Charlestown #19: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


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With a strand of preserved beachfront creating arguably one of the most beautiful shorelines in Rhode Island, the smallish South County town enjoys open spaces and old-fashioned beachfront life. It also is headquarters to Rhode Island's Narragansett Indian Tribe.
Charlestown, which enjoyed a Top 15 spot in last year's Best Communities ranking, may have become a victim of its own popularity. Median Housing Prices spiked more than 20%, up to $350,000 for 2012, while Median Household Income declined. That added up to an Affordability ranking for 2012 of #32, a precipitous drop of 14 spots from 2011. And while it certainly got more expensive this year to live in Charlestown, the schools got even better than last year's #6 ranking, taking over the #3 spot statewide.

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Charlestown by the numbers

Established: 1669
Population: 7,827
Median household income: $70,969
Median housing price: $350,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 19
Affordability ranking: 32
Education ranking: 3
Economic condition ranking: 5
Safety ranking: 14
Arts & Culture ranking: 29
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 28

History in a nutshell:

The community of Charlestown derives its name from King Charles II. It was taken from the town of Westerly and incorporated in 1738 but in 1747, Charlestown was divided. The northern half took the name of Richmond while the southern half kept its namesake. Charlestown’s landscape is set with ridges of steeply rolling hills, flat coastal areas, and large wetlands. A great portion of the land, approximately 1,900 square acres are lands that are designated to the Narragansett Tribe of Indians. In addition to the tribal lands are vast expanses of conservational and recreational ground. State parks, wildlife refuges, and beaches comprise a large portion of Charlestown’s land and they also serve to attract visitors and local residents alike.

Famous residents:

Eric Lutes, actor

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

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