"In the last 25 years this town in the middle of Aquidneck Island has undergone the most dramatic swings of population of any community in the state. Subject to decisions made in Washington, D.C., as to the concentration of Navy personnel, Middletown has had more than its share of ups and downs. Having its own Navy facilities and housing as well as housing personnel based in Newport, Middletown has seen its 1960 population of 12,675 explode to 29,900 in 1970 and then experience the greatest population loss in the 1970s of any of the nine Rhode Island communities that lost population, to 17,216, a loss of 41.2 percent as a result of the Navy pullout from Newport."
Smolski, Chester, "Middletown Needs a Better Eye to its Future" (1987). Smolski Texts. 335.