Distributed August 27, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Taubman Center Census Report

Census study finds significant differences between Providence and state

Compared to statewide statistics, residents of Providence are more likely to be younger, live in rental housing, reside in single-parent families and be of mixed race, according to a study of census figures conducted by researchers at the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University. Their report also finds significant variations in median age and living conditions for whites, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence residents are more likely to be younger, rent housing, reside in single-parent families and be of mixed races, according to a study of census figures by researchers at Brown University.

The study of recently released U.S. census figures was conducted at Brown University by Darrell M. West, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy, and Jack Combs, the Center’s research director. It compared census figures for the city of Providence to the state as a whole in order to develop a profile of the capital city.

The median age of Providence residents is 28.1 years, compared to 36.7 statewide. The age gap is larger for females (median age of 29.1 in Providence versus 38.0 for Rhode Island) than males (median age of 27.0 in Providence versus 35.4 in Rhode Island). Forty-five percent of the residents of Providence are under the age of 25 years, compared to 33.9 percent for the state.

There are significant differences in median age by various groups within the city. While the average age of whites within Providence is 32.2, it is 25.2 years for African-Americans, 22.7 for Asian-Americans, and 23.1 percent for Hispanics.

Providence has a much higher percentage of individuals who rent housing than the state as a whole. While 63.4 percent of people in the capital city rent, 35.4 percent do so in the state as a whole. Within Providence, Hispanics are the most likely to rent (76.9 percent), followed by African-Americans (68.4 percent), Asian-Americans (67.3 percent), and whites (56.0 percent). The race and ethnicity gap in renting is even more pronounced when looking at the entire state. While 30.1 percent of whites in Rhode Island live in rental housing, 75.8 percent of Hispanics, 67.1 percent of African-Americans, and 52.4 percent of Asian-Americans live in rental housing.

Forty percent of Providence households consist of single-parent families, compared to 22.9 percent in Rhode Island. Within Providence, African-Americans are most likely to live in single-parent households (55.1 percent), followed by 50.0 percent for Hispanics, 37 percent for whites, and 31.9 percent for Asian-Americans. In the state as a whole, 53.1 percent of African-Americans reside in single-parent families, compared to 49 percent of Hispanics, 23.2 percent of Asian-Americans, and 22.1 percent of whites.

Six percent of people in Providence report that they are of mixed race, meaning two or more races, compared to 3 percent for Rhode Island.

Eight percent of people in Providence reside in some type of group quarters, such as a college dormitory, nursing home or group facility. The vast majority of this segment (11,213 individuals) lives in college dorms. Statewide, four percent live in group quarters. This consists of 3,576 people in correctional facilities, 9,222 in nursing homes, 20,551 in college dorms, and 870 people in military quarters.

For more information, contact Darrell M. West at (401) 863-1163. A more detailed report is available online at www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/.