Moving to Rhode Island? Check out our guide to Starting a Business in Rhode Island.

Sure, it’s the smallest state in the country, but Rhode Island packs a lot of greatness in its small interior. For one, it’s beautiful: the Ocean State has great beaches and broadleaf forests whose stunning fall foliage brings visitors from all over the country. Then you have the cuisine: fresh, delicious seafood and classic New England clam chowder. To top it off, Rhode Island benefits from a great location: near to big cities like New York and Boston, but with a lower cost of living than those places. Scope our list of Rhode Island’s five best cities to live in for advice on where to settle in the state.

1. Cranston

Rhode Island’s top city is Cranston, the third largest in a state with a population of over 81,000. Cranston is a quintessential New England community: laying claim to nearly four hundred years of history, a low crime rate, a charming downtown area, and a massive outdoor swimming pool. Interestingly, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane modeled the town’s “Quahog” after Cranston.

2. Providence

Providence, the state capital, is Rhode Island’s #2 best city to live in. After a couple of rough decades, the city is now on the upswing in the 21st century thanks to a diversified economy and is home to the headquarters of major companies such as Textron, a Fortune 500 tech company and Citizens Bank, which employ many Providence residents. Additionally, seven institutes of higher learning are located in the city.

3. Warwick

Warwick, Rhode Island’s second largest city, is its 3rd best city to settle down in. The city’s charming waterfront is a great place to have a delicious meal and catch the sunset during a relaxing stroll on the beach.

Our top five is rounded out by two charmingly quaint Providence County towns with a ton of history: Fourth on the list is Cumberland, a community in north Providence County of about 33,000 with a slew of national registered historic homes and districts, while #5 Johnston is home to the Clemence Irons house, one of the few remaining “stone-ender” homes that were built all the way back in 1691.

Best Cities to Live in Rhode Island

RankCity
1Cranston
2Providence
3Warwick
4Cumberland
5Johnston
6Coventry
7West Warwick
8Pawtucket
9Woonsocket

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Best Cities To Live Rhode Island 2019 badge

Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).