These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2018

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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Everyone from the Northeast knows that Rhode Island is pretty sweet overall – great beaches, great sea food, and just a generally good atmosphere to be in. But what are the absolute best places to live in the Ocean State?

After analyzing 59 cities and towns, we came up with this top ten:

  1. Cumberland Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Warwick (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Kingston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Hope Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Ashaway (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Cranston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Wakefield-Peacedale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Narragansett Pier (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Newport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Greenville (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Well, it looks like you should check out Cumberland Hill if you’re thinking of moving to Rhode Island — it’s the best the Ocean State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Rhode Island.

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:

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 Place 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.

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.

Cumberland Hill, RI

Overall SnackAbility


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

Cumberland Hill 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 Cumberland Hill 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 Cumberland Hill residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


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!

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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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Kingston so high on the list. Unless you live in Kingston.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 9.4%, Kingston residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Rhode Island. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Kingston is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Kingston is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Hope Valley, RI

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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 makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Rhode Island mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 4.4% of folks are jobless, you can bet Hope Valley residents are glad to live where they do.

Ashaway, RI

Overall SnackAbility


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

In Ashaway, everyone loves to call Ashaway home! The median home value is the 16th highest in Rhode Island.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 13th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Ocean State.

Cranston, RI

Overall SnackAbility


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

Cranston has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Cranston has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 7.8% and lowering. And the Cranston police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 2nd lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

Wakefield-Peacedale, RI

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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

Wakefield-Peacedale comes in at a close 7th. They have the 18th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Wakefield-Peacedale are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 4th best in the state.

Overall SnackAbility


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

Taking its place as the 8th best place in Rhode Island is Narragansett Pier. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Rhode Island.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 5.0% helps thing too.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility


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

Newport comes in 9th in our best places to live in Rhode Island analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (8th overall) and crime rate (22nd overall), Newport is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Newport in our lists for years to come.

Greenville, RI

Overall SnackAbility


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 has a strong showing in our best places to live in Rhode Island analysis, coming it at 10th best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to Rhode Island, Greenville is a great option.

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 2018.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Newport East 11,042 6.4% $297,200
12 Westerly 17,632 5.7% $280,800
13 Valley Falls 12,116 4.1% $214,600
14 East Providence 47,260 8.3% $206,700
15 Tiverton 7,486 8.5% $243,700
16 Chepachet 1,863 5.1% $238,200
17 Bradford 1,193 21.4% $219,300
18 Harrisville 1,629 1.4% $179,300
19 Pawtucket 71,389 11.6% $169,000
20 Providence 178,851 11.0% $173,800
21 Woonsocket 41,272 7.5% $156,100
22 Pascoag 4,915 8.5% $198,000
23 Central Falls 19,366 10.4% $153,900

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