Rhode Island launches online tool to compare census records

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s secretary of state has announced the launch of a free online resource to explore and compare centuries of data from state and federal census records in Rhode Island.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said the “ Count Me In!” data was launched to supplement an exhibit about the history of the census at the Rhode Island State Archives. The exhibit runs through March at the archives on Westminster Street in downtown Providence.

The online tool provides customizable, real-time visualizations of census data from 1708 through 2010 for every Rhode Island municipality, Gorbea said.

She said it’s a way to see how communities have grown and changed over time, and a reminder that the upcoming 2020 Census will shape the state’s future.

The 2020 Census will help determine how many congressional seats each state gets, and the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending.

A gallery reception for the exhibit is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday. It’s free and open to the public.