10 Best Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2019


We used science and data to determine which Rhode Island cities are the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Rhode Island.

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If you've never hiked Newport's Cliff Walk, surfed Westerly's Misquamicut State Beach, or had a fresh plate of clam cakes in Narragansett, then you've not witnessed what the good people of Rhode Island already know; they have some of the best places in America to call home.

Lucky for you, HomeSnacks is handing you the ultimate Rhode Island life hack: we've created a list of the top ten best places to live in The Ocean State for 2019. You should definitely take a look below, there might be some places on this list that surprise you.

But what is not surprising is the gold star quality of life in Rhode Island; and that folks, comes with a price. If you want to live in one of Rhode Island's best places, you're going to have to find a good job. This shouldn't be too hard considering Rhode Island's unemployment rate is 3.3%. Coincidentally, Rhode Island is super safe. It's one of the least dangerous states in the country.

So, want to know where the best places in Rhode Island are to find a good job, the best neighborhood, affordable housing, and Blue Ribbon schools?

We suggest you grab an ice cold Del's Lemonade, find a quiet spot along the Black River in Valley Falls, and read on.

Notables like Taylor Swift and Conan O'Brien have been singing Little Rhody's praises for years; and rightfully so, this New England state has some of the best landscapes, amazing seafood, and friendly people.

However, there can be only one number one best place to live in Rhode Island. What's the best place to live in Rhode Island for 2019? According to the most recent Census and FBI data, the best place to live in Rhode Island would be Cumberland Hill.

To see Rhode Island's other best places to live, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2019

Cumberland Hill, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,014
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $246,300 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.3% (1st best)
More on Cumberland Hill: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 0.3% of Cumberland Hill residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 1st closest of any city in Rhode Island.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Cumberland Hill also ranked well for crime (16th) and median income ($80,625).

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 81,881
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $195,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (10th best)
More on Warwick: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Warwick is second only to Providence in state as far as population goes, but it's by far the most populated place on this list.

Located 12 miles south of downtown Providence, Warwick ranks in the top 30% for almost every category.

Also, if you ever fly into Rhode Island, Warwick will probably be your first impression, since its home to the state's main airport.

Not a bad place to start!

Review Of Warwick by HomeSnacks User

The crime is low. I always feel safe. The schools seem to be getting condensed. The Pre schools are very very good. There many beaches, ice cream shops, gift shops, antique shops and movie theatres. There are plenty of stores and markets.

My favorite place to eat is Poco Loco. It is a taco biking trail, beach, dog park, and playing fields.

Kingston, RI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,891
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $332,800 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (19th best)
More on Kingston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kingston has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Rhode Island. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Kingston is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Kingston residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Hope Valley, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,788
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $261,600 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (4th best)
More on Hope Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hope Valley is known for having a great education system and has the 21st shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Hope Valley is the 4th lowest in Rhode Island and the median income is the 6th highest in the state.

Ashaway, RI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,111
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $203,500 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (13th best)
More on Ashaway: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 13th lowest in Rhode Island and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Ashaway.

Plus, the crime rate is the 7th lowest in the state!

Cranston, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 80,882
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $212,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (12th best)
More on Cranston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Cranston might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Cranston isn't amazing, but it's far below the state average. The homes are valued at $212,200 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Rhode Island.

If Cranston can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.8% is the 12th highest in the state.

Wakefield-Peacedale, RI

Overall SnackAbility

/10

Population: 8,904
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $298,800 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (18th best)
More on Wakefield-Peacedale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Let's take a look at why Wakefield-Peacedale is a great place to call home for 2019.

There's low crime in Wakefield-Peacedale, and the residents here are gainfully employed (9.2% unemployment rate).

You can make Wakefield-Peacedale your home for only $298,800 which won't be too hard on a $66,711 household salary.

Narragansett Pier, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,708
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $454,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (5th best)
More on Narragansett Pier: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Narragansett Pier is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don't hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Narragansett Pier still holds its own in in Rhode Island.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,570
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $382,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (8th best)
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's A LOT of demand to live in Newport.

Newport ranked impressively high for its crime rate (22nd overall) and its short commute times (3rd).

We think that's worth the price of admission.

Review Of Newport by HomeSnacks User

Newport is one of my favorite places to vacation. Right on the water, its location is a wonderful combination of shops, restaurants, with the marina right there is a picturesque sight.

The people of Newport and nearby towns are very friendly and down to earth. Their relaxed attitude about life and slower pace is a nice change from the hustle and bustle of big city living.

Greenville, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,425
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $266,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (17th best)
More on Greenville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Greenville is another gem in Ocean State. The unemployment rate here is 17th lowest in the entire state at 9.1%. Other factors that make Greenville so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $266,200, and parents earn a combined $77,375 a year

There's nothing like the American dream.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Rhode Island

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Providence with a population of 178,851 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 1,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 1,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 23 cities, 0 towns, and 8 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 1,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Rhode Island

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Rhode Island across a number of criteria from one to 23, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Rhode Island".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Rhode Island? That would be Cumberland Hill.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Rhode Island.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Cumberland Hill at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Rhode Island

If you're looking at areas in Rhode Island with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Cumberland Hill made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Rhode Island for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Rhode Island

Best Small Towns To Live In Rhode Island

  1. Watch Hill (Pop. 167)
  2. Weekapaug (Pop. 402)
  3. Quonochontaug (Pop. 639)
  4. Harmony (Pop. 909)
  5. Carolina (Pop. 754)
  6. Greene (Pop. 728)
  7. Misquamicut (Pop. 416)
  8. Hopkinton (Pop. 450)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Rhode Island according to the data:

  1. Woonsocket (Pop. 41,272)
  2. Pascoag (Pop. 4,915)
  3. Central Falls (Pop. 19,366)

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Rhode Island?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Cumberland Hill 8,014 0.3% $246,300
2 Warwick 81,881 7.0% $195,700
3 Kingston 6,891 9.4% $332,800
4 Hope Valley 1,788 4.4% $261,600
5 Ashaway 1,111 7.9% $203,500
6 Cranston 80,882 7.8% $212,200
7 Wakefield-Peacedale 8,904 9.2% $298,800
8 Narragansett Pier 3,708 5.0% $454,000
9 Newport 24,570 5.9% $382,200
10 Greenville 8,425 9.1% $266,200

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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