female Population52%
Non-English Speaker (at home)157,898
Net International Immigration18,965
Birth Rate11.8%
Percent of People Under Poverty Level12.3%


Per Capita State Spending$7,299
Energy Expenditures per Person$3,283
Expenditures of State and Local Government Employee-Retirement Systems$727,899


Personal Income$40,919
State Internal Revenue Collection$11,966,818
Cash and Deposits by State Government$65,703
Per Capita State Tax Collection$2,576


High School Graduation Rate72.9%
Percent of Population with a Bachelor's Degree17.9%
Percent of Population with an Advanced Degree11.5%

Largest Universities

Johnson & Wales University Rhode Island College University of Rhode Island
High School Graduation Rate72.9%


Public Road Length (Mile)6,528
Gas Tax Rate (%)30%
Highway Planning and Construction (USD Thousands)162,932
Number of Public Airports8

Main Airports

PVD: Providence


Newport Providence



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State Business Links

The Providence Journal

Secretary of State

Rhode Island Secretary of State
Provides state government news and announcements, searchable listings for other state agencies and programs, and organized collections of resources for businesses

Small Business Administration

Rhode Island Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved in the years since it was established in 1953, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

Top 10 Business Links

John H. Chafee Center for International Business
The center is located in Bryant University, and houses both the Rhode Island World Trade and Export Assistance Centers. It provides consulting services, as well as worker training, for companies who wish to venture into international markets. It also maintains an International Trade Data Network, a library of webcasts, and facilities for video-conferencing.
Providence Business News (PBN)
Providence Business News is a weekly publication that provides up to date news articles, about happenings in both the local and international business world.
Rhode Island Business Plan Competition
Rhode Island Business Plan is an annual competition that aims to encourage entrepreneurship in the state. It is primarily targeted at newer companies who are required to submit innovative business plans with growth opportunities. This annual competition aims to create employment openings for the state.
RI Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
RI SBDC is run by Johnson and Wales University, and works to helps small businesses establish themselves. It provides consulting services in areas that include international training, high-tech manufacturing, and family-owned businesses. The center also conducts training workshops and online courses that focus on topics, such as marketing and finance.