RI’s Best Communities 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
What makes a community great?
We all have reasons we love (or are frustrated with), the places we live. From schools and housing to taxes and crime rates, from cultural to recreational hotspots, our communities create places for us to live, work, raise families, and play. Everyone might think theirs is the best, and while we don't want to insult hometown pride, for the second year, GoLocalProv gets to the bottom of it. What really is the best community in Rhode Island? What place, in a small state of 39 cities and towns, is the all-time best? Who gets the blue ribbon?
New in 2011: An entire week devoted to Best Communities 2011
This year, GoLocalProv devotes the entire week to looking at our cities and towns. Starting today, we reveal the rankings, starting from the bottom of the list at #39. Every day we'll reveal more communities, moving up the list toward the Top 10, which will appear on Friday. What day will your town make the list? And at what ranking? Which towns ranked lower than yours? Which ones higher? We'll have more towns every day, all week, plus a major chart on Friday comparing all 39 communities. Don't miss a day of it.
How GoLocalProv ranked Rhode Island's communities
To translate a feeling into a reality, we went - where else? - to the data. With assessments created nationally by leading media sources like Kiplinger's and Money Magazine, we created our own set of criteria for what makes a community great. 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 museums, to theaters and golf courses. We even counted libraries. From there, we created (with guidance from national sources), a formula that combined, weighed, and averaged, our mountains of data. For the details on this process, go here. What emerged was a set of snapshots of our communities - in education, housing, safety, affordability, and culture... and of course, what community combined everything into the best overall package.
What the rankings mean... to you
This is Rhode Island, remember, and we're expecting to hear from you. How do you feel about your town's ranking? What do the measures we use tell you about your community? Join the conversation about RI's Best Communities here in comments, on your town's profile, and on Facebook, here. Share the piece, talk to your friends and neighbors, and enjoy the biggest backyard conversation Rhode Island has ever seen.
- Best Community #12: Blackstone Valley Standout
- Best Community #4: West Bay Winner
- Best Community #36: City in Turmoil
- Best Community #28: True Island Life
- Best Community #20: City of Contrasts
- Best Community #11: RI’s Big Apple
- Best Community #3: The Icon
- Best Community #35: Feisty Contender
- Best Community #27: Up and Comer
- Best Community #19: Good Schools, Quiet Living
- Best Community #10: Aquidneck’s Best
- Best Community #34: More Than Big Hair
- Best Community #26: RI Rural
- Best Community #18: Countryside Charm
- Best Community #9: The Good Life
- Best Community #1: Having It All
- Best Community #33: Mill Village Pride
- Best Community #25: Country Living
- Best Community #17: Northern Gem
- Best Community #8: Historically Rich
- CHART: RI’s Best Communities 2011 from #39 to #1
- RI’s Best Communities 2011: How We Got the Rankings
- Best Community #32: Sandwiched Between Riches
- Best Community #24: Stuck in the Middle?
- Best Community #16: Brains and Beauty
- Best Community #7: RI’s Best Small Town
- Best Community #39: Faded Star
- Best Community #31: River Beauty
- Best Community #23: Beach-Blessed Beauty
- Best Community #15: Town on the March
- Best Community #6: The Hub
- Best Community #38: In the Capital City’s Shadow
- Best Community #30: Not All About the Summer
- Best Community #22: The Enclave
- Best Community #14: Small-Town Seaside
- Best Community #5: Main Street Powerhouse
- Best Community #37: Too Rich for RI?
- Best Community #29: The Overlooked Community
- Best Community #21: Star in the Making
- Best Community #13: Northern RI Surprise