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:
- Cumberland Hill (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Warwick (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kingston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hope Valley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ashaway (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cranston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Wakefield-Peacedale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Narragansett Pier (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
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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’.
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.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Cumberland Hill one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.
They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Cumberland Hill.
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!
With the unemployment rate being the 19th lowest in Rhode Island and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Kingston.
Plus, the crime rate is the 7th lowest in the state!
In Hope Valley, everyone loves to call Hope Valley home! The median home value is the 8th highest in Rhode Island.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Ocean State.
Hope Valley should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.
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 Ashaway.
Ashaway ranked impressively high for its crime rate (7th overall) and its short commute times (4th).
We think that’s worth the price of admission.
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.
It’s obvious why Wakefield-Peacedale ranks 7th in the state for best places to live: they have the 18th lowest unemployment rate and the 4th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Wakefield-Peacedale a great place to live.
The Town of Narragansett Pier consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Narragansett Pier ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Narragansett Pier are the 1st most expensive in the state of Rhode Island, with the average home worth a whopping $454,000. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Narragansett Pier if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Narragansett Pier residents have the 12th highest income in the state, and the 7th lowest crime numbers in Rhode Island.
Newport is by far one of the best places to live in Rhode Island: the math proves it! This city has the 8th lowest unemployment rate and the 14th highest median income in all of Rhode Island.
Plus, the median home values are the 2nd highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 22nd lowest in the state, making Newport a safe and great place to live.
Taking its place as the 10th best place in Rhode Island is Greenville. 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 9.1% helps thing too.
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
- 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 according to the data:
- Woonsocket (Pop. 41,272)
- Pascoag (Pop. 4,915)
- Central Falls (Pop. 19,366)
For more Rhode Island reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Rhode Island For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Rhode Island
- 10 Safest Places In Rhode Island
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Rhode Island