As most Rhode Islanders would agree, The Ocean State is a pretty awesome slice of America. It’s home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, some of the wealthiest and brightest Americans, and crime, in comparison to the rest of the country, is relatively low.
But, like any other state, there are some crummy areas here. Places that, if you were to move to, or consider visiting, you might want to avoid. We’re not here to argue for or against which places in Rhode Island stink. Instead, we use scientific data to decide that for us.
After analyzing all 60 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Rhode Island:
- Foster Center
- Central Falls
- Watch Hill
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers or scroll to the bottom to see how each place ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst places to live in Rhode Island, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, great weather, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- High Housing Vacancy Rate
- Education (Low expenditures per student and low Student Teacher Ratio)
- Long Commute Times
- High Crime
- The Worst Weather
If you’d like to see the complete list of cities, from worst to best, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the abridged chart.
Median income: $27,900
Population density: 4th lowest in Rhode Island
Commute time: 3rd highest in the state
Tiny Foster Center is actually a village and a census designated place in the town of Foster, located near the Connecticut state line. It has one of the lowest household incomes in the state,
a higher-than-normal unemployment rate, and residents have very long commute times.
And, since lower population densities usually mean lack of amenities, you can expect a long drive if you want to do anything exciting to do. Additionally, the comfort index, a unit used by BestPlaces.Net to measure rain, sunshine and humidity, is one of the lowest you can expect here.
Crime: 14th worst in Rhode Island
Household income: $49,880
Unemployment rate: 8.3%
Another census designated place, Pascoag is located in the middle of nowhere in the northwestern corner of Rhode Island, in the town of Burrilville. Almost 10% of residents here are without jobs, and crime is abnormally high here.
The education system (dollars per student and teacher-to-student ratio) is 40 of 60. Meaning, while the schools in Rhode Island might be exceptional, the schools in Pascoag are far below the state average.
House vacancy rate: 65.8%
Household income: $51,719
Crime: 13th worst in Rhode Island
Tiny Weekapaug is a pretty little area along the shore in southwestern RI, but it’s certainly not a place you’d want to move to . On paper, 320 people live here, but two-thirds of the homes here are vacant, and if you’re looking for excitement, besides the fact that Weekapaug is almost in the top 10 for number of crimes per capita, all you really have to do here is stare at the waves.
Which isn’t so bad. Unless you actually have a life.
Household income: $38,356
Crime: 7th highest in the state
Unemployment rate: 8.8%
Woonsocket is by far, the largest city in the top 10, making a case that arguably, this is the worst actual place to live in Rhode Island, considering that the three places above it are tiny blips on the map.
Residents who live in Woonsocket, located on the Massachusetts border, have the 7th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower adjusted income level–per resident–and a 12% house vacancy rate, and you’ve got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Rhode Island, that is.
Side note: Woonsocket is the birthplace of former NHL goalie Brian Boucher.
div class=”source”>Source: Google Maps