When one hears the name ‘Rhode Island’, beaches and mansions come to mind. Nicknamed the ‘Ocean State’, there is hardly another place that is more reminiscent of the charm of an era gone by, embodied in the life of the twenty-first century. The fact that the place is named after Rhodos, who was/is considered to be the goddess of the Island of Rhodes, feels straight out of a storybook. It is a coveted experience to live in Rhode Island at least once in a lifetime. So if you are planning on moving to Rhode Island, keep reading ahead for more information.

What Should I Know Before Moving To Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state in New England that is famously dubbed as the ‘Ocean State’, all thanks to 14% of its total area being covered by large bays and inlets. It is the smallest state in the US with an area of 1214 square miles (3144 km2) of which 169 square miles (438 km2) is water. The state is also the seventh least populous in the country, with a total population of 1,059,361 as estimated in 2019.

The most popular cultural reference to Rhode Island is definitely from ‘Family guy’. The first thing that you will notice about the state is the accent people speak in, which has been described as a cross between the New York and Boston accent. You might also enjoy the stunning architecture and the beaches. If you go there at the right time, you might get to participate in the celebration of ‘Victory over Japan Day’ or VJ Day as it is more lovingly called, the only state to have such a celebration.

Rhode Island also has a minor league team called the Providence Bruins ice-hockey team of the American Hockey League. There are also NCAA Division 1 schools here that participate in four different games.

And of course one must know about the food that a place is famous for so that they might have it for their very first meal in the state. Start off with some Calamari and Lobster Ravioli and pair it with Del’s Lemonade. Clam cakes and Doughboys are quite the popular snacks with the Zeppole filling in as extra dessert.

When it comes to nightlife, Rhode Island is not very far behind its neighbours and has its fair share of all-night movies, diners, a vibrant music scene coupled with dive bars and upscale restaurants, basically something for everyone.

Crime Rate In Rhode Island

The rate of crime in the ‘Ocean State’, in every 1000 residents is 2.21 to the national rate of 4, as taken from NeighbourhoodScout. This places the chances of being a victim at 1 in 452. Similarly, the rate of property crime per 1000 residents is 15.35 making the chances of being a victim, 1 in 65.

This makes Rhode Island a very safe place to stay and one might enjoy the beaches and the weather in peace without worrying too much about their back.

Also See: Safest Places in the US

Weather Of Rhode Island

The climate of Rhode Island is classified as ‘humid continental’ which means that the summers are warm and the winters are cold. In summers, the temperatures go as high as 830 F (280 C) and the winter temperatures can dip to 200 F (-70C). It must be mentioned that the highest recorded temperature in the state was 1040F (400 C) and the lowest was 200 F (-70 C).

Its location in New England means that it is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes. Some of the famous ones are Hurricane Donna, hurricane Bob and hurricane Carol.

Is Rhode Island Expensive To Live In?

Moving to a new place requires an assessment of finances to understand in the most tangible way, how that move might affect our lives. Rhode Island is the stuff of dreams but it must go through your financial scrutiny if it were to get the green signal from you. So, let’s take a look at the taxes to be paid in Rhode Island.

The income tax in the state ranges from 3.75% to 5.99%, depending upon the yearly income of the individual. But you should know that Rhode Island has a state-wide sales tax rate at 7%. The property tax here happens to be 1.53%, and as far as retirees go, social security income is taxed partially while withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed.

Cost Of Living In Rhode Island

Let’s begin with the cost-of-living index of the state which is 110.6, benchmarked against the national index of 100. Of course, a family of four would need a minimum of $3,631 per month for their expenses, minus the rent, whereas a single person would need $1033, like before, minus the rent.

Talking about how you would actually spend the money, note that a litre of milk costs $0.92 and a loaf of bread is $2.58. A dozen eggs would come to $2.42 and a kilogram of potatoes cost no less than $4.25. If cooking doesn’t interest you occasionally or ever, a meal at a restaurant for a single person is $14 and for two people, it would be $67, if it is a mid-range restaurant.

Buying A House In Rhode Island

The average cost of a house in Rhode Island is $344,836. This is the value for a regular-sized house and the prices have seen an increase of 13% in the last year.

Renting A House In Rhode Island

The average rent of a regular house in Rhode Island would be $2,000, according to Zillow. That’s definitely higher than the US National Average, but that’s the cost of living by the coast.

Utilities Bills In Rhode Island

Utility bills, like electricity, heating, cooling, garbage and water can go up to $205 for an average apartment. An internet connection with an unlimited plan, because we all Netflix and chill, costs $85.

Transport costs can look like $2 for a one-way ticket and $70 for a monthly pass. A vehicle owner would be paying $0.63 for a litre of gas but somebody taking a taxi will pay $3.5 as the base fare and $2.17 per kilometre thereon.

Economy And Employment Opportunities In Rhode Island

In terms of the moolah you make here, Rhode Island has a median household income of $67,167. A major chunk of Rhode Island’s economy is constituted by the service industry, especially healthcare, tourism, education and manufacturing, in that order. The state also carries a nautical history which started with a colonial foundation in fishing, though that has now continued in the form of submarine construction.

Some of the manufacturing that takes place in Rhode Island is that of submarines, as mentioned before. There’s also shipbuilding, costume jewellery, fabricated metals and metal products, electric equipment, machinery and boats. Agriculture wise, the state outputs nursery stock, vegetables, dairy and eggs. Rhode Island has had a very rich industrial history, which though not as strong as before, has continued its legacy in the form of the abandoned factories which are now used as museums, offices, housing and even condominiums. Imagine living or working in a literal piece of history.

This is also where Citizens Financial Group is headquartered, specifically in Providence. Some of the Fortune 500 companies here are CVS Caremark and Textron, both of which are based in Woonsocket and Providence respectively. The place also has a surprising number of Fortune 1000 companies like FM Global, Hasbro and Nortek among a few others. Tourism is also a prominent industry with it providing for 39,000 jobs and bringing in more than $4.56 billion in 2000 (adjust to inflation).

Being a teacher in Rhode Island sure brings its perks as the salary of an elementary school teacher here is $75,028, the highest in the country. Some of the largest employers of the state are the State of Rhode Island, Lifespan Hospital Group, US Federal Government, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, CVS Caremark and others.

It stands that the total gross product of the state, in 2000, was $46.18 billion, adjusted to inflation. Economically, it is one of the better states to be in, especially if planning for some long-term savings.

Education In Rhode Island

Not only are the Rhode Island teachers some of the highest paid in the country, the school system here provides education to about 143,000 students every year, while having a budget of $2.2 billion for their education sector. It also acts as employer to 21,000 staff and teachers. The list of elementary, junior high and high schools in Rhode Island runs long but it is easy to infer that all educational needs are well taken care of here.

When it comes to higher education, the state teaches about 43,000 students each year and employs 4500 faculty and staff. The functioning budget of the higher education system here is about $1 billion each year. Some of the prominent universities are the Brown University, Bryant university, Community College of Rhode Island and Providence College.

Getting Around Rhode Island

Air Travel

The state’s main airport for passengers and cargo is the T.F. Green Airport which is situated in Warwick. If the residents here need to travel internationally, they need to travel through the Logan International Airport in Boston.

Rail Travel

Rail travel in Rhode Island is the MBTA Commuter Rail’s Providence Line linking Providence to T.F. Green Airport. The Acela Express of Amtrak stops at Providence and links it to other cities in the Northeast corridor. The North east regional, on the other hand, has stations at Kingston, Westerly and Providence. There are hopes and plans in place for future expansion of these lines.

Road Travel

The Interstate-95, I-295 and other interstates connect Rhode Island to other cities. There are bridges on Narragansett Bay, like the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge and the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge, that connect Aquidneck Island and the Conanicut Island to the mainland.

It falls on the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) to operate the buses that run across and within the state. Its starting points are usually Providence, Pawtucket and Newport. They also mostly run along Route 38 and 39 of the state’s cities and towns, though it operates a total of 58 routes.

Ferry Travel

It is the aforementioned RIPTA that runs the ferry linking Providence and Newport. Some of the other private players are the Block Island Ferry, the Vineyard Fast Ferry and the Viking Fleet.

Bicycle Travel

The use of bicycles to travel distances is not new to Rhode Island. There is the East Bay Bike Path linking Providence to Bristol and the Blackstone River Bikeway for Providence to Worcester. There is another bicycle route connecting these two routes that runs 33.5 miles (54 km) long. Some of the other important biking trails are the Washington Secondary Bike Path, Ten Mile Greenway and the Willian C. O’Neill Bike Path.

Best Cities Of Rhode Island

1. Providence

Providence is not just the capital of and the most populated city of Rhode Island, it is also one of the oldest in the United States. It is quite known for its jewelry and silverware. The service industry also has quite the stronghold here with health, education and finance being important players. The culture of Rhode Island is a microcosm of that of Rhode Island and it loves its coffee and doughnuts more than any other place in the country.
The cost of a house in Providence comes to $280,931 and the median rent for such a house would be $1,499 per month.

2. Newport

It is a seaside city in Aquidneck Island and is famously called the summer resort of New England. The architecture of this place is quite the head-turner with its grandiose mansions and houses. This place probably has the most colonial architecture and summer cottages that are quite reminiscent of the royalty of Europe.
The cost of a house here is $613,839, on average and the median rent in the city stands at $2,500 per month.

3. Warwick

Warwick is a city that is located in Kent County and is the third largest city in Rhode Island. The largest employers of this city are the Kent Memorial Hospital, Leviton Manufacturing, Wal-Mart, JC Penney and others. Overall, this is a cute city that is amazing to take a break in or raise a family.

The cost of a house in Warwick is $283,392 and the median rent here would be $1,100 per month.

Is It A Good Idea To Move To Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is capable of providing residents with quite the settled life, especially if they are looking to raise a family. The little state is also pretty good to retirees looking for a quiet place with the possibility of a little bit of fun. But that’s not all, the Ocean State is also a great place for young professionals to start their life in. You can’t regret being in Rhode island ever so if the place matches your requirements, which is quite likely, get on the earliest plane possible and set off to this little magic of a place to make the best of your time. Considering moving to Rhode Island? Have a look at our feature on the Best Moving Companies In Rhode Island to take care of your relocation needs.

Also Read: Affordable National Moving Companies in U.S.