Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Woonsocket is right on the Massachusetts border. In the 2000 census, 46.1% of the population identified itself as French or French-Canadian. It is one of the most heavily French-Canadian cities in the New England.
CVS/pharmacy is headquartered in Woonsocket. Several notable people were born in Woonsocket:
- Rocco Baldelli, professional baseball player
- Gabby Hartnett, professional baseball player and manager
- Nap Lajoie, professional baseball player
- J. Howard McGrath, politician
- Bill Summers, professional umpire
Woonsocket is located at 42°0'6" North, 71°30'26" West (42.001731, -71.507223).
Woonsocket is derived from an Native American word, widely believed to mean "thunder-mist" in reference to the largest waterfall on the Blackstone River, which lies at the center of the city. Recent scholarship puts this translation in doubt, however. The city likely was named after the impressive Woonsocket Hill in neighboring North Smithfield, whose location puts into doubt a meaning related to the river. The true meaning is unknown.
The city was home to a large textile industry before World War II. Rural Quebecois moved to the city after the Civil War to seek economic opportunity. After World War II, most of the textile industry moved south and the city was forced to diversify its economy.
Woonsocket was buried under 54 inches of snow during the Blizzard of 1978. In February and March 2004, Woonsocket had a classical Nor'easter storm. The storm's forward progress was blocked by a high pressure area and caused the storm to move very slowly. Snowfall rates of up to four inches per hour were reported as well as thunder and lightning. The National Guard was activated by the state of Rhode Island to help the city open up the roads so people could resume their normal lives.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 43,224 people, 17,750 households, and 10,774 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,164.6/km² (5,608.8/mi²). There are 18,757 housing units at an average density of 939.3/km² (2,433.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 83.14% White, 4.44% African American, 0.32% Native American, 4.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.86% from other races, and 3.14% from two or more races. 9.32% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 17,750 households out of which 31.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% are married couples living together, 16.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% are non-families. 32.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.37 and the average family size is 3.02.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,819, and the median income for a family is $38,353. Males have a median income of $31,465 versus $24,638 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,223. 19.4% of the population and 16.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.3% of those under the age of 18 and 14.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- Official website
- Detailed, illustrated personal website by Erik Eckilson
- The Call, one of the local newspapers.
- The Museum of Work & Culture does a wonderful job to present the rich history of the city and the industries that created it.
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