The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

We used science and data to determine which Ocean State places are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst places to live in Rhode Island.

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. Plus 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 24 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Rhode Island:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

  1. Pascoag
  2. Woonsocket
  3. Central Falls
  4. Providence
  5. Chepachet
  6. Harmony
  7. Harrisville
  8. Pawtucket
  9. Valley Falls
  10. Tiverton

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.

We understand there's a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Rhode Island? That would be Pascoag.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2021.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

Pascoag, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,594
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $221,700 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (10th worst)
More on Pascoag:  Data | Photos

Another census designated place, Pascoag is located in the middle of nowhere in the northwestern corner of Rhode Island, in the town of Burrilville. 6.6% of residents here are without jobs, and crime is abnormally high here.

The education system (dollars per student and teacher-to-student ratio) is 40th. Meaning, while the schools in Rhode Island might be exceptional, the schools in Pascoag are far below the state average when it comes to spending.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,603
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $173,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (4th worst)
More on Woonsocket:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at science and data, the city of Woonsocket is the 2nd worst place you can live in the state of Rhode Island. Let's see why.

Residents who live in Woonsocket, located on the Massachusetts border, have the 10th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $173,300, 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.

Central Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,429
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $159,100 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (9th worst)
More on Central Falls:  Data | Photos

The city of Central Falls filed for bankruptcy in 2011. If that's not enough to steer you away, back in 2020, the entire teaching staff at the city's high school was fired, and in 2010, it was reported that Mayor Charles D. Moreau was acting in corruption and fraud.

Central Falls is the 24th most densely populated areas in the state In fact, it's more packed in Central Falls than in Boston.

Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 179,494
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $200,300 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (5th worst)
More on Providence:  Data | Photos

Providence doesn't have it much better, in terms of overall economic outlook. The unemployment rate is at 7.8%, and people average less than $45,610 a year in combined household incomes. Homes stand at $200,300, which is very low, and crime in the worst 10% in Rhode Island.

And again, in terms of the overall 'enjoyment' factor, it's not easy to find fun on a Friday night.

Chepachet, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,530
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $243,800 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (16th worst)
More on Chepachet:  Data | Photos

Yes, every dog has a few fleas. But the crime in Chepachet is actually quite atrocious. Some of the punks there who are causing trouble need a time out. It's that simple.

Residents here have a 1 in 201 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, meaning raped, attacked or murdered. And they have a 1 in 33.2 chance of being robbed each year. That's off the charts high.

And the unemployment rate is at 4.1%, which isn't horrible, but the 16th-highest in the state. Plus, residents here earn about $80,463 a year in combined household income.

Harmony, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,207
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $271,500 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (7th worst)
More on Harmony:  Data | Photos

Harmony is a village and census designated place located in the city of Glocester. Residents have one of the longest commute rates in the state, and it's one of the least densely populated areas in the entire state.

Additionally, 1 out of 5 homes in Harmony is vacant.

Harrisville, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,460
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $180,300 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 0.0% (23rd worst)
More on Harrisville:  Data | Photos

Harrisville is a small city located not too far away from Pascoag. Three of the top 5 worst places to live in Rhode Island are on the northern part of the state. You can make your own assumptions from there.

Harrisville has a very-high crime rate, is respect to the state norm, an unemployment rate of 0.0%, and it's one of the least densely populated places in the state, meaning there's probably not a lot to do except cheer on the Sox and watch hockey.

Pawtucket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 71,844
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $194,600 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (8th worst)
More on Pawtucket:  Data | Photos

Pawtucket needs some tough love as it ranks as the 8th worst city to live in Rhode Island for 2021. There's not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it's not a place you might want to move to.

And the crime in Pawtucket is the 9th highest in the state, where 1 in 43.8 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

Valley Falls, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,882
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $239,000 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (20th worst)
More on Valley Falls:  Data | Photos

Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Valley Falls ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 11th cheapest in the state here at $239,000. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn't a lot of demand to live in Valley Falls.

The median income levels here are the 18th lowest in the state of Rhode Island, at $83,090. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we'll talk about in a minute. And almost 3.2% of people in Valley Falls were without jobs according to the latest numbers.

Tiverton, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,804
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $258,800 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (11th worst)
More on Tiverton:  Data | Photos

you're looking to live in Rhode Island, Tiverton might not be the best choice as it places 10th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2021.

Tiverton doesn't have the worst crime in the state, but it's sure up there. And when you factor in one of the lowest household incomes in the state and a sky high unemployment rate, Tiverton may not be your first choice for a vacation.

How we determined the worst places to live in Rhode Island for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census's most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 1,000 people were considered -- leaving 24 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 24 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".

Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Rhode Island -- Pascoag. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Rhode Island. You can download the data here.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Rhode Island

If you're looking at areas in Rhode Island with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Pascoag ranks as the worst city to live in Rhode Island for 2021.

If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Rhode Island:

  1. Cranston (Pop. 81,254)
  2. Ashaway (Pop. 1,195)
  3. Kingston (Pop. 6,513)

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Pascoag 4,594 6.6% $221,700
2 Woonsocket 41,603 7.9% $173,300
3 Central Falls 19,429 6.8% $159,100
4 Providence 179,494 7.8% $200,300
5 Chepachet 1,530 4.1% $243,800
6 Harmony 1,207 7.6% $271,500
7 Harrisville 1,460 0.0% $180,300
8 Pawtucket 71,844 7.1% $194,600
9 Valley Falls 11,882 3.2% $239,000
10 Tiverton 7,804 6.4% $258,800

How Is The Area In ?

16 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

  1. Wow I live in burrillville what you have wrote is I bunch of crap… Spend the day here.. Meet the people..crime lmao the crime is 9times out of 10 from people from other coming to out town.. This is total bull…… Go to Pawtucket. prov. Central falls… You took the smallest towns in Rhode Island towns where people keep to themselves and help everyone else when they need it and you drag them through the mud….. Foster really?? Wanna know what I think I think you guys are scumbags city slickers stay the hell out of our lil towns If it offends you if it offend you we don’t need people like you to bring in city people and make our quiet town over populated with city rats…

  2. I’m from that “lousy” VILLAGE known as Pascoag. Must be nice to sit behind a desk and spew your misinformation. Here’s some info you missed about our TOWN OF BURRILLVILLE. First of all, we all know at least 70% of our neighbors never hesitating to help one another if the need ever arose. Where you came up with you statistic on jobless is beyond me. I’m assuming it came from somewhere deep in your anal bowels along with the rest of this horrible article you call “reporting”…stick to reporting you may be good at. Oh I don’t know, try little league stats….

  3. Your stats on foster are way yyyyyyyyyyy off. I am a resident and a researcher with commercial and residential properties in Providence and cranston and I can show you worse with verifiable and more credible statistics.

  4. Is this the same science used in that ridiculous Ted Well’s report? Both of these reports aren’t worth the paper they’re wrote on! Both uninformed idiots!

  5. Haha this is one of my all time new 10 worst articles ever posted. It just goes to show you that any dbag with an Ipad can make up what ever crap they want and post it on the internet. I don’t think Nick Johnson is even a real person. The only articles that he’s written are “10 worst places to live”. Well here’s a list of 10 worst places to visit with “Nick Johnson”

    10. Abandoned Paper Mills
    9. Pawtucket after 10pm
    8. His van
    7. His basement
    6. any basement really…
    5. Newport Mansion tour
    4. “Asian massage parlor”
    3. Twin River
    2. The “conjouring house”
    1. The parking garage at Providence Place.. good luck getting out

  6. Yeah, I’ve lived in Warren for 35 yrs. Disappointed in this article. Crime……seriously?! There isnt much of it. There is some petty theft etc but nothing major. There are no shootings or anything of significance, ever!. Now drugs…..they are everywhere unfortunately…Even in the rich popular towns in RI!

  7. With all the crime in providence areas how did it not fall under worst places to live. Especially as a child.

  8. we take a 45 minute drive to work everyday from Foster. It is the drive people take on a Sunday to see how beautiful the world is. We take it twice a day. We love every minute of it and listen to Brahms in the morning. There is virtually no crime in Foster. 20 years ago I moved from Providence after the 5th time our car was stolen or vandalized. toys, clothes missing from my backyard. sick of it. I looked at the 5 top school systems in RI and Foster was there. I have never regretted my decision, on the contrary. we love it here and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

  9. Who is this person? He doesn’t sound like a native Rhode Islanda to me because he listed the best places to live in Rhode Island.

  10. I live in Florida, have been here for 14 years. Every day I think of my hometown of Burrillville. I can’t tell you how much I long for the weather, friends, food, comradeship and the general warmth of friends being part of a community.

  11. Not sure who you are or if you’ve ever been to Warwick, but where I live in Warwick it is very peaceful and quite. Every town/city gets a few nuckleheads, but that’s no reason to say that we are one of the worse places to live. This whole world is gone mad.

  12. I love all the comments I am moving to rode island from FL it is a real dump here and im in a rich area! FL sucks RI even in the worst area is by far better then FL! facts

  13. Im born and bread in RI I have best friends from all over the state. The job market is tough there, true that’s why i left in 1992, but the cities you mentioned I never heard of. My first reaction what What?? Where is this writer getting their information from. Crime happens in any parts of the world, but growing up in RI it was only Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Providence. We were happy not to live in New York. Later in the 90’s it trickled to Woonsocket as the generations changed. But we went to church every Sunday and many times Wednesday. And the Central Falls teachers that was 2010 not 2019 and its not them its the students they don’t care so the teachers push them out the door. I also know people that moved to RI and they say they are there to stay. I wish i grew up in Burriville, Woonsocket, or Narraganset. I should send you a copy of the police report when the Lincoln police pulled us over after a high school baseball game because we looked like gang members.

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