East Providence #32: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


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East Providence

Half of new Rhode Islanders ask if this place is Providence, or part of Providence. The rest can't find it properly. And yet: there is much more to Rhode Island's fifth-largest city on the other side of the Seekonk River than meets the eye, including beautiful neighborhoods, historic cemeteries, vibrant immigrant life and culture, and surprising waterfront properties. It is also home to the fastest-spinning carousel in the state... perhaps even in New England... and a bikeway that brings thousands of Rhode Islanders together, on wheels and walking, along its beautiful shorelines.

That said, the 2012 rankings show East Providence suffering a move down, from #29 in 2011, to this year's #32 spot. For this city which maintained almost across the board stability in its economic indicators, an increase in the relative importance of Education scores gave the land of Townie Pride's low-ranking Education score more weight. EP's crime rate for the 2012 ranking also dropped 2 places, helping pull the town down in the overall list. Bright spots for EP: a Top 10 ranking in Arts & Culture. Just as we said, this is a fun place to be.

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East Providence by the numbers

Established: 1812
Population: 47,037
Median household income: $50,319
Median housing price: $190,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 32
Affordability ranking: 27
Education ranking: 32
Economic condition ranking: 32
Safety ranking: 16
Arts & Culture ranking: 7
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 15

History in a nutshell:

Is there any finer provenance than having been settled by Roger Williams? In 1636, Williams and his followers were banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and established a new community a short distance away in a settlement called “Seacunke.” However, shortly thereafter, the Governor of Massachusetts notifed Williams that his settlement fell within Massachusetts territory and Williams and his followers moved once more, eventaully settling into what would become Providence. It would take until 1862 for East Providence to be officially incorporated as a part of Rhode Island. Today, East Providence is a growing city nearly surrounded by bodies of water. Its central location among water routes has spurred its modern advancement and it is rising as one of Rhode Island’s most desirable living areas, including villages such as Rumford and Riverside.

Famous residents:

Claudia Jordan
Rebecca DiPietro, 2006 WWE Diva Search Contestant & ECW Vixen
Meredith Vieira, television journalist/host
Davey Lopes, former Major League Baseball player
Estes "Buddy" Rodgers, former Maryland Terrapins football running back
Arunah Shepherdson Abell, apprentice on the Providence Patriot, later publisher of the Philadelphia Public Ledger and the Baltimore Sun
Jamie Silva, NFL safety for the Indianapolis Colts
Pedro Braz, Professional Soccer Player
Ron Wilson, US Olympic Hockey Coach, coach of Toronto Maple Leafs
Kevin Robinson, Professional BMX Biker

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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