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.
For more Rhode Island reading, check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Rhode Island
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Rhode Island
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.
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 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!
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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
- 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:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Rhode Island