10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Rhode Island that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Rhode Island.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Rhode Island does this very well. Families love the Ocean State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Rhode Island that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Rhode Island for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Rhode Island? That would be Narragansett Pier.

So hopefully Warwick (the cheapest place to live in Rhode Island) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Rhode Island and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2019

Narragansett Pier, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,977
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.4x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.6x (6th most expensive)
More on Narragansett Pier: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Narragansett Pier comes in at $62,054 and the median home value is $458,600 for 2019.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,745
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.2x (8th most expensive)
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The City of Newport is located approximately 37 miles southeast of Providence, 21 miles south of Fall River, and 74 miles south of Boston. It is known as a New England summer resort and is famous for its mansions. It is also the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport, which houses the United States Naval War College, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and a major United States Navy training center. It was a major 18th-century port city and also contains a high number of surviving buildings from the colonial era of the United States.

The median income in Newport comes in at $65,365 and the median home value is $405,700 for 2019.

Newport East, RI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 11,211
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.7x (7th most expensive)
More on Newport East: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Newport East comes in at $62,197 and the median home value is $327,600 for 2019.

Westerly, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,323
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.5x (9th most expensive)
More on Westerly: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Westerly is a town on the southwestern shoreline of Washington County, Rhode Island, United States founded in 1669 by John Babcock. It is a beachfront community on the south shore of the state. The population was 22,787 at the 2010 census.

The median income in Westerly comes in at $60,192 and the median home value is $279,200 for 2019.

Harrisville, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,396
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.3x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.2x (2nd most expensive)
More on Harrisville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Harrisville comes in at $28,977 and the median home value is $182,900 for 2019.

Central Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 19,395
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.0x (1st most expensive)
More on Central Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Central Falls is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 19,376 at the 2010 census. With an area of only 1.29 square miles, it is the smallest and most densely populated city in the smallest state, and the 27th most densely populated incorporated place in the United States. It is also one of only four incorporated places in New England that have a higher population density than the city of Boston. The city takes its name from a waterfall on the Blackstone River.

The median income in Central Falls comes in at $30,794 and the median home value is $149,100 for 2019.

Kingston, RI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,983
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.2x (15th most expensive)
More on Kingston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kingston is a village and a census-designated place in the town of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States, and the site of the main campus of the University of Rhode Island. Much of the village center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Kingston Village Historic District.

The median income in Kingston comes in at $93,051 and the median home value is $336,500 for 2019.

Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 179,509
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 42.5x (3rd most expensive)
More on Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island in the early 1900s it was the most visited place, founded in 1636 and one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded by Roger Williams, a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of “God’s merciful Providence” which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers to settle. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

The median income in Providence comes in at $40,366 and the median home value is $181,100 for 2019.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 41,508
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.2x (4th most expensive)
More on Woonsocket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Woonsocket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 41,186 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. Woonsocket lies directly south of the Massachusetts state line and constitutes part of both the Providence metropolitan area and the larger Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area.

The median income in Woonsocket comes in at $38,340 and the median home value is $158,500 for 2019.

Pawtucket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 71,770
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.1x (5th most expensive)
More on Pawtucket: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pawtucket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 71,148 at the 2010 census. It is the fourth largest city in the state.

The median income in Pawtucket comes in at $44,909 and the median home value is $172,200 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Ocean State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Rhode Island
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Rhode Island to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 20 places in Rhode Island that have more than 1,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Rhode Island according to the data is Narragansett Pier.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Rhode Island For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Rhode Island that have the highest cost of living, with Narragansett Pier ranking as the most expensive city in the Ocean State.

Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Rhode Island according to the data:

  1. Warwick
  2. Pascoag
  3. Valley Falls

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Rhode Island

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Narragansett Pier 2.67 3,977 7.4x 51.6x
2 Newport 4.33 24,745 6.2x 56.2x
3 Newport East 5.0 11,211 5.3x 52.7x
4 Westerly 6.67 17,323 4.6x 57.5x
5 Harrisville 7.67 1,396 6.3x 38.2x
6 Central Falls 9.67 19,395 4.8x 37.0x
7 Kingston 9.67 6,983 3.6x 72.2x
8 Providence 10.0 179,509 4.5x 42.5x
9 Woonsocket 11.33 41,508 4.1x 45.2x
10 Pawtucket 11.67 71,770 3.8x 51.1x
11 Tiverton 12.0 7,727 3.4x 76.6x
12 East Providence 12.33 47,425 3.8x 59.0x
13 Greenville 13.0 8,388 3.4x 86.5x
14 Cranston 13.33 80,979 3.4x 64.4x
15 Bradford 13.67 1,477 3.2x 62.0x
16 Hope Valley 13.67 1,777 2.6x 61.4x
17 Cumberland Hill 14.67 8,062 3.0x 87.5x
18 Valley Falls 15.67 12,056 3.3x 76.7x
19 Pascoag 17.33 5,041 2.9x 77.1x
20 Warwick 17.33 81,218 2.8x 64.7x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.