Warren #33: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012


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With suburban, safe Barrington to the north and historic postcard-perfect Bristol to the south, this East Bay small town is often overlooked like a middle child. And yet, those who know Rhode Island well celebrate this town's ability to maintain a more genuine sensibility amidst the wealth and publicity surrounding it. That's Warren, every bit as historic as Bristol, but just a little rougher around the edges. And better, many think, for it.

But for this Bristol County town of just over 10,600 residents, its beautiful waterfront setting can be a curse, driving up housing prices that considerably outpace the community's earning average and pushing it down one notch in GoLocalProv's 2012 ranking, to #33. Consider that Warren's Median Housing Price remained at a very high $235,000 (down just $1,000 from last year), and its Median Household Income dropped to just $52,011, yielding a very low Affordability ranking of #33--a drop of 2 slots from 2011 and the worst ranking of that measure in the East Bay. Warren did post a gain on its Education ranking, up 2 places since 2011, but dropped a serious 7 places based on its latest crime statistics, to a 2012 Safety ranking of #30

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Warren by the numbers

Established: 1620
Population: 10,611
Median household income: $52,011
Median housing price: $235,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 33
Affordability ranking: 33
Education ranking: 22
Economic condition ranking: 29
Safety ranking: 30
Arts & Culture ranking: 17
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 18

History in a nutshell:

Warren lies on an area of land that once belonged to the Wampanoag Indian Tribe. Like Tiverton, the settlement was transferred from Massachusetts to Rhode Island after the border dispute was settled in 1746. The town takes its name from Admiral Sir Peter Warren. Warren’s location on Narragansett Bay, coupled with its plentiful water supply from the Kickamuit and Warren Rivers helped to make it a thriving industrial center in Colonial times, leading to a vibrant shipbuilding climate. Few Brown grads know that their alma mater was founded as Rhode Island College in Warren in 1746. Warren has enjoyed a diverse and vibrant history and it continues to grow in population and industry.

Famous residents:

Lou Abbruzzi, NFL football player
Pat Abbruzzi, All-Star Canadian football player, RI football legend
Luther Blount, Started Blount Marine, American Canadian Caribbean Cruise Lines and Bay Queen Cruises
Hezekiah Butterworth, author and poet
Jo-Jo Morrissey, Baseball player
Mark Portugal, Former Boston Red Sox Pitcher
Brett Quigley, Professional Golfer

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

For more Best Communities coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.


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