Immigrants in Rhode Island


Rhode Island has a large community of immigrants, much of which emigrated from the Dominican Republic. More than one in eight Rhode Islanders was born in another country, while over 15 percent of residents are native-born Americans who have at least one immigrant parent. Rhode Island’s economy benefits from the active participation of immigrants in the labor force—from supporting the state’s administrative and service industries to representing a fourth of company and enterprise managers. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Rhode Island’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.

More than one in eight Rhode Island residents is an immigrant, while more than one in seven residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

In 2015, 142,324 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 13.5 percent of the state’s population.
Rhode Island was home to 67,897 women, 66,585 men, and 7,842 children who were immigrants.
The top countries of origin for immigrants were the Dominican Republic (17.8 percent of immigrants), Portugal (9.8 percent), Guatemala (9.3 percent), Cabo Verde (7.2 percent), and China (4.9 percent).
In 2016, 161,321 people in Rhode Island (15.4 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.
Over half of all immigrants in Rhode Island are naturalized U.S. citizens.

77,381 immigrants (54.4 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 32,697 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
Nearly three-quarters of immigrants (74.6 percent) reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”
Immigrants in Rhode Island are found across the educational spectrum.

More than one in five adult immigrants had a college degree or more education in 2015, while nearly 3 in 10 had less than a high school diploma.