Woonsocket is a city located in Providence County, Rhode Island. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 43,224.
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 New England. Historically, the city has been called, La cit la plus franaise aux tats-Unis (The most French city in America).
CVS/pharmacy is headquartered in Woonsocket. Several notable people were born in Woonsocket:
Woonsocket is located at 42°0'6" North, 71°30'26" West (42.001731, -71.507223).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 km2 (8.0 mi2). 20.0 km2 (7.7 mi2) of it is land and 0.6 km2 (0.2 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 3.14% water.
As of the census 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.
Woonsocket was formed by the integration of several villages in Northern Rhode Island. Countless French-Canadians and other ethnic groups entered the city at the turn of the 20th century, and communities were formed around the numerous textile mills that had opened. These communities became the present-day neighborhoods of Woonsocket, among them Globe, Fairmount, Social, and Bernon.
After World War II, most of the textile industry moved south and the city was forced to diversify its economy. The suburban migration and a shopping plaza, which is located in northeast Woonsocket on the border of Massachusetts and opened in the early 1960s, took away much business from downtown and the city's independent business. Main street and its environs have yet to recover. The North End of Woonsocket has a great number of historic houses; preservation plays a significant role in this area with several individual houses as well as groups added to the National Register of Historic Places in recent years. 64 buildings are included in the South Main Street Historic District.
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.
Currently, the Mayor of Woonsocket is Susan Menard. She is the first female mayor of the city and also is the longest serving to date.