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Barrington #7: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012



If ever a suburb were a town, a town a suburb, a place where everyone moves so children can ride bicycles in cul-de-sacs, and play on soccer teams, and attend top-notch public schools, it's this town. And that never-ending surge of upwardly mobile families has helped keep this East Bay star in the Top 10 for 3 years in a row. This year, Barrington moves down from its #3 finish in 2011 to finish at #7 Best Community for 2012.

One of the central factors in Barrington's shift for 2012 came from a Median Housing Price that jumped from $305,500 in 2011 to $359,900 in 2012, pitted against Median Household Income that fell to $94,300 for 2012. The result: an Affordability drop of major proportion, from #9 last year to #21 this year. What Barrington held on to was its domination of the state's Education rankings, placing #1 for 2 years in a row. The town also maintained a Top 10 Safety ranking, at #8, for 2 years. Where Barrington, like other suburban communities, suffers is on the Arts & Culture ranking, placing #29. The town ranked an equally lukewarm #28 on Restaurants & Bars, although let's remember: it still has a Newport Creamery. And that's Top 10 material, right there.

Barrington by the numbers

Established: 1653
Population: 16,310
Median household income: $94,300
Median housing price: $359,900

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 7
Affordability ranking: 21
Education ranking: 1
Economic condition ranking: 6
Safety ranking: 8
Arts & Culture ranking: 29
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 28

History in a nutshell:

Originally known as Sowams, Barrington used to be the home of Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag Indians. The land between the Narragansett Bay and the Taunton River was bought from Massasoit in 1653 by Governer William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish. Four years later this area was incorporated as part of the Plymouth colony under the name of Swansea. In 1717, Barrington was set off as its own town but still a part of the state of Massachusetts. In 1746, Barrington became a part of Rhode Island and a year later, the name of the town changed to “Warren,” in honor of Sir Peter Warren of the Royal British Navy. In 1770, Barrington and Warren split, and Barrington was incorporated as its own town. In its earliest days, Barrington was an agricultural society but it slowly began to develop a manufacturing industry. In the 19th century it became popular as a summer resort area and is still today known for its beautiful homes and large country estates.

Famous residents:

David Angell, American television sitcom producer
Nicholas Bianco, former member of the Colombo Crime Family before moving to Barrington. Underboss then Boss of the Patriarca Crime Family. Died in prison in 1994.
Thomas W. Bicknell, educator and historian
Christopher Denise, illustrator of children's books, including many in the Redwall series
Brad Faxon, professional golfer
Steven Frazier, CNN anchor
Henry Giroux, world-renowned academic and cultural critic
Spalding Gray, actor, screenwriter and playwright
Scott Haltzman, physician and author (wrote Secrets of Happily Married Men)
Michael S. Harper, poet
Phil Madeira, Nashville songwriter, musician, and recording artist, raised there
Shanna Moakler, model, Miss USA 1995, actress, and reality television star
Jon Land, author and screenwriter of Dirty Deeds.
Dan & Jordan Pious, winners of the Amazing Race 16

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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