West Greenwich #25: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


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West Greenwich

It is not always easy to think of Rhode Island communities being truly rural, but this quiet enclave of just more than 6,000 people is truly that. A landscape of woodlands covers much of more than 50 square miles, the 7th largest place in Rhode Island, in terms of land area, and living is quiet and unassuming in West Greenwich, which moved up one spot to break into the Top 25 in 2012.

What puts West Greenwich above better-known towns in Rhode Island rankings is, foremost, Affordability (the town moved up to #8 from last year's already-decent ranking of #15). Add to that another upward move of 4 spots on Education scores (from #15 last year to #11 this year)--plus, Exeter-West Greenwich High School was the #3 Top High School in GoLocalProv's May 2012 rankings.  Room for improvement: a declining Safety ranking, down to #22, as well as a paucity of Arts & Culture sites and Restaurants & Bars (West Greenwich ranked the lowest in the state on both measures).

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West Greenwich by the numbers

Established: 1639
Population: 6,135
Median household income: $81,419
Median housing price: $252,500

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 25
Affordability ranking: 8
Education ranking: 11
Economic condition ranking: 20
Safety ranking: 22
Arts & Culture ranking: 37
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 37

History in a nutshell:

On June 10, 1709, 35,000 acres of the “Vacant Lands” was purchased by 13 men for 1,000 pounds. These “Vacant Lands” were extremely popular for hunting and fishing due to the abundance of wildlife. Several years later in 1740, a signed petition was sent which asked for West Greenwich to be set off as a separate town. A year later, the general assembly approved the petition and West Greenwich was incorporated. The settlers of West Greenwich were hardy, strong folk who knew how to live off the land. When the American Revolution was complete, lumbering and farming became the main occupations of the habitants. Today, West Greenwich maintains its sprawling woodlands and scenic country sides and is popular for its natural trails and scenic views.

Photo: Linda Eagleson

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


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