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Cranston, Rhode Island

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Census Data for Cranston ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave Cranston a population of 81,258 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Cranston a population of 80,387 people.

The city of Cranston is located in Providence County. The 2010 Census gave Providence County; a population of 626,667 people. This means that Cranston had 12.83% of the county's total population, making it Providence's 2nd most populous community.

At the same time, Rhode Island had a population of 1,052,567 people, meaning that Cranston had 7.64% of the total population of Rhode Island - making it the state's 3rd most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Cranston has a total area of 29.94 square miles [77.5 km²]. Of this total, 28.34 square miles [73.4 km²] is land, with the balance (5.35%) being water (1.6 square miles [4.1 km²]).

Providence County has a land area of 409.5 square miles [1,060.6 km²]. At 28.34 square miles [73.4 km²], Cranston has 6.92% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Cranston, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.
    • Things like population, area and housing for Cranston reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Cranston might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
    • Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
    • Lat:   41° 46' 11"   (or 41.77°)
    • Lon:   -71° 29' 6"   (or -71.49°)
    • More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Cranston had 33,117 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 80,387 people, this averages 2.43 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows Cranston had a land area of 28.34 square miles [73.4 km²]. This translates to 1,106 Housing Units per square mile [427.1 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: Cranston had 32,068 Housing Units, a population of 79,269 people and a land area of 28.57 square miles [74 km²]. This gives a density of 2.47 people per Housing Unit and 1,071 Housing Units per square mile [413.7 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Cranston and you need to be careful when comparing between the censuses. More information about the nature of these the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Providence County ...

The community of Cranston is located in Providence County<4>.

The county had a population of 626,667 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 80,387 people, Cranston represented 12.83% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Cranston has a population density of 2,684 people per square mile [1,036 people/km²], Providence County averages 1,530 people per square mile [590 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Providence County.

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Cranston, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Cranston. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • Although we don't have specific information about the shape of the polygon for Cranston or how it changed has over time, there is some information that can give us some hints. For example, since the shape of the sampling area is directly related to the shape of the polygon, any change to area probably indicates a new shape for the polygon.
    • If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Cranston, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Cranston.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   41.769734°   (or 41°46'11" N)
    • Lon:   -71.485049°   (or -71°29'6" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   41.773200°   (or 41°46'23" N)
    • Lon:   -71.453289°   (or -71°27'11" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 8,727 feet to the west<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#1220069) to Cranston. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Cranston. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   41.766036°   (or 41°45'57" N)
    • Lon:   -71.482354°   (or -71°28'56" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 1,534 feet to the northwest<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Cranston. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Cranston.

Miscellaneous Information for Cranston ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Providence County or the city of Cranston:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Cranston:
    • GNIS ID for Cranston: 1220069
    • GNIS ID for Providence County: 1219781
    • GNIS ID for State of Rhode Island: 1219835
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • Cranston is located in Census Region #1 (the Northeast Region) and Division #1 (the New England Division).

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Cranston.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Communities in Rhode Island

About Providence County

About Rhode Island

Off-the-Road Links ...

The official website for Cranston:

The official website for State of Rhode Island:

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2019.
<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.
<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).
<4>If you're interested in how the shape of the state's counties, including Providence, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 98 degrees and a distance of 8,727 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 28 degrees and a distance of 1,534 feet.






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This page was last modified: 14 Sep 2021