The Rhode Island State House is also located on the border with Downtown. The name 'Smith Hill' is therefore used as a metonym for the Rhode Island state government and the Rhode Island General Assembly.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Smith Hill became a densely populated area owing to its proximity to the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers, which provided the power needed for the industrial mills.
The neighborhood is home to whites of European descent and an increasing number of minorities. As of the 1990 census, Smith Hill was 20% Hispanic, 17.2% Asian and 12.2% black. The neighborhood's unemployment and poverty rates are above average for the city, though efforts have been made to revitalize the area, although, without success.
Smith Hill Community Development Corporation, neighborhood non-profit dedicated to community building and affordable housing
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