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 8 cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Rhode Island:
- Central Falls (Photos)
- Woonsocket (Photos)
- Providence (Photos)
- Pawtucket (Photos)
- East Providence (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Cranston (Photos)
- Warwick (Photos)
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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.
How we determined the worst places to live in Rhode Island for 2018
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
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 19,400 people were considered — leaving 8 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 8 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 — Central Falls. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Rhode Island.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
1. Central Falls
Population: 19,366Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $153,900 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (3rd worst)
The city of Central Falls filed for bankruptcy in 2011. If that’s not enough to steer you away, back in 2014, 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 8th most densely populated areas in the state In fact, it’s more packed in Central Falls than in Boston.
Population: 41,272Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $156,100 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (6th worst)
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 5th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level–per resident–and homes valued around $156,100, 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.
Population: 178,851Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Values: $173,800 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (2nd worst)
Providence ranks as the 3rd worst city on this list.
Providence has the 4th highest crime rate in Rhode Island, where residents have a 1 in 43.0 chance of being robbed every year. Homes are the 4th cheapest in the state ($173,800), and the uninsured rate here is far below average as well.
Population: 71,389Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Values: $169,000 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (1st worst)
Pawtucket takes the 4th worst place spot on this list for a number of reasons — below average education, income, unemployment, and student expenditure statistics.
But what gives Pawtucket its main thrust toward the top of this shameful list is its crime index — the 4th worst in the whole state.
5. East Providence
Population: 47,260Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Values: $206,700 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (4th worst)
you’re looking to live in Rhode Island, East Providence might not be the best choice as it places 5th in our ranking of the worst places to live for 2015.
East Providence 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, East Providence may not be your first choice for a vacation.
Population: 24,570Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $382,200 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (8th worst)
Newport places 6th in our ranking of the worst places to live in Rhode Island. Here, 7.1% of the adult population lack’s even a high school degree. That makes Newport have the 8th highest adult drop out rate in Rhode Island.
Income levels are also near the poverty line, and home prices are around $382,200 each — the 8th lowest in Rhode Island.
As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of demand to live here.
Population: 80,882Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Values: $212,200 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (5th worst)
Welcome to Cranston, which might be one of the poorest areas in Rhode Island. Residents average $61,646 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 1030.0% of Cranston residents live below the poverty level.
Homes here go for an average of $212,200 and the unemployment rate hovers near 7.8%.
Population: 81,881Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $195,700 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (7th worst)
Warwick ranks as the 8th worst city in Rhode Island. Located in Kent County, Warwick has the 8th lowest income levels in the state of Rhode Island ($66,602), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 7.0%.
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, Central Falls ranks as the worst city to live in Rhode Island for 2018.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Rhode Island:
- Warwick (Pop. 81,881)
- Cranston (Pop. 80,882)
- Newport (Pop. 24,570)
For more Rhode Island reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Rhode Island
Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Rhode Island