It’s official: Rhode Island really is a city-stateFebruary 8th, 2011 at 7:00 am by Ted Nesi under General Talk
That’s what Harvard scholar Samuel Arbesman found when he created this map. It shows the 14 states with more than half their total populations living in one Census-defined metropolitan statistical area:
Turns out Rhode Island is the only state with its entire population in one metropolitan statistical area. New Jersey is a distant second, with only 73% of its population in an MSA, and Massachusetts is No. 9 with 63%. (Every resident of Washington, D.C., is in one MSA, too – but D.C. isn’t a state, so there.)
If you want more technical details on how Arbesman crunched the numbers to make the map, head over to his blog. Here’s how he described what he found:
[T]here’s not much of a pattern to this. For example, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all grew out of single large population centers that were colonized early on, and this might appear to be a reason for being a city-state. However, Georgia does not have a similar history and is a city-state. On the other hand, Utah was also primarily colonized in a single city, yet is not a city-state.
More generally, these city-states don’t fit a single category in my mind: they are on both coasts as well as being landlocked, and encompass the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii.