How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Apartment in RI?
Rhode Islanders must earn two-and-a-half times the minimum wage to afford the average cost of rent.
The 2018 RI Kids Count Factbook, released on Monday, is fascinating. It provides a window into the lives of Rhode Island’s children, and it also offers some peripheral data that contextualizes how the state’s youngest residents are raised.
A portion of the Factbook involves housing security and the economic well-being of the family unit. According to the Factbook, in 2017, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Rhode Island was $1,385 — a $100 increase over the previous year. In order to live without a cost burden — when more than 30 percent of a family’s income is spent on housing — a worker must earn $26.63 an hour, at forty hours a week, to be able to afford that monthly rent. Last year’s minimum wage in Rhode Island was $9.60.
Some towns, to be sure, are more affordable than others. Foster, Glocester, Exeter, Richmond, West Greenwich and — believe it or not — Little Compton all average $944 per month in rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Topping the list in monthly rent is Jamestown at $1,932 per month for a two-bedroom apartment — a cost surely driven by seasonal rental rates. Providence comes in at $1,357 per month.
Perhaps the starkest data show how unattainable certain communities are to low-income families. If a poverty-level family (bringing in $20,420 per year) wants to live in Barrington for the schools, for example, they would have to fork over a whopping 92 percent of their income to rent and 100 percent of their income to a mortgage.
The whole Factbook, with stats on the health, safety, education and community of Rhode Island children, is worth a read. Click here for more.