When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.
But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Rhode Island.
But where exactly in Rhode Island? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.
To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Rhode Island that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.
What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Pawtucket don’t mind us spreading the word.
Here are our top ten places in the Ocean State to retire for 2018:
- Pawtucket (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Woonsocket (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- East Providence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Providence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tiverton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Westerly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Cranston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Warwick (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Central Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Newport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Ocean State
To create our list of the best places in Rhode Island to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Ocean State — 34 cities and towns.
We then narrowed it down to places with at least 7,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 10 places from across the state.
For these 10, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:
- Low cost of living as measured by rent
- Low crime
- Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
- Nice weather
- Distance to the closest international airport
- Other retirees (High median age)
We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 10, with the lowest number being the best.
Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Pawtucket, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.
Population: 71,389Median Rent: $858
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
Crime Per 100k: 427
More on Pawtucket: Homes For Sale | Data
The Pawtucket region was said to have been one of the most populous places in New England prior to the arrival of European settlers. Native Americans would gather here to take advantage of the salmon and smaller fish which gathered at the falls. The first European settler here was Joseph Jenckes, who came to the region from Lynn, Massachusetts. He purchased about 60 acres near Pawtucket Falls in 1671. He established a sawmill and forge. These, along with the entire town, were later destroyed during King Philip’s War.
Other settlers followed Jencks, and by 1775 the area was home to manufacturers of muskets, linseed oil, potash, and ship building. Also around this time Oziel Wilkinson and his family set up an iron forge making anchors, nails, screws, farm implements, and even canons.
Population: 41,272Median Rent: $827
Distance to Closest Airport: 35 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,868
More on Woonsocket: Homes For Sale | Data
Before the arrival of European settlers in northern Rhode Island during the 17th century, today’s Woonsocket region was inhabited by three Native American tribes?the Nipmucs (Cowesett), Wampanoags, and Narragansetts. In 1661, the English theologian Roger Williams purchased the area from the “Coweset and Nipmucks”, and in a letter referred to modern day Woonsocket as “Niswosakit”.
3. East Providence
Population: 47,260Median Rent: $910
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,309
More on East Providence: Homes For Sale | Data
In 1641, the Plymouth Colony purchased from the Indians a large tract of land which today includes the northern half of East Providence (from Watchemoket to Rumford), Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Seekonk, Massachusetts, and part of Pawtucket. Four years later, John Brown of Plymouth bought a considerably smaller piece of land from the Indians, which today comprises the southern part of East Providence (Riverside), Barrington, and a small part of Swansea. Finally, in 1661, Plymouth completed the “North Purchase” from which Attleboro, North Attleboro, and Cumberland were later formed. Over the whole the authorities gave the name ‘Rehoboth’. The center of this large settlement, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Old Rehoboth’, is within the borders of modern East Providence. In 1812, the western half of Old Rehoboth was set off as a separate township called Seekonk, Massachusetts. Old Rehoboth’s town center now became the heart of Old Seekonk. Finally, in 1862, the western part of Old Seekonk was ceded to Rhode Island and incorporated as East Providence.
Population: 178,851Median Rent: $917
Distance to Closest Airport: 42 miles
Crime Per 100k: 576
More on Providence: Homes For Sale | Data
The area that is now Providence was first settled in June 1636 by Roger Williams and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies of the United States. Williams and his company felt compelled to withdraw from Massachusetts Bay Colony. Providence quickly became a refuge for persecuted religious dissenters, as Williams himself had been exiled from Massachusetts.
Providence residents were among the first Patriots to spill blood in the leadup to the American Revolution during the Gaspée Affair of 1772. Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown on May 4, 1776. It was also the last of the thirteen colonies to ratify the United States Constitution on May 29, 1790, once assurances were made that a Bill of Rights would become part of the Constitution.
Population: 7,486Median Rent: $936
Distance to Closest Airport: 50 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,032
More on Tiverton: Homes For Sale | Data
Tiverton was incorporated by English colonists in 1694 as part of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In 1746, in the final settlement of a long colonial boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Tiverton was annexed to Rhode Island by Royal Decree (together with its fellow towns along the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, Barrington, Bristol and Little Compton, and the town of Cumberland, to the north of Providence). Tiverton was incorporated as a town of Rhode Island in 1747. Until that year, Tiverton also controlled the area of East Freetown, Massachusetts, as an outpost. The boundary settlement of 1746 had put East Freetown in Massachusetts, and in 1747 it was purchased by Freetown.
Population: 17,632Median Rent: $1,066
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,438
More on Westerly: Homes For Sale | Data
Westerly’s primary industries today are textiles and tourism, but the town was historically famous for its granite, quarried in at least two locations in Westerly: in Bradford and in Potter Hill.
Population: 80,882Median Rent: $988
Distance to Closest Airport: 47 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,018
More on Cranston: Homes For Sale | Data
Much of the land was purchased by Roger Williams from the Narragansett Indians in 1638 as part of the Pawtuxet Purchase, and the first settler in the area was William Arnold, who was followed shortly by William Harris, William Carpenter and Zachariah Rhodes. Stephen Arnold, a brother-in-law of Rhodes and William Arnold, built a gristmill on the Pawtuxet falls and laid out the “Arnold Road” (modern-day “Broad Street”) connecting it to the Pequot Trail leading to Connecticut. Arnold’s son, Benedict Arnold, became the first Governor of Rhode Island under the charter of 1663. After area residents were unable to agree upon a name for a new town for decades, the Town of Cranston was eventually created by the General Assembly in 1754 from a portion of Providence north of the Pawtuxet River. Historians debate whether the town was named after Governor Samuel Cranston, the longest-serving Rhode Island governor or his grandson, Thomas Cranston, who was serving as Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives at the time that the town was created. In the early 1770s town meetings were held at the taverns of Caleb Arnold and Nehemiah Knight where Cranstonians voted in favor of a resolution opposing the British Parliament’s Coercive Acts, and the town heavily supported the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War. After losing much of its territory to neighboring towns and the city of Providence over the nineteenth century, Cranston itself became a city on 10 March 1910.
Cranston is located at 41°46N 71°27W / 41.767°N 71.450°W / 41.767; -71.450 (41.7732, -71.4533).
9. Central Falls
Population: 19,366Median Rent: $809
Distance to Closest Airport: 38 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,979
More on Central Falls: Homes For Sale | Data
Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was home to Nipmuc, Wampanoag and Narragansett peoples.
Population: 24,570Median Rent: $1,096
Distance to Closest Airport: 63 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,080
More on Newport: Homes For Sale | Data
Newport was founded in 1639 on Aquidneck Island, which was called Rhode Island at the time. Its eight founders and first officers were Nicholas Easton, William Coddington, John Clarke, John Coggeshall, William Brenton, Jeremy Clark, Thomas Hazard, and Henry Bull. Many of these people had been part of the settlement at Portsmouth, along with Anne Hutchinson and her followers. They separated within a year of that settlement, however, and Coddington and others began the settlement of Newport on the southern side of the island.
Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…
So there you have it, the best place to retire in Rhode Island goes to Pawtucket.
If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:
- Central Falls
For more Rhode Island reading , check out:
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Rhode Island
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Rhode Island
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island
Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Rhode Island