Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Rhode Island have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Rhode Island.

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What kid doesn't want to live on a "rhode" on an island? Not many.

Now, Rhode Island might not be an island persay, but it does have some pretty cool places--including beaches--for kids. Do we think that's why the state ranked the thirteenth best state to raise a family? Absolutely. More importantly, it has some of the best places inside its borders call home. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks is here to help navigate those places. We've created a list of the best places for families to live in Rhode Island for 2020.

How did we determine Rhode Island's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in The Ocean State with more than 7,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 10 family friendly Rhode Island places. We discovered that not only is Rhode Island the smallest state in size, it's a state with the least amount of residents. Don't worry, however, what the state doesn't make up in size, it makes up in family friendly amenities, safe cities and neighborhoods, great schools, and competitive jobs and salaries.

That's not all we discovered, folks. Did you know that you can take your family on a ferry from the harbor in Providence to Martha's Vineyard? And if scenic drives are more your family's thing, you can start your minivan in Newport and cruise down Ocean Drive to Gooseberry Beach. That's what we call family friendly! To learn more about our methodology and to see why Rhode Island's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, read on.

No, it's not a coincidence that most of Rhode Island's family friendly places are centered around the state's biggest cities: Providence and Newport. There's more to do in these places and jobs with competitive salaries are plentiful.

But, there can only be one number one best place to raise your family in Rhode Island, and that would be Cranston.

To see how your favorite place in Rhode Island compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Rhode Island and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island For 2020

Cranston, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 81,196
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 28.1%
More on Cranston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cranston, once known as Pawtuxet, is a city in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. With a population of 80,529 at the 2010 census, it is the third largest city in the state. The center of population of Rhode Island is located in Cranston. Cranston is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.

Central Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 19,382
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 46.1%
More on Central Falls: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 81,079
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Warwick: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Review Of Warwick by HomeSnacks User

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

Westerly, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,435
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 26.6%
More on Westerly: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Review Of Westerly by HomeSnacks User

I am proud to be from Westerly, which I consider a metropolitan town.

Tiverton, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,757
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 23.7%
More on Tiverton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Tiverton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,780 at the 2010 census.

East Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 47,449
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 25.5%
More on East Providence: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

East Providence is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 47,037 at the 2010 census, making it the fifth largest city in the state.

Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 179,435
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 76
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 33.4%
More on Providence: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,762
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 19.6%
More on Newport: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Review Of Newport by HomeSnacks User

I've been going to Newport, RI since I was a newborn and several times each year. It's the perfect town to me. It's absolutely beautiful, I love the beach and the fact I could walk right downtown from my Grandmothers. They have a strip of mansions along the beach that are beautiful as well.

My favorite places were the beach, downtown and driving down Ocean Drive to see the mansions.

Pawtucket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 71,756
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 31.3%
More on Pawtucket: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,539
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Boston
Households with kids: 29.0%
More on Woonsocket: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Rhode Island anyways?

To give you the places in Rhode Island which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Ocean State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Rhode Island, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 7,000 people. For Rhode Island, that meant a total of 10 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Rhode Island ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Rhode Island according to the data:

  1. Woonsocket
  2. Pawtucket
  3. Newport

For more rhode island reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Rhode Island?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Cranston, RI 81,196 47
2 Central Falls, RI 19,382 37
3 Warwick, RI 81,079 64
4 Westerly, RI 17,435 51
5 Tiverton, RI 7,757 43
6 East Providence, RI 47,449 57
7 Providence, RI 179,435 71
8 Newport, RI 24,762 76
9 Pawtucket, RI 71,756 51
10 Woonsocket, RI 41,539 56

How Is The Area In ?

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.

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