The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island

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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst places to live in Rhode Island.

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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:

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 Chepachet.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.

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 2020

Chepachet, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,529
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $232,800 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (20th worst)
More on Chepachet:  Data | Photos

Chepachet is the worst city in Rhode Island for 2020. When you're comparing other cities to Chepachet, things just don't look great, at least according to science.

Chepachet is the 4th most dangerous place in Rhode Island, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job -- at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 3.6%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($232,800), and residents earn just $71,359 a year.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 41,539
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $164,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (5th 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 12th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $164,600, 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.

Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 179,435
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $192,100 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (4th worst)
More on Providence:  Data | Photos

Providence's situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.

Providence has the 4th worst crime index of any place in Rhode Island, and has the 4th lowest income.

Pascoag, RI

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Population: 4,824
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $217,300 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (13th 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. 5.8% 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.

Harmony, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,128
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $233,100 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.9% (3rd 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: 1,348
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $180,700 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (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 1.5%, 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: 71,756
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $181,900 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (6th worst)
More on Pawtucket:  Data | Photos

Pawtucket, part of Providence County, is the 7th worst place to live in Rhode Island for 2020.

Residents here earn almost the lowest salaries per year relative to any other residents in the state at $46,938, and crime 9th worst in Rhode Island.

Additionally, the poverty level is 18.6% in Pawtucket.

Central Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,382
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 6)
Median Home Value: $147,800 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (8th 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 2019, 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.

Valley Falls, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,828
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $224,000 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (21st worst)
More on Valley Falls:  Data | Photos

Yes, every dog has a few fleas. But the crime in Valley Falls 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 219 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, meaning raped, attacked or murdered. And they have a 1 in 31.6 chance of being robbed each year. That's off the charts high.

And the unemployment rate is at 3.0%, which isn't horrible, but the 21st-highest in the state. Plus, residents here earn about $76,004 a year in combined household income.

Greenville, RI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,387
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $271,000 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (17th worst)
More on Greenville:  Data | Photos

When you're looking at the worst places you could live in Rhode Island, Greenville came in 10th. Let's see why.

When you're comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Rhode Island residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Rhode Island, you can see some really big differences. In Greenville, the number of people out of work is 4.8%

In Rhode Island, that's the 17th highest in the state.

The residents in Greenville have the 19th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Greenville average $82,216 a year. Which isn't too shabby in comparison to the other 'lowest' income cities in most other states.

Additionally, the homes are valued at $271,000 on average. That's the 18th lowest in the state.

How we determined the worst places to live in Rhode Island for 2020

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 -- Chepachet. 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, Chepachet ranks as the worst city to live in Rhode Island for 2020.

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

  1. Hope Valley (Pop. 1,633)
  2. Ashaway (Pop. 1,186)
  3. Kingston (Pop. 6,789)

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 Chepachet 1,529 3.6% $232,800
2 Woonsocket 41,539 8.7% $164,600
3 Providence 179,435 8.8% $192,100
4 Pascoag 4,824 5.8% $217,300
5 Harmony 1,128 8.9% $233,100
6 Harrisville 1,348 1.5% $180,700
7 Pawtucket 71,756 7.9% $181,900
8 Central Falls 19,382 7.3% $147,800
9 Valley Falls 11,828 3.0% $224,000
10 Greenville 8,387 4.8% $271,000

How Is The Area In ?

15 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island

  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

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