Moving to Rhode Island A Complete Relocation Guide 2021

This is a complete guide for Moving to Rhode Island.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to Rhode Island

Are you mulling over moving to Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is famous for being one of the states with the most beautiful beaches in the United States. The best part is, no matter where you are in Rhode Island, you’ll be less than an hour away from a scenic beach.

The Ocean State low crime rate, top quality education, affordable housing, and natural beauty makes it one of the best places to live in the country.

If you love festivals and events, great tasty food, sports, and an eco-friendly environment, moving to Rhode Island is perfect for you.

If you’re considering moving to Rhode Island and wondering if the Ocean State is right for you or not, this guide contains all the information you need to make the right decision.

Let’s jump right in!

Quick facts to know before moving to Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island is the smallest state in the US by surface area
  • Rhode Island commuting time is shorter than the national average
  • Crime rate in Rhode Island is below the national average
  • Residents in Rhode Island enjoy all for seasons in a year
  • Homes are fairly affordable in Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island has one area code and it’s 401
  • Crime rates in Rhode Island are lower than the national average

What’s the population of Rhode Island?

The population of Rhode Island is 1,061,510. The state stretches across 1,545 square miles making it the smallest state in the country by surface area. Since you’re considering moving to Rhode Island, check out this simple breakdown of the state’s population:

  • Rhode Island is the second-most densely populated state in the U.S.
  • There are 1,018.1 people on average per square mile in Rhode Island
  • The median age in Rhode Island is 39.9 years of age
  • The ratio of females to males in Rhode Island is 51.5% females to 48.5% males
  • Providence is the most populated city (637,357 people) in Rhode Island

How fast can you commute in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s average one-way commute time is 24.6 minutes. The national average is 26.4 minutes. That means commuting time in Rhode Island is shorter than the U.S. average. Here’s how people in Rhode Island commute to work:

  • About 79.8% drive their own car alone
  • Around 8.6% carpool with others
  • Up to 3.9% work from home
  • Around 2.7% take mass transit

How is the weather like in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island has a milder temperature compared to other New England states. Check out key data about the state’s temperature since you’re considering moving to Rhode Island:

  • Rhode Island summer high in July is around 82 degrees
  • Winter low in January is about 19 degrees in Rhode Island
  • Rainfall in Rhode Island averages 50 inches a year
  • Rhode Island averages 35 inches of snow in a year
moving to rhode island

Top 10 Reasons to move to Rhode Island

Every year, Rhode Island welcomes thousands of people. What makes moving to Rhode Island seem so interesting?

There are several reasons why people are moving to Rhode Island. We’ve made a list of the top ten reasons. Check out the list below:

  • Rhode Island is home to a breathtaking cost full of remarkable beaches

    Despite Rhode Island being a smaller state, it has an astounding 384-mile coastline and the abundance of shorelines has given the state the nickname ‘Ocean State’.

    Here is a list of some of the best beaches in Rhode Island to catch up with the ocean.

    • Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly
    • Easton's Beach/First Beach, Newport
    • Narragansett Town Beach, Narragansett
    • Goosewing Beach, Little Compton
    • East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingstown
    • Crescent Beach, Block Island
    • Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, Narragansett
    • Watch Hill Beach, Westerly
    • Ballard's Beach, Block Island
    • Reject's Beach, Newport

  • Rhode Island is a melting pot of culture and people

    Rhode Island has just over one million people but it is one of the most diverse states in the country. The state has 5 large ethnic groups – White (Non-Hispanic) (70.8%), White (Hispanic) (7.89%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (5.78%), Other (Hispanic) (5.05%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (3.42%). This makes the state a melting pot of cultures where everyone feels at home.

  • You’ll find some of the best restaurants in the U.S. in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island’s culinary scene is second to none and the state has a large number of restaurants, serving authentic native food as well as cuisines from outside the state.

    Here’s a list of some amazing restaurants that are worth a visit.

    • Birch, Providence
    • North, Providence Al Forno, Providence
    • Beehive, Bristol
    • Gracie’s, Providence
    • Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar, Providence
    • Pomodoro Pizzeria, Bristol
    • Bouchard Restaurant, Newport
    • Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, Westerly
    • Nick’s on Broadway, Providence
    • Spiced Pear, Newport

  • You’ll enjoy unique festivals and events all year round

    No matter the season, it seems like there’s always something going on in Rhode Island. Whether you like culture, food, or are just a little quirky, you’ll find a festival perfect for you! Here are our 10 picks.

    • Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI
    • Seafood Festival, Charlestown, RI
    • Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI
    • Gaspee Days, Warwick, RI
    • Newport Kite Festival, Newport, RI
    • South County Hot Air Balloon Festival, Kingston, RI
    • Rhode Island PrideFest, Providence, RI
    • Newport Winter Festival, Newport, RI
    • Newport International Boat Show
    • Bluegrass Festival and Pick-Nic

  • Rhode Island is home to to-quality schools

    Rhode Island has a long tradition of excellent public education and the state has the 16th best schooling in the US. Rhode Island has many top-notch schools and colleges

    .
  • You’ll enjoy all four seasons in a year in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island experiences all 4 seasons. It has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. While winters are cold with frequent rains, summers are hot with an average daily high temperature above 73°F. Snowfall occurs for about 5 months a year.

  • Affordable housing

    Homes are cheaper in Rhode Island. The median home cost is $285,200 but it has gone up by 5.45% in the last year. The average rental for a studio apartment is $794.

  • Rhode Island is an eco-friendly state

    Rhode Island is ranked as the 8th most eco-friendly state in the US. It is moving faster towards green energy and the state is seriously creating awareness about the shift towards more eco-friendly sources. The state ranks 3rd in gasoline consumption and 2nd in energy consumption per capita. The state also has the 11th cleanest water in the US.

  • Crime rates are way below the national average

    Rhode Island is one of the safest states in the US. The Ocean State boasts the ninth-lowest violent crime rate in the country. Rhode Island reports 2.2 violent crime incidents per 1,000 people, which is much below the national average. The state reports a property crime rate lower than the national average and it further decreased by almost 8% in 2021.

  • Rhode Island has a rich history

    One of the original 13 colonies, Rhode Island is packed with historic places. The state has some of the oldest buildings and streets in the country. Newport is home to the country’s oldest synagogue and Providence has the nation’s first Baptist Church. Rhode Island has the oldest library, the first state-run airport, the first automated post office, and the oldest carousel in the US.

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rhode island pros and cons

Pros & Cons of Living in Rhode Island

Considering the pros and cons of living in the Ocean State can help you decide if moving to Rhode Island is right for you or not.

We’ve made a list of the key pros and cons of living in Rhode-Island to help you get started:

Pros of living in Rhode Island Cons of living in Rhode Island
Lots of walkable places/short trips in various cities and townsYou’ll have to put up with some pessimist
No extreme winters and summersSome people here are unfriendly
Low cost of livingYou’ll have to put up with some terrible drivers
Proximity to Boston/New YorkHeating bills can skyrocket very fast
Rhode-Island is home to a variety of landscape (urban to rural)Some taxes are high in Rhode-Island
The remarkable local music sceneThe population density in Rhode-Island is high
Scenic towns and citiesRhode-Island has some weird laws
Beautiful beaches and baysWinters can be cold and snowy
Wide-variety of delicious tasty food
Home to lots of smart and creative people
Top-quality airport
Top-quality education
If you love water sports, you’ll like Rhode-Island
place in rhode island

Best Places to Live in Rhode Island

Moving to Rhode Island most likely means getting the chance to live in some of the best places in the state.

We’ve made a list of the ten best places to live in the Ocean State to make your house hunting easier. Since you’re considering moving to Rhode Island, check out the list below:

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1Kingston6,51313.4%$355,900
2Ashaway1,1950.0%$232,000
3Cumberland Hill8,2490.0%$262,100
4Hope Valley1,8236.1%$254,600
5Cranston81,2544.3%$243,500
6Narragansett Pier3,5946.1%$542,200
7Warwick380,9933.7%$225,300
8Wakefield-Peacedale9,5048.7%$336,900
9Newport East11,9254.1%$361,100
10Greenville8,6952.5%$285,300
cost of living in rhode island

Cost of Living in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s cost of living is rated 110.6. The national average is 100. That means the cost of living in Rhode Island is higher than the national average.

Cost of living is most likely one of the key things you’ll have to consider before moving to Rhode Island.

Since you’re considering moving to Rhode Island, here’s a breakdown of the key metrics that make up the state’s cost of living:

Costs of living Rhode Island United States
Overall110.6100
Grocery106.5100
Health81.9100
Housing123.4100
Median Home Cost$285,200$231,200
Utilities115.9100
Transportation106.1100
Miscellaneous109.8100

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Rhode Island Housing Market

If you’re interested in buying a home before or after moving to Rhode Island, we have collated key stats about the real estate market. These stats will give you an idea of what to expect and make it easier to plan your budget while planning to move to Rhode Island.

  • Rhode Island’s median home cost is $285,200
  • Rhode Island homes value have increased by 14.6% over the last 10 years
  • Currently, home values in Rhode Island have increased by 5.45%
  • Homeowners make up 60% of the Rhode Island population

Rhode Island median home rental cost

Renting a home in the Ocean State is a good housing option if you’re moving to Rhode Island. About 35.2% of the state’s population are renters and 2.2.5 of homes and apartments in the state are available to renters.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the average cost of renting a home in the Ocean state if you’re moving to Rhode Island:

  • The average cost of a Rhode Island studio apartment is $794
  • The average cost of a Rhode Island 1-bedroom apartment is $896
  • The average cost of a Rhode Island 2-bedroom home or apartment is $1,077
  • The average cost of a Rhode Island 3-bedroom home/ apartment is $1,367
  • The average cost of a Rhode Island 4-bedroom home/apartment is $1,60
jobs in rhode island

How is the job market in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate is 3.7. The national average is 3.7. If you’re moving to Rhode Island, the unemployment rate is most likely one of the key things you’ll have to consider.

Below are key metrics of the Ocean State’s job market if you’re moving to Rhode Island.

  • Rhode-Island’s job growth has been positive so far
  • Rhode-Island’s job growth has increased by 1.5% over the past year
  • Rhode-Island’s average annual pay is $57,146
  • Rhode Island median home cost is $285,200
Employment Information Rhode Island United States
The income per Cap.$33,315$31,177
Household Income$61,043$57,652
Unemployment Rate3.70%3.70%
Recent Job Growth1.46%1.59%
Future Job Growth30.13%33.51%

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What’s the median salary in Rhode Island?

Moving to Rhode Island could mean getting a new job and earning a different pay. So, how much will you most likely earn by moving to Rhode Island? Let’s find out.

  • Rhode-island average annual pay for average jobs is $57,146 a year
  • The average hourly pay for average jobs in Rhode Island is $27.47 an hour
  • Rhode-Island average monthly pay for average jobs is $4762
  • Rhode-Island average weekly pay is $1,099 per week

Largest employers in Rhode Island

Moving to Rhode Island most likely means getting the chance to work for some of the largest employers in the state. So, we’ve made a list of the largest employers in the Ocean State to help you narrow down your job hunting if you’re moving to Rhode Island. Check out the list below:

Rank Company City Employees
1CVS HealthWoonsocket295,000
2TextronProvidence35,000
3Citizens Financial GroupProvidence17,300
4NortekProvidence11,400
5United Natural FoodsProvidence9,700
6NTK HoldingsProvidence8,800
7Brown UniversityProvidence8,320
8Rhode Island HospitalProvidence7,274
9GTECHProvidence5,900
10FM GlobalJohnston5,400

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Rhode-Island Top Career Options

If you’re interested in the highest-paying jobs in Rhode Island, you’ll have to take a look at the state’s top career options. Here’s a list of the top 10 highest paying jobs in Rhode-Island:

Rank Job Title AVERAGE SALARY ENTRY LEVEL SALARY # OF PEOPLE
1Obstetricians And Gynecologists$264,550$174,29080
2Dentists, General$262,900$150,810320
3Chief Executives$249,360$142,460300
4Psychiatrists$223,530$120,740220
5Physicians, All Other; And Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$205,090$76,4402,810
6Pediatricians, General$200,300$132,260250
7Sales Managers$171,240$84,670550
8Marketing Managers$164,520$86,400720
9Compensation And Benefits Managers$163,840$103,44050
10Architectural And Engineering Managers$162,250$101,480440

Top Industries in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s robust economy is powered by several key industries. If you’re moving to Rhode Island, you’ll most likely be interested in the largest industries in the state. Check out the list below to see the key industries backing up Rhode-Island’s economy:

Sector GDP ($ thousands) Growth (%) Annualized Growth 13-18 (%)
Real estate and rental and leasing8,698,3744.61.0
Health care and social assistance6,065,7493.22.1
Finance and insurance5,792,539-0.54.5
Manufacturing5,094,4273.62.9
Professional, scientific, and technical services3,642,8295.14.3
Wholesale trade3,612,4033.62.7
Retail trade3,273,5804.02.1
Construction2,367,6806.64.4
Accommodation and food services2,280,7045.44.2
taxes in rhode island

How are taxes like in Rhode Island?

Will you be paying more or less in taxes by moving to Rhode Island? The easiest way to find out is to compare Rhode Island taxes to your current state.

  • Rhode-Island income tax is 3.75% - 5.99%
  • Sales tax in Rhode-Island is 7%
  • Property tax in Rhode-Island is 1.53% average effective rate
  • Rhode-Island gas tax is 34 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel
things to know about rhode island

Best things to do in Rhode Island

You can enjoy every moment of living in the Ocean State if you decide to move to Rhode Island. You can start by creating a bucket list of the best things to do in the state. We’ve created a list below to give you an idea of what you can add to your list if you’re moving to Rhode Island:

  • Sail around Fort Adams State Park at sunrise

    Public recreation and historic area-preserving Fort Adams, Adams State Park at Newport Harbor Mouth offer an exceptional panoramic view of both Newport Harbor and the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. Fort Adams is perhaps best known for its annual summer concerts when the Jazz Festival and the Folk Festival draw thousands to enjoy the music and beautiful surroundings. It is also a popular spot for alt water bathing, fishing, boating, soccer, rugby, and picnicking.

  • Have a meal at the White Horse Tavern

    The oldest tavern building in the US, built-in 1673, is now a restaurant where people flock to dine amidst the old charm. It serves a wide range of cuisines to history lovers.

  • Learn how to surf with Peter Pan Surfing and SUP Academy

    Peter Pan Surfing and SUP Academy, one of the longest-running surf operations in the state, offers private and group lessons as well as SUP lessons. Camps are the full day for four days a week, with an emphasis on water safety, surfing etiquette, and maximum time in the water riding waves.

  • See the Rosecliff Mansion and other Newport Mansions

    Rhode Island has many mansions, especially in Newport and around that deserves a visit. Rosecliff Mansion, the most prominent among them, is spread over 6.5 acres and was built in 1902.

  • Observe local wildlife at the Norman Bird Sanctuary

    The 325-acre Norman Bird Sanctuary is home to diverse habitats and 7 miles of hiking trails. The sanctuary also has hay fields, woodlands, and ridges overlooking the ocean and ponds.

  • Try some delicious sweets at Pastiche

    Pastiche, the European-style cafe in Providence serves coffee, tea, jams, cakes, and desserts. When you are in Providence, you should not skip Pastiche at Spruce Street.

  • Browse the gardens and handcrafted wares at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory

    The 19th-century farmyard is a shopping venue in Charlestown, which is also a landmark of Rhode Island. It has five individual stores, a plant nursery, henna artist, beautiful flower gardens, a bamboo forest, and animals. There is also a café to spend time in.

  • Shop at The Providence Arcade

    The Westminster Arcade or the Providence Arcade is a shopping center, also a perfect example of Greek revival architecture. Built in 1828, it is also one of the oldest shopping centers in the US and is home to 48 micro-loft apartments on the upper two floors, with the first floor of small business retail, including a full-service local foods restaurant, a coffee shop/whiskey bar, casual dining, and several unique retail shops.

  • Shop the quaint storefronts of Historic Wickford Village

    Originally a fishing village, Wickford Village is on the west side of Narragansett Bay and has enchanting waterfront streets bestrewn with remarkable storefronts, first-rate eateries, historic churches, and colonial homes. The historic houses and buildings remain largely intact even now.

  • Take a beachfront horseback ride with C and L Stables

    While in Warwick, the C & L Stables at beachfront Goddard Park is one of the best places to do horseback riding. The park has 18 miles of scenic trails overlooking East Greenwich Bay

  • Go birdwatching with the Audubon Society Environmental Education Center

    Audubon Society Environmental Education Center works to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitat through conservation, education, and advocacy for the benefit of people and all living things.

  • Find a treasure at the East of the River Nile Trading Company

    Situated on Block Island, the East of the River Nile Trading Company sells handmade jewelry & clothing, furniture & stained glass lamps from different cultures. It also offers incredibly crafted animals, handbags, and whimsical dragons along with fossils, books, beads, and music from different cultures.

  • See the stunning WaterFire display

    Providence’s epic WaterFire sculpture on rivers of downtown by Barnaby Evans engages your senses. The artwork shows fires floating atop the river, smells of wood-burning, and hears the crackling of the flames.

Tip: While moving the home, safety of your belongings is the priority and you need a trustworthy mover at your side. Know the top-rated moving companies in Rhode Island.

How safe is Rhode Island?

If safety is one of the key things you’d like to consider before moving to Rhode Island, we’ve curated crime stats in the state to give you an idea of what to expect.

  • The property crime rate in Rhode Island is 27.5. The national average is 35.4
  • The violent crime rate in Rhode Island is 15.4. The national average is 22.7
  • Both violent and property crime rates in Rhode-Island are below the U.S. average
  • Rape account for 21% of all violent crime in Rhode-Island
  • Up to 45% of Rhode-Island residents say the pandemic has affected their personal safety
Violent Property Total
Number of Crimes2,34216,25918,601
Crime Rate(per 1,000 residents)2.2115.3517.56

10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island

Moving to Rhode Island most likely means living in the safest cities in the state. Overall, crime rates in Rhode Island are lower than the national average.

Rank City Population Crime rate per 1,000 Violent Crimes Per 1000 Property Crimes Per 1000
1Glocester101583.450.492.95
2Scituate106174.330.753.58
3Bristol221314.470.454.02
4Portsmouth174744.810.404.41
5Narragansett154488.480.527.96
6South Kingstown308167.110.526.59
7Burrillville167816.911.135.78
8Barrington161127.510.507.01
9East Greenwich130519.580.778.81
10North Kingstown261019.230.388.85
schools in rhode island

Best Schools & Universities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is home to several top-rated universities, colleges, elementary, middle, and high schools.

We’ve made a list of the ten best colleges and universities in Rhode Island as well as the best elementary, middle, and high schools. Since you’re considering moving to Rhode-Island, check out the list below:

Best Elementary Schools in Rhode Island

  • RISE Prep Mayoral Academy
    RISE Prep Mayoral Academy, Charter, K-3 | 161 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Raymond LaPerche School
    Smithfield, Public, K-5 | 242 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Hope Valley Elementary School
    Chariho, Public, PK-4 | 274 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Nayatt School
    Barrington, Public, K-3 | 323 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Kingston Hill Academy
    Kingston Hill Academy, Charter, K-5 | 190 students, Rating: 10/10

Best Middle Schools in Rhode Island

  • Barrington Middle School
    Barrington, Public, 6-8 | 782 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Blackstone Valley Prep Mid2
    Blackstone Valley Prep A RI Mayoral Academy, Charter, 5-7 | 166 students, Rating: 10/10

  • North Cumberland Middle
    Cumberland, Public, 6-8 | 654 students, Rating: 10/10

  • North Smithfield Middle School
    North Smithfield, Public, 6-8 | 409 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Blackstone Valley Prep
    Blackstone Valley Prep A RI Mayoral Academy, Charter, 5-8 | 332 students, Rating: 10/10

Best High Schools in Rhode Island

  • Barrington High School
    Barrington, Public, 9-12 | 1144 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Classical High School
    Providence, Public, 9-12 | 1126 students, Rating: 10/10

  • East Greenwich High
    East Greenwich, Public, 9-12 | 755 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Portsmouth High School
    Portsmouth, Public, 9-12 | 888 students, Rating: 10/10

  • Burrillville High School
    Burrillville, Public, 9-12 | 764 students, Rating: 10/10

Universities and colleges in Rhode Island

  • Brown University - Providence, RI

  • Providence College - Providence, RI

  • Rhode Island School of Design - Providence, RI

  • Rhode Island College - Providence, RI

  • University of Rhode Island - Kingston, RI

  • Bryant University - Smithfield, RI

  • Salve Regina University - Newport, RI

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