West Warwick #28: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


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West Warwick

Call it Rhode Island's upstart youngest sibling, and you'd be right. The most recent community in Rhode Island established itself as a separate entity from Warwick in 1913, and built a speedy, proud tradition based on immigrant influx and milling. The pride remains intact - one need look no further than fierce Wizards loyalty at the local high school for evidence. And this year, West Warwick moves up 5 big spots, to break into the Top 30 Best Communities at #28.

What's behind West Warwick's move? Moves up in several key areas: an improvement on Economic Condition scores, from ranking #34 in 2011 to #31 in 2012, as well as in Safety, up 2 spots to #28. West Warwick also placed in the Top 20 for Affordability as well as Restaurants & Bars. That's a potent combination.

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West Warwick by the numbers

Established: 1648
Population: 29,191
Median household income: $50,604
Median housing price: $170,950

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 28
Affordability ranking: 16
Education ranking: 31
Economic condition ranking: 31
Safety ranking: 28
Arts & Culture ranking: 23
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 16

History in a nutshell:

They wanted their own show by the 20th century, and got it. With the urging of a majority of the population in western Warwick (which had served as Warwick's population and industrial center), RI Governor Aram J. Pothier signed a bill in 1913 that divided the town of Warwick. The new town was simply called West Warwick and despite its late founding, the community has a proud heritage and noble tradition. West Warwick came to be a well-respected town due to its continuous educational growth, rapid industrial expansion, and the boost it had received from immigrants in the 19th century. West Warwick had, in fact, been the site of some of the earliest textile mills in the US, along the north and south branches of the Pawtuxet River. The town houses several industrial sites evincing its commitment for continued growth.

Famous residents:

Ann Hood, novelist
Saint Andre Bessette, builder of St. Joseph's basilica in Montreal, canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010

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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