Where are the best places in the state of Rhode Island?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Ocean State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Rhode Island.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 23 places in Rhode Island, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Cumberland Hill
- Hope Valley
- Narragansett Pier
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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 1,100
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 1,100
- 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 1,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
1. Cumberland Hill
Population: 8,014Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $246,300 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.3% (1st best)
Perhaps what makes Cumberland Hill so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the higest rate of educationat attainment for adults.
However, quality education isn’t all that makes Cumberland Hill great. They also have the 3rd highest median income and the 18th shorest commute time.
Population: 81,881Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 6)
Home Values: $195,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (10th best)
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!
Population: 6,891Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $332,800 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (19th best)
Kingston ranks as the 3rd best place in Rhode Island for 2018. Let’s take a look at why.
Kingston has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Kingston’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $76,250 a year.
The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂
4. Hope Valley
Population: 1,788Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $261,600 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (4th best)
The tiny town of Hope Valley may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.
The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many Rhode Island residents know, Hope Valley is a great central spot for making the most of life.
Population: 1,111Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $203,500 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (13th best)
It’s obvious why Ashaway ranks 5th in the state for best places to live: they have the 13th lowest unemployment rate and the 16th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Ashaway a great place to live.
Population: 80,882Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $212,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (12th best)
In Cranston, everyone loves to call Cranston home! The median home value is the 14th highest in Rhode Island.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 12th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Ocean State.
Cranston should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
Population: 8,904 Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $298,800 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (18th best)
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Rhode Island, Wakefield-Peacedale came in 7th. Let’s see why.
It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.
Plus, Wakefield-Peacedale has an impressive history for a place of just over 8,904 people. The median home costs a cool $298,800 and households make $66,711 which is good for 8th in Rhode Island.
8. Narragansett Pier
Population: 3,708Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $454,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (5th best)
Taking a similar route to the top ten as many others on this list, Narragansett Pier ranked highly for adjusted median income (12th), crime (7th), and unemployment (5th).
With a population of 3,708 it was one of the smaller in the top ten and its government website actually goes to pains to say that it’s a “community though not a city”.
But don’t listen to what they say people of Narragansett Pier, you can be anything you want.
Population: 24,570Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Home Values: $382,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (8th best)
Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Newport. Statistically the 22nd safest place in the state, there were only 62 violent crimes in the entire city last year.
It’s really beautiful in Newport, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $59,794 a year, and homes are valued at more than $382,200.
What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the the good things in life?
Population: 8,425Rank Last Year: N/A
Home Values: $266,200 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (17th best)
Let’s take a look at why Greenville is a great place to call home for 2018.
There’s low crime in Greenville, and the residents here are gainfully employed (9.1% unemployment rate).
You can make Greenville your home for only $266,200 which won’t be too hard on a $77,375 household salary.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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
- Watch Hill (Pop. 167)
- Weekapaug (Pop. 402)
- Quonochontaug (Pop. 639)
- Harmony (Pop. 909)
- Carolina (Pop. 754)
- Greene (Pop. 728)
- Misquamicut (Pop. 416)
- Hopkinton (Pop. 450)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Rhode Island:
- Central Falls (Pop. 19,366)
- Pascoag (Pop. 4,915)
- Woonsocket (Pop. 41,272)
For more Rhode Island reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Rhode Island
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Rhode Island