What Does Your Town Say About You?
We pick where we live in part based on similarities to our neighbors.
Maybe you picked your town because it has good schools and your kids can play soccer on weekends. Or perhaps hopping in a boat docked nearby is essential. Or you just love being able to walk to the latest restaurant.
Where we decide to live says a lot about us. And whether you realize it or not, you’ve made a choice to set up a home among people who share aspects of the same lifestyle as you.
The communities that we form are of great interest to data mapping company Esri. The California-based company collects reams of information on what people choose to buy, eat, download and do in their free time. They combine data from the census, the American Community Survey, Esri’s proprietary demographics, the Doublebase Consumer Survey and other sources.
Based on that information, Esri has come up with a system called Tapestry Segmentation, which divides Americans into sixty-seven different categories based on demographic and socioeconomic data. Then they use that information to provide a snapshot of communities.
We’ve gotten that data for Rhode Island’s thirty-nine towns and cities and with help from the planning departments in Providence and Cranston, parsed it out into color-coded categories. So what does where you live say about you?
2015 population: 22,245
Median age: 42
Median home value: $315,924
Median disposable income: $51,069
Bristol’s population is made up of mostly Exurbanites and Golden Years, though some Green Acres, Top Tiers, Savvy Suburbanites, Comfortable Empty Nesters and young professionals balance out the mix. It goes without saying that Bristol is a community-focused town with 85 percent of the adult population participating in any public activity in the last twelve months: Hello, Bristol Fourth of July parade. Buying American is important to 43 percent of the population while it is moderately important to 38 percent. With easy access to the East Bay Bike Path and Colt State Park, Bristolians are a healthy bunch, with 26 percent spending more than six hours a week exercising, and 39 percent of adults presently controlling their diets. They use the Internet primarily for Facebook and YouTube — probably searching for workout videos.
2015 population: 16,234
Median age: 45.7
Median home value: $389,599
Median disposable income: $78,510
The majority of Barringtonians are Top Tier and Savvy Suburbanites with 78 percent of the adult population recycling products in the last twelve months, and a large majority believing that preserving nature is very important (hence the push for a plastic bag ban). Only 38 percent of adult residents read the paper version of a daily newspaper, while more rely on digital, and the most popular sections are the front page and local news, followed by the circular fliers (grills are on sale at Benny’s!). For a previously dry town, about 50 percent of adults consumed beer in the last six months, but slightly more drink wine over beer at home and when at a restaurant. The preferred variety? Cabernet sauvignon.
2015 population: 16,423
Median age: 44.2
Median home value: $202,213
Median disposable income: $55,203
Nestled in the northwest corner of the state, Burrillville residents value the country life, which helps explain some recent opposition to a proposed natural gas power plant. Filled with Parks and Rec and Green Acres types, followed by the young married Home Improvement families, they’re practical: More than a quarter of adults had their brakes worked on over the past six months. And by more than two to one, they prefer to exercise at home over a club, with treadmill ownership edging out stationary bikes and ellipticals. Burrillville’s proximity to Connecticut and Massachusetts may play a role in what they do for fun: nearly four times as many adults gambled at a casino as participated in a fantasy football league.
Rhode Island’s smallest city is filled with Fresh Ambitions and NeWest Residents, young couples who recently arrived in the United States and often work in service industries. The city is also home to a small population of senior citizens often living on fixed incomes. Value-conscious, nearly half shopped at Walmart over the past three months, followed by Target and Old Navy. When it comes to breakfast, they prefer cold to hot cereal by nearly two to one. At the movies, Central Falls residents opted for comedies over action flicks, and they like to watch sports on TV, particularly the Super Bowl, followed by the NBA finals, the World Series and the World Cup.
2015 population: 19,136
Median age: 30.4
Median home value: $156,032
Median disposable income: $26,652
2015 population: 7,941
Median age: 49.8
Median home value: $297,757
Median disposable income: $59,487
Home to some of the best hidden beaches in the state, the Narragansett tribe and kayak-friendly Ninigret Pond, Charlestown is a split between population segments the Great Outdoors, Comfortable Empty Nesters and Green Acres; an additional 14 percent are wealthy retirees. More than twice as many people identify conservative as liberal. They prefer rustic life to technology, and live in older houses they work on themselves when they’re not out back in the vegetable garden. Charlestown residents like to fish and hunt, and when they did park in front of the TV in the last week, the History Channel, Fox News and the Weather Channel topped the list; and they prefer to watch PGA over NASCAR.
2015 population: 35,538
Median age: 44.5
Median home value: $214,962
Median disposable income: $53,683
Stodgily pronounced “Cah-ventry” by locals, it’s wedged between rural South County and the more urban Cranston and West Warwick. Despite being the largest town in land mass in the state, it’s a place where everyone knows everyone, a community that thrives on being involved in public activities. The majority of its population is Parks and Rec, followed by Soccer Moms, Savvy Suburbanites and the Great Outdoors. They stock up on staples from warehouse stores such as BJ’s and Walmart. Like nearby towns Exeter and WG, Coventry residents love bacon and cereal, and they also prefer to brew their own coffee over buying to-go.
(Central: Garden City, Rolfe Square, Knightsville, Auburn)
2015 population (02910): 20,654; (02920): 37,566
Median age (02910): 39.2; (02920): 42.7
Me dian home value (02910): $161,873; (02920): $185,092
Me dian disposable income (02910): $47,187; (02920): $41,908
Rhode Island’s third most populous city is considered a microcosm of the state. And its heart is dominated by Parks and Rec and Front Porches — older couples who own their homes and are approaching retirement and young families with kids who work blue collar jobs. Golden Years, affluent, tech-savvy retirees make up the next segment — no doubt shopping at Garden City. Yoga trumps Pilates here; more than three times as many people prefer downward dogs. They also appreciate lingerie over sporting equipment; twice as many residents shopped at Victoria’s Secret as Sports Authority.
Michael St. Jean
02905 (Pawtuxet Village, Edgewood, Washington Park, parts of Fox Point, South Providence, South Elmwood)
2015 population: 25,477
Median age: 30.3
Median home value: $182,611
Median disposable income: $35,676
The bobbing boats of Pawtuxet Village and picturesque homes overlooking the water in Edgewood make up part of this area where Cranston and Providence meet, where people who qualify as Urban Chic, Emerald City and Golden Years live. They’re well-educated married couples who work professional jobs, drink imported wine and practice yoga. Single professionals and retired seniors are enjoying life there too. Older, more middle-class couples of Parks and Rec are part of the mix, along with Johnson and Wales students. The largest segment in this diverse area are the recent arrivals of Fresh Ambitions and International Marketplace. More than two thirds say that preserving nature is very important, and running, swimming and hiking are popular activities. Nearly 9,000 say they try to eat healthy, but more than 10,000 succumbed to the McDonald’s drive-thru.
2015 population (02921): 12,558
Median age: 44.1
Median home value: $270,813
Median disposable income: $73,548
Dotted with farms and country clubs, the population of western Cranston is nearly all well-off Savvy Suburbanites with some Comfortable Empty Nesters sprinkled in. Rural living makes them practical; a handful more households bought or leased a Ford over a Toyota in the past year and 35 percent belong to AAA. Western Cranston residents are also generous with their time; 21 percent of adults volunteered for a charitable organization over the past year. They also enjoy their yards: More than 42 percent have a garden and they favor walk-behind gas mowers over tractors.
2015 population: 33,933
Median age: 43.7
Median home value: $234,419
Median disposable income: $57,216
Cumberland’s rustic miles in northern Rhode Island are dominated by Parks and Rec types, followed by Savvy Suburbanites and Comfortable Empty Nesters, with Home Improvement, In Style, Golden Years, Bright Young Professionals, Small Town Simplicity and Front Porches rounding out the population. Cumberland residents are civically engaged, with nearly 50 percent voting in an election over the past twelve months, just shy of the number of adults who bought athletic shoes over the last year. They’re looking forward to retirement if they’re not already there, with more than 9,000 adults invested in a 401(k) or an IRA. And Cumberlandites were nearly six times more likely to give money to religious organizations as political groups.
John Harvey / Varnum Continentals
2015 population: 13,254
Median age: 46.9
Median home value: $391,960
Median disposable income: $81,798
Affluent and middle-aged, nearly a third of E.G.’s residents are Top Tier corporate movers and shakers, but there’s also a healthy contingent of Savvy Suburbanites and Professional Pride types. Politically conservative, they’re pretty much split on getting their TV news from Fox or CNN. They’re willing to navigate up Route 2 to shop at Trader Joe’s for bacon and imported cheese and they sip cabernet (not Two Buck Chuck, alas) and diet soda. Homeowners rev up their gas-powered mowers to manicure those lush green lawns, and more than 10 percent of households did some of their own home remodeling in the last year, scouring the aisles at Home Depot more often than Lowe’s.
2015 population: 49,031
Median age: 43.5
Median home value: $190,775
Median disposable income: $40,231
This diverse East Bay city is more than half populated by Parks and Rec, practical suburban types, followed by Front Porches, young families who often rent and work in blue-collar jobs. Senior citizens make up the next largest group, while the city also includes wealthier residents in the Rumford and Riverside areas. Nearly three times as many Townies opted for domestic cars over imported, choosing Fords nearly twice as often as Hondas. Thirty percent liked to play games on the Internet, but just 651 residents logged on for love through online dating. As for recreation, roughly the same number of residents had gone bowling, running or freshwater fishing over the past six months.
2015 population: 6,563
Median age: 46.1
Median home value: $294,479
Median disposable income: $76,461
Route 102 cuts through Exeter, a vast expanse of charming farms and Colonial houses tucked away from the road. Paradoxical to their rural location, a majority of the population are Savvy Suburbanites. They enjoy food and often cook with natural or organic products perhaps picked from one of the nearby farms or their own vegetable patch. However, as far as breakfast goes, Exeter residents love their corn flakes, Cocoa Puffs and other cold cereals. A smaller portion of Exeter’s inhabitants are Green Acres, a population edging towards retirement that enjoys gardening, farming and using the Internet primarily for entertainment; funny cat videos trump online banking any day.
Frank C. Grace
2015 population: 4,739
Median age: 46.3
Median home value: $248,148
Median disposable income: $64,093
Located in the “mountains” of western Rhode Island, rural Foster is divided between a majority of Green Acres, independent older couples who like living in the country and spend cautiously and Pleasantville, two-income families with nice homes. More than 57 percent used coupons in the past six months and the largest group of residents identifies as Republicans, followed by Independents and Democrats. They appreciate the beauty of where they live, walking for exercise. And when it comes to baiting a hook, Foster residents stay local too, with more than three times as many people fishing in fresh water over salt water in the past year.
2015 Population: 10,022
Median age: 46.8
Median home value: $217,917
Media disposable income: $62,927
With about 5,000 more people than Foster, its snow-day counterpart, Glocester residents share a love of bucolic life with their neighbors. Nearly three quarters are Green Acres and Comfortable Empty Nesters, self-reliant couples approaching retirement who are smart about their money. Busy Savvy Suburbanites and Soccer Moms complete the mix. The town trends conservative, with 35 percent identifying themselves as very or somewhat, while many are middle of the road. Residents like to read the news, particularly the front page, local news, sports section and ads. And 1,495 people colored their hair at home over the past six months, while 1,666 residents headed for the salon for highlights.
2015 population: 8,213
Median age: 45.2
Median home value: $244,099
Median disposable income: $58,154
This pastoral town bordering Connecticut is made up mostly of Green Acres: older, self-reliant adults who love country life and often belong to veterans’ organizations. Parks and Rec and Salt of the Earth types who repair their own homes and vehicles also are attracted to the villages of Hope Valley and Ashaway within the town. Some yearn for the open road, with more than 10 percent of households owning a motorcycle. And they’re handy: residents are much more likely to change their own oil as go to Jiffy Lube.
2015 population: 5,607
Median age: 52.5
Median home value: $463,455
Median disposable income: $75,241
This storybook town truly is “a bridge apart, a world away.” It’s made up solely of Exurbanites, mostly married couples living in beautiful homes who are urbane and support the arts. Politically, nearly half identify as middle of the road or somewhat conservative. They love their beautiful island: nearly two-thirds say preserving nature is important and more than 43 percent have a garden. Wine consumption edges out beer at home, more residents buy fiction than nonfiction and they prefer dramas to adventure flicks at the movies. Despite their beautiful surroundings, they like to get off the island too: 70 percent traveled domestically in the past year.
2015 population: 28,559
Median age: 45.5
Median home value: $179,297
Median disposable income: $46,710
Cruise down Johnston’s streets and you will see people working on their houses, reading outdoors or loading up the car for a beach day. The go-to places to shop for these Parks and Rec, Green Acres and Front Porches types are Walmart and Target, but don’t be surprised if you run into more familiar faces at Stop and Shop or Dunkin’ Donuts. Johnstonians enjoy exercising, mostly in the privacy of their own homes, but a good number of residents can be spotted at the local gyms, in Johnston Memorial Park or running the roads with headphones on. And on Wednesday nights, you can find many people in front of their TVs clutching a Powerball ticket, hoping to hit the millions.
2015 population: 21,197
Median age: 44.6
Median home value: $238,044
Median disposable income: $55,040
Lincolnites treasure the past: They live in historic houses, they watch the History Channel, they hang onto their landlines for dear life. (Nearly three-quarters of households have one.) Residents, who primarily fit into the Savvy Suburbanite, Exurbanite and Pleasantville segments, move to town for its family-friendly neighborhoods and high-value older homes, even if they need some work now and then. More households call a contractor for renovations, but the DIYers aren’t far behind. After investing so much in their homes, residents often retire in place, clinking a domestic beer or cabernet sauvignon when their adult children finally fly the coop.
2015 population: 3,616
Median age: 52.4
Median home value: $464,079
Median disposable income: $80,948
Little Compton is made up entirely of Exurbanites. They’ve abandoned bustling cityscapes for bucolic small-town life, where people are publicly active and volunteer and/or fundraise for charity (23 percent). For groceries, residents shop more often at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods than Stop and Shop, but they really like to stock up at Costco (34 percent). This is a community that is serious about healthy eating (48 percent) with so many farms close by for fresh veggies, eggs, meat and more, and they frequently or occasionally buy organic foods. At one point of their lives, Little Compton residents traveled great distances for work, but now the majority enjoys life without commuting.
2015 population: 15,839
Median age: 44.1
Median home value: $328,266
Median disposable income: $56,551
With some enviable waterfront real estate, this Aquidneck Island town is mainly composed of the affluent Exurbanites and In Style segments. But eight population groups are represented, and some Middletown residents are quite transient: more than 13 percent are young military families who move often. Residents hold on to tradition while embracing some innovation: nearly 70 percent of households still have a landline, but more than 30 percent of adults ordered from Amazon in the past six months. Home improvement is big in Middletown too, and more residents frequented Home Depot than Lowe’s. And for exercise, walking outpaces swimming.
2015 population: 16,200
Median age: 42
Median home value: $360,025
Median disposable income: $49,110
Residents of this sweet seaside town are within the parameters of Savvy Suburbanites or Golden Years, though the In Style segment — married couples without kids who have time for long walks on the beach — is a close third. With their toes in the sand and SPF 30 on their noses, Narragansett folks read mystery novels over all other genres, and beach-friendly pursuits like swimming and jogging are preferred. But even the residents of Rhode Island’s signature beach town need to get away; more than half took domestic vacations this year and a quarter traveled abroad.
2015 population: 24,063
Median age: 37.3
Median home value: $339,120
Median disposable income: $50,875
Compact and multifaceted, the City by the Sea and its residents lean Democratic and are a mosaic of thirteen categories; the largest, Emerald City, use a financial planner for advice with their bond funds and stocks. Thanks to the War College and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, some 1,600 Newporters fall into the Military Proximity cluster. They like to camp out in front of the telly and watch the History Channel and the Super Bowl, as well as movies via Netflix and Redbox. Moving’s a fact of life for many here; almost half the population bought greeting cards to stay in touch in the past six months, and 20 percent checked out an online dating service in the last thirty days.
2015 population: 1,047
Median age: 52.2
Median home value: $539,474
Median disposable income: $59,910
It might be surprising that Block Island, one of the Nature Conservancy’s “Last Great Places,” falls under the category of Urban Chic, often associated with upscale suburbs of major metros. While the residents of this small town — who number right around 1,000 — don’t have as much disposable income as residents of other top-tier towns, their wealth is in their real estate. They take care of their investment; one quarter of households remodeled their homes last year, with outside contracts beating DIYers two-to-one. But their home extends beyond four walls: Islanders strive to preserve nature and think the government should focus more on environmental issues. Nearly all think global warming is a problem, and residents often purchase natural products out of concern for the environment.
2015 population: 27,043
Median age: 45.8
Median home value: $297,714
Median disposable income: $66,399
N.K. is a demographic patchwork of well-to-do suburbs, rural farmland and the historic seaside village of Wickford. Three of its biggest categories, Savvy Suburbanites, Exurbanites and Parks and Rec, make up almost half its population and are affluent and educated and likely appreciate the annual Wickford Art Festival. N.K.ers are politically engaged — 10 percent say they wrote a letter or called a politician in the last year — and price conscious: more than 40 percent use coupons. They’re twice as likely to pay a CPA to handle their taxes as tackle it themselves using TurboTax. They prefer Olive Garden to Outback Steakhouse, Walmart to Target, and when it comes to the family pet, dogs win out over cats by a nose.
2015 population: 31,648
Median age: 45.5
Median home value: $187,719
Median disposable income: $39,597
North Providence has a fairly diverse population of young, elderly, single and married couples. The dominant segment of the population are the long-term Parks and Rec residents, followed by the young families of Front Porches and Retirement Communities. More households are Mac-free, opting for a PC to satisfy their computer needs which involve watching YouTube videos, playing online games and logging on to Facebook for entertainment. In an effort to save money, most residents cook meals at home, usually beef or chicken, but when they do dine out, Olive Garden is a favorite or, for fast food, McDonald’s. North Providence is a social town with more than half its citizens participating in public activities during a year’s time, but there is usually some downtime between work and play. During free time, they kick back and either watch TV or read the latest magazines.
2015 population: 12,288
Median age: 47
Median home value: $256,362
Median disposable income: $59,356
This woodsy town’s population is composed of Parks and Rec residents followed by Savvy Suburbanites and Exurbanites. Home of the Rustic Tri Vue Drive-In, its residents like movies. They usually opt for dramas, but balance them out with adventure flicks and comedies. Busy lunch hours often result in a McDonald’s or Burger King drive-thru, but they try to eat healthy. Even so, with Wright’s Dairy Farm located right in town, you can be sure to find sugary treats in most kitchens.
Median age: 37.2
Median home value: $154,950
Median disposable income: $35,189
The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and home of Slater Park is a patchwork of people, with thirteen different tapestry segments represented. The young families of Front Porches make up nearly 40 percent of the population, followed by the Parks and Rec homeowners in Darlington. The young families of Fresh Ambitions make up the next largest block, followed by some educated professionals and club-going singles and seniors living in retirement communities. Many Pawtucket residents read the newspaper, but they prefer to watch the Discovery Channel and the History Channel over CNN or Fox News. And nearly double the number of people bought white bread as multigrain bread.
2015 population: 17,386
Median age: 46.8
Median home value: $345,443
Median disposable income: $64,814
Almost evenly split between well-off Savvy Suburbanites and Exurbanites, followed by practical Parks and Rec couples, Portsmouth residents enjoy their homes and like to cook. More than 57 percent own or lease an imported vehicle; 919 households chose a Toyota, while 696 opted for a Honda. Faith is important: A third of Portsmouth adults contributed to a religious organization over the past twelve months. Twice as many head to department stores to shop for clothes as discount stores; even fewer buy their duds online. And when they want to work up a sweat, Portsmouth residents don’t go far: nearly double the number work out at home over a gym.
Alex Papa Photography
02903 (Parts of College Hill, Downtown, Federal Hill, Smith Hill, South Providence, Valley, West End)
2015 population: 11,782
Median age: 27.2
Median home value: $265,000
Median disposable income: $21,450
This section of the Creative Capital is dotted with historic and contemporary architecture and attracts students from Brown and RISD and other singles. Metro Renters, Dorms to Diplomas and College Towns are the dominant groups here, with some recent immigrants and the Social Security Set mixed in. Facing the prospect of College Hill, nearly half bought sneakers over the past year, with Nike beating out Adidas and Converse. More than three times as many households here own PCs as Macs. And when it comes to fun, twice as many people took a trip to the beach as playing pool.
02904 (Charles, part of College Hill, Elmhurst, Hope, parts of Mount Hope and Wanskuck)
2015 population: 27,452
Median age: 42.4
Median home value: $181,749
Median disposable income: $34,201
The northwestern section of Providence is dominated by Parks and Rec, with the Social Security, Golden Years and Retirement Communities segments also making up a large part of the area. Young, blue-collar Front Porch families are also significantly represented, with Laptops and Lattes, upscale singles and couples who frequent the latest hot spots and students sprinkled in. In their free time, catching the latest movie is more popular than dining out or going dancing. When they want to chill at home, fiction edges out nonfiction for a good read and they’re more likely to rent a movie from Redbox than Netflix.
02906 (Blackstone, Wayland, parts of College Hill, Fox Point, Hope and Mount Hope)
2015 population: 29,360
Median age: 29.8
Median home value: $367,248
Median disposable income: $50,511
Ah, the East Side of Providence: home to runners on Blackstone Boulevard, shopping on Hope Street and in Wayland Square, and many powerful people in the state, including Governor Gina Raimondo. A slice of the Top Tier segment — the wealthiest people in the state — live here, but Laptop and Lattes, College Towns and Dorms to Diplomas students make up more than half the population. Emerald City and Urban Chic professionals find plenty to love on the East Side as well with lots of street fairs and the farmers market in Lippitt Park. They care about their community and about two-thirds recycled. And more residents contributed to PBS than NPR.
02907 (Elmwood, Reservoir, parts of Silver Lake, South Elmwood, South Providence, West End)
2015 population: 27,465
Median age: 29.9
Median home value: $151,417
Median disposable income: $26,932
The majority of the south-central area of Providence is filled with recently arrived young families, Fresh Ambitions, followed by Front Porches. Singles who live here are into technology and like designer brands. Residents also like magazines about health, home improvement and parenting. When it comes to beverages, they’re patriotic: 7,673 chose domestic beer over only ninety-four drinking imported beer in the past year. A trip to the beach beats gambling at a casino, with more than two times as many residents opting for sand.
02908 and 02909 (Manton, Hartford, Mount Pleasant, Olneyville, and parts of Downtown, Elmhurst, Federal Hill, Silver Lake, Valley Wanskuck, West End)
2015 population: (02908): 38,210; (02909): 42,392
Median age: (02908): 28.9; (02909): 28.8
Median home value: (02908): $166,560; (02909): $160,088
Median disposable income: (02908): $34,480; (02909): $26,797
These neighborhoods in the North End and western parts of Providence are a mosaic of the city: newly arrived Fresh Ambitions, NeWest Residents and Metro Fusion dominate. Trendy Metro Renters, In Style and Emerald City comprise a good part of the West Side, while Front Porches, Old and Newcomers, older couples and seniors make up a swath of the Academy Avenue and Mount Pleasant areas. Overall, more people bought groceries at Trader Joe’s than Whole Foods or Stop and Shop. But warehouse stores are even more popular, with Sam’s Club just edging out Costco, followed by BJ’s.
2015 population: 7,790
Median age: 42.9
Median home value: $255,194
Median disposable income: $62,306
Part of the Chariho area of sublime ruralness, Richmond has a town breakdown of Savvy Suburbanites, Soccer Moms and Green Acres. It’s perhaps best known for hosting the Washington County Fair (Aug. 17–21), replete with goats, doughboys and Ferris wheels. Raising a family in the woods requires a large car with four-wheel drive, so you won’t see many Fiats on these country roads. PCs are preferred over Macs, but no matter the model, Facebook is a top visited site. More than half the population purchased greeting cards in the last six months, so if you have relatives in Richmond, not receiving a card from them would be an anomaly.
2015 population: 10,303
Median age: 46.8
Median home value: $238,878
Median disposable income: $63,236
Green Acres is the place to be, according to the residents of Scituate. Many are Comfortable Empty Nesters nudging towards retirement, and they prefer the quiet life. They’re rounded out by affluent Savvy Suburbanites and In Style. They change the oil on their Fords and Chevys themselves, and crank country music with Fido riding shotgun. (Nearly half of all households have a dog.) Most tend their acreage with a walk-behind gas mower and, when they’re in the mood for a little pampering, residents are more likely to leave the garden dirt under their fingernails in favor of professional pedicures. When Scituate folks do settle in for the night, it’s the History Channel, Fox News or bust. Unless the Pats are on.
2015 population: 21,535
Median age: 43.6
Median home value: $247,078
Median disposable income: $56,777
The land of apple orchards, this town in northeastern Rhode Island is made up of nearly equal parts Savvy Suburbanites and Pleasantville, followed by In Style and Comfortable Empty Nesters. More than three-quarters listen to the radio in the car, tuned into stations playing the latest Taylor Swift and Adele. Religion is important to some Smithfield residents, with more than 4,600 regularly attending services. Smithfield is also home to a major mall, and locals dine out at chain restaurants, opting for Olive Garden over Outback Steakhouse and Chili’s. Despite their pretty surroundings, they like to see the world as well, with nearly two-thirds traveling domestically in the past year and some 1,360 setting sail on a cruise.
2015 population: 30,830
Median age: 36.2
Median home value: $320,623
Median disposable income: $61,318
S.K.’s demo skews on the younger side, due to the presence of URI; 18 percent are Dorms to Diplomas. The biggest group, Exurbanites, support NPR and PBS, and prefer Starbucks for their caffeine fix. Savvy Suburbanites, Soccer Moms and the Great Outdoors are the next largest segments. The majority of S.K.ers believe global warming is either a problem or a serious threat, and they’re tethered to their electronic devices to stay plugged in. They bank online, use a cellphone app to search the Internet, and prefer iPhones to Samsungs. They lace up their Nikes when they go jogging and, blessed with miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that half the population enjoys seafood.
2015 population: 15,780
Median age: 48
Median home value: $227,676
Median disposable income: $51,675
MidLife Constants and Green Acres make up the majority of Tiverton residents followed by Front Porches. The population tries its luck by buying lottery tickets (39 percent) and gambling at a casino (15 percent). Tiverton residents read the newspaper in print and online, checking out the front page, local news, circulars and sports. Twenty-six percent attended a game this year, while 68 percent watch on TV — particularly NFL football followed by MLB baseball. Residents also stay active by boating, fishing, golfing, swimming and jogging, preferably while tuning into the game.
2015 population: 10,508
Median age: 46
Median home value: $267,528
Median disposable income: $44,398
Warrenites are mostly Front Porchers, Comfortable Empty Nesters and Green Acres. About half Republican and Democrat, the most popular television stations are the History Channel, the Weather Channel, the Discovery Channel and Fox News (in that order). The most frequently shopped retail stores include Home Depot (46 percent in last twelve months) and Lowe’s (38 percent). For leisure time, Warren residents like to read books (the winning genre: mysteries), play board games and do crossword puzzles, possibly while sitting on the front porch.
2015 population: 82,011
Median age: 45.2
Median home value: $186,207
Median disposable income: $49,554
The state’s second-largest city, Warwick is made up of about half Parks and Rec residents, followed by Comfortable Empty Nesters. Residents achieve the American dream of marriage and single-family home ownership, complete with bacon for breakfast and beef for dinner, by living frugally and shopping at big box retailers like Costco. Warwickians combat their taste for red meat with annual doctors’ visits, and they prefer to exercise at home twice per week. They participate in public activities — Gaspee Days, huzzah! — and vote regularly. Most consider themselves politically middle-of-the-road, but rants about the presidential election would be found on Facebook, their social media platform of choice.
2015 population: 22,895
Median age: 45.8
Median home value: $288,487
Median disposable income: $50,582
Tucked into the southwest corner of the state, Westerly is a quintessential small New England town. Parks and Rec represents a third of its residents — and they’re more likely to change their own oil than have the guy at Jiffy Lube do it. They’re followed by Exurbanites and Golden Years. They drink domestic beer, read the sports section and listen to contemporary and country music on the radio. More than half of Westerly’s residents say buying American is at least slightly important, and when they’re looking for new duds, they shop Old Navy twice as often as the Gap.
2015 population: 6,066
Median age: 43.3
Median home value: $271,625
Median disposable income: $62,893
Often paired or confused with East Greenwich and Exeter, West Greenwich is more than just a strip of land covered in trees. The majority are Savvy Suburbanites and the rest of the population includes Soccer Moms and the In Style group. The threads that hold this town together are a shared love of keeping those pearly whites in ship-shape (more than half the population flosses their teeth regularly and a new toothbrush is as treasured as a new car), as well as a vice for bacon; more than half consumed the crackly strips of meat in the past six months.
Median age: 39.9
Median home value: $179,908
Median disposable income: $40,235
This former mill town is composed mostly of Parks and Rec couples approaching retirement who spend wisely and enjoy dinners out. The next largest groups are young Front Porch families, Set to Impress and Emerald City, who are image conscious, like to go out. Overall, West Warwick residents prefer beer to wine at home, have split allegiance to natural/imported or American pasteurized cheese and prefer Sam’s Club to Costco and BJ’s. And with all the theaters nearby, more than half caught a movie within the last six months.
2015 population: 41,065
Median age: 37.5
Median home value: $162,086
Median disposable income: $33,508
The French that residents spoke in the streets of this city in northeastern Rhode Island has been replaced in some parts with Spanish: diverse young families and recent immigrants of Front Porches and Fresh Ambitions make up nearly 70 percent of adults. The older married couples of Parks and Rec make up the next largest segment, followed by the Social Security Set and some young professionals. Chevrolets and Fords edge out Toyotas for cars recently purchased by Woony residents. And when they rent movies, comedies are slightly more popular than action flicks.