The smallest state in the union, Rhode Island, has charm and a fascinating past, but not everyone thinks it’s a great location to call home. As one of the few states to have a decrease in population, Rhode Island’s population fell by 0.3% between 2021 and 2022, according to the US Census Bureau. It is worthwhile to investigate the causes of this migration as well as the particular towns from which individuals are leaving. These five Rhode Island towns are experiencing a mass departure.
Providence, the state capital and largest city, has a population of about 180,000. Notable universities including Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design are located in Providence. Providence is a desirable city for culture, but it also has problems with high taxes, crime, traffic, and poor public education. According to WalletHub’s analysis, Providence is the worst place to live in Rhode Island and the tenth worst place in the United States when taking into account aspects like cost of living, safety, and educational opportunities. With a typical property value of $223,900 and a median rent of $1,023, Providence has an exceptionally high cost of living. As a result, many inhabitants are looking for more reasonably priced and livable options both inside and outside of the state.
Woonsocket, a small city in northern Rhode Island with a population of roughly 41,000, was once a thriving industrial hub. However, Woonsocket is now dealing with high rates of unemployment, poverty, and crime as a result of the manufacturing downturn and the effects of the Great Recession. With a poverty rate of 22.4%, higher than the state average of 11.6%, Woonsocket’s median household income in 2022 was $41,136, significantly less than the state average of $67,167. The 1.2% decrease in the town’s population between 2021 and 2022 suggests that residents are looking elsewhere for greater possibilities.
West Warwick, a town in central Rhode Island with a population of around 28,000, is confronted with social and economic issues. Its problems have been exacerbated by things like low wages, high taxes, inadequate infrastructure, and drug misuse. The US Census Bureau reports that in 2022, West Warwick’s median household income was $51,736—less than the state average of $67,167. Over the state average of 10.8%, the tax burden was 15.9%. The town’s 0.7% population decrease between 2021 and 2022 is a reflection of residents’ discontent with the way things are now.
Central Falls, the state’s smallest and densestly inhabited city, is located in northeastern Rhode Island and has a population of roughly 19,000 people. The city has issues like low educational attainment, insolvency, corruption, and financial catastrophe notwithstanding its diversity. The lowest in the state in terms of median household income in 2022, Central Falls’ poverty rate was 31.9%, over three times higher than the state average. A departure for better opportunities is suggested by Central Falls’ 0.6% population loss from 2021 to 2022, which is accompanied by a high school graduation rate of 69% as opposed to the state average of 86%.
With a population of over 24,000, Newport is a well-liked tourist attraction and naval facility located in the southeast of Rhode Island. Newport, which is well-known for its picturesque coastline and historic houses, has many disadvantages, especially for people looking for stability, affordability, and diversity. According to Zillow, the state’s median rent in 2022 will be $1,750, and the median house value will be the highest in the state at $608,800. The town’s 0.5% population decline from 2021 to 2022 suggests a move toward more stable and reasonably priced areas.
Despite its unique flavor, Rhode Island might not be to everyone’s taste. Various causes, including high taxes, low income, inadequate education, violence, and restricted prospects, are blamed for the state’s population loss. Newport, Central Falls, Woonsocket, West Warwick, Providence, and Woonsocket are among the towns where there are notable departures. Although these cities have their own attractions, they also face their own set of difficulties. To make the greatest choice for your family and yourself, carefully analyze the advantages and disadvantages of moving to or from Rhode Island.