Tiverton #31: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


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Rhode Islanders may know this town more for its parts than for its sum. Do you know this town from its breathtaking waterfront? Its well-known four-corners-style retail village? Its renowned clam shack, Evelyn's? Or Gray's Ice Cream? Tiverton embraces more contrasts than these, and for many, it's the perfect destination for a weekend daytrip. What kind of town is Tiverton for year-round living?

For the second year in a row, Tiverton places itself at #31 in the Best Communities ranking. It stands to reason: this town of nearly 16,000 citizens saw a small upward tick in its Median Household Income ($59,245 for 2012's ranking), but housing prices moved up as well, from a Median Price of $215,500 in 2011 up to $229,500 this year. This moved the town up into the Top 25 Most Affordable Communities in the state. In Education, Tiverton posted a gain of 4 spots, up to #23, as well. Another nice gain: in Safety, the town moved up from #24 last year to #19 for 2012. Lower positioning in Arts & Culture (#29) balanced those upward moves, however, along with a new Restaurant & Bars ranking of a midrange #23.

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Tiverton by the numbers

Established: 1694
Population: 15,780
Median household income: $59,245
Median housing price: $229,500

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 31
Affordability ranking: 24
Education ranking: 23
Economic condition ranking: 26
Safety ranking: 19
Arts & Culture ranking: 29
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 23

History in a nutshell:

We had to fight a bit to acquire this beautiful stretch of waterfront land. Before Tiverton was a part of Rhode Island it was a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, a long border dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts was resolved in 1741 and the town of Tiverton, along with a few others was annexed to Rhode Island, and Tiverton was incorporated in 1747. In its early days, Tiverton was mainly a farming community with some fishing and boat construction, but cotton and wool mills were established as early as 1827. Tiverton also had a role in the Revolutionary War, as it was an asylum for Americans feeling from British influence and occupation. Today, trade establishments are the major source of income and Tiverton has also become a summer getaway destination and residential area.

Famous residents:

Robert Gray, merchant sea-captain and explorer
Russell Warren, architect
Paul Di Filippo, science fiction author
Mika Seeger, ceramic artist
Shane Palmer, marine biologist

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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