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Best Communities: Top Stories in RI in 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012


GoLocalProv's Best Communities ranking of its 39 cities and towns named a new top community and drew intense interest from readers from every city and town, large and small.

Rhode Island's Best Communities 2012 set out to discover the best places in Rhode Island to live, whether you're a young single, a starting family, or empty-nesters. What cities and towns, we asked, combined affordability, safety, schools, arts, culture and recreation and nightlife in the very best balance? GoLocal's 3rd Annual Best Communities took a close, analytical look at all 39 cities and towns in the state to come up with that very answer--and the results were surprising and talked about (and argued about) for days and weeks to follow.

New data, updated formulas, new winners

With updated data and formulas for 2012, GoLocalProv spent more than 100 hours of analyzing almost 900 data points to reveal the very latest look at every community from one end of the state to the other. Our researchers spent hours poring over measures from public sources that help define a great place to live. We gathered and assessed housing prices, tax rates, median household incomes, crime statistics, and school performance on standardized tests in elementary, middle, and high schools. We counted places to go out and have fun, from bars and restaurants, to theaters, historic sites and museums, and golf courses. We even counted libraries. (For a full explanation of our methodology and sources, go here.)

For an entire week in June, GoLocal revealed the rankings, starting from the bottom of the list at #39, all the way to #1. Rhode Islanders checked in every day to see where their own communities ranked, hoping for a spot in the Top 10.

And who was in the Top for 2012?

Taking the top spot away from Cranston, which was the #1 Community in 2011, was South Kingstown, which combined top ratings in nearly every category, from great schools to low crime. East Greenwich ranked #2, followed by Providence at #3, Warwick at #4, and North Kingstown at #5. For a chart of how all the communities fared in 2012, go here.


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