The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Rhode Island that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Rhode Island.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Rhode Island does this very well. Families love the Ocean State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Rhode Island that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Rhode Island for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Rhode Island? That would be Narragansett Pier.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 23 places in Rhode Island with more than 1,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Rhode Island for 2021:

  1. Narragansett Pier
  2. Newport
  3. Newport East
  4. Westerly
  5. Harrisville
  6. Wakefield-Peacedale
  7. Central Falls
  8. Providence
  9. Hope Valley
  10. Tiverton

What's the most expensive place to live in Rhode Island? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Narragansett Pier is the most expensive place to live in Rhode Island.

So hopefully Pascoag (the cheapest place to live in Rhode Island) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Rhode Island and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

1. Narragansett PierNarragansett Pier, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,594
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.3x (4th most expensive)
More on Narragansett Pier: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Narragansett Pier comes in at $58,875 and the median home value is $542,200 for 2021.

2. NewportNewport, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,663
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.7x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.3x (8th most expensive)
More on Newport: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Newport comes in at $67,102 and the median home value is $448,800 for 2021.

3. Newport EastNewport East, RI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 11,925
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.3x (7th most expensive)
More on Newport East: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Newport East comes in at $69,368 and the median home value is $361,100 for 2021.

4. WesterlyWesterly, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,553
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.0x (13th most expensive)
More on Westerly: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Westerly comes in at $66,909 and the median home value is $294,600 for 2021.

5. HarrisvilleHarrisville, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,460
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.9x (3rd most expensive)
More on Harrisville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Harrisville comes in at $29,663 and the median home value is $180,300 for 2021.

6. Wakefield-PeacedaleWakefield-Peacedale, RI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,504
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.1x (18th most expensive)
More on Wakefield-Peacedale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Wakefield-Peacedale comes in at $82,692 and the median home value is $336,900 for 2021.

7. Central FallsCentral Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 19,429
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.7x (2nd most expensive)
More on Central Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Central Falls comes in at $32,982 and the median home value is $159,100 for 2021.

8. ProvidenceProvidence, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 179,494
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.9x (5th most expensive)
More on Providence: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Providence comes in at $45,610 and the median home value is $200,300 for 2021.

9. Hope ValleyHope Valley, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,823
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.1x (10th most expensive)
More on Hope Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hope Valley comes in at $79,931 and the median home value is $254,600 for 2021.

10. TivertonTiverton, RI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,804
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.5x (17th most expensive)
More on Tiverton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Tiverton comes in at $68,102 and the median home value is $258,800 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Ocean State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Rhode Island
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Rhode Island to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 23 places in Rhode Island that have more than 1,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Rhode Island according to the data is Narragansett Pier. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Rhode Island For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Rhode Island that have the highest cost of living, with Narragansett Pier ranking as the most expensive city in the Ocean State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Rhode Island according to the data:

  1. Pascoag
  2. Valley Falls
  3. Cumberland Hill

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Rhode Island

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Narragansett Pier 2.0 3,594 9.2x 44.3x
2 Newport 4.0 24,663 6.7x 54.3x
3 Newport East 4.67 11,925 5.2x 53.3x
4 Westerly 8.33 17,553 4.4x 67.0x
5 Harrisville 9.33 1,460 6.1x 38.9x
6 Wakefield-Peacedale 10.33 9,504 4.1x 73.1x
7 Central Falls 10.33 19,429 4.8x 38.7x
8 Providence 10.67 179,494 4.4x 45.9x
9 Hope Valley 12.33 1,823 3.2x 58.1x
10 Tiverton 12.67 7,804 3.8x 72.5x
11 Woonsocket 12.67 41,603 4.1x 46.7x
12 Greenville 12.67 8,695 3.4x 72.0x
13 Kingston 12.67 6,513 3.7x 82.1x
14 Pawtucket 13.33 71,844 3.9x 54.9x
15 Cranston 13.67 81,254 3.4x 67.3x
16 East Providence 13.83 47,483 3.7x 60.7x
17 Warwick 15.67 80,993 3.1x 63.2x
18 Harmony 16.0 1,207 3.0x 80.7x
19 Bradford 16.0 1,303 3.1x 71.2x
20 Chepachet 16.67 1,530 3.0x 75.2x
21 Cumberland Hill 18.0 8,249 2.9x 97.1x
22 Valley Falls 19.67 11,882 2.9x 94.9x
23 Pascoag 21.17 4,594 2.6x 92.8x

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.