The United States is famed for having everything bigger and better. The largest cities, the largest buildings, the largest mountains and the list goes on. So, it is interesting to look at the smaller states in the country and review some of the things that they have to offer.

The smallest state in the country is Rhode Island which has an area of just 1,045 square miles. It is located in the far north–east of the country and is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It has a population of only just over a million people but due to the small area it makes it the 8th most densely populated state in the country. The capital of Rhode Island is Providence which has a population of 178,000 residents.

Fishing fleet at Galilee

People first moved to the Island to gain employment in the cotton mills that were being established in the region during the industrial revolution. Many have closed but there are still some that remain today. There are still people employed in the fishing industry in the Port of Galilee and the beaches in this area are a popular destination for the state’s growing numbers of tourists.

Many people are employed in service industries, with the health services being the state’s largest employer. There are still a number of small manufacturing industries operating in the region, with agricultural produce making a healthy contribution to the local economy. The state’s western neighbors Connecticut are the country’s third smallest state with an area of 4,845 square miles. It has population of 3.5 million people which makes it the 4th most densely populated state in the United States.

Connecticut is the most southern part of the New England region and many of its most southern area are grouped with parts of New York and New Jersey as the Tri-State area. This also known as the New York Metropolitan area and is the most populated metropolitan area in the country with 23.7 million residents.

It is this southern part of Connecticut where the largest groups of population are settled. The largest city is Bridgeport with a population of 151,000. It is located at the mouth of the Pequonnock River as it enters the Atlantic Ocean. It was famed for being home to the Whaling industry and ship building.

Bridgeport docks

The building of the railway to New York resulted in the rapid growth of industries at the port during the industrial revolution. It has always been a manufacturing city although it has been in decline from the latter half of the 20th century.

The capital of Connecticut is Hartford which is known as the “Insurance Capital of the World”. It has a population of 124,000 residents and is one of the oldest towns in the country having been established in 1635. The city is located at the mouth of the River Connecticut, and it was founded when Dutch traders created a settlement from where they could travel up the river to do business. The Dutch were then outnumbered by the English and new businesses were created in the local area.

The economy flourished during the industrial revolution and achieved particular success in manufacturing guns at the Colt armory. Through the Connecticut Valley other industries were attracted for sewing machines, typewriters and bicycles.

Many of the traditional industries have closed and have been replaced by the insurance companies with many locating their headquarters in the city. The high earning, well qualified workers travel long distances to work in the city. The downside is that many of the resident population can only find the poorly paid jobs. One of the fastest growing cities in the state is Stamford which is located on the Long Island Sound. It has a population of 128,000 and is unusual as it has managed to attract a number of corporate headquarters into the city.

This group of Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies were attracted into the city as a result of the lower tax rates and the great living conditions that the area offered to its executive employees. The city has some of the best schools in the country and the lowest crime rate.

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