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Is Central Falls a Good Place to Live? Pros & Cons

Motivated by Rhode Island’s culture and way of life, many people are now wondering if Central Falls is a good place to live.  

Since we have been providing Rhode Island with affordable storage solutions for some time, we thought we could share some insight into the area’s many characteristics. Hopefully, this insight will help prospective residents make an informed decision regarding their move.  

Starting out, we’ll look at Central Falls in a snapshot. Next, we will explore the history of Central Falls, and later, we’ll take a deep dive into the city’s cost of living and crime rating. We’ll round all of this out by consulting actual Central Falls residents.  

Without further ado, Central Falls. 

Central Falls, RI, in a Snapshot 

Central Falls is a city located in eastern Rhode Island, 7 miles north of Providence and 24 miles east of Gloucester. The city is also within a two-hour drive of several major cities including Boston, MA; Hartford, CT; and New Haven, CT. Central Falls is best known for its historic significance as it was the site of a major battle during King Phillip’s War, which occurred in 1676.  

The following table looks at several statistics that measure Central Falls’ population, area, elevation and more.  

Central Falls, RI Figures 
Population (2010) 19,376 
Population (2020) 22,583 
Area (sq. mi.) 1.27 
Land Area (sq. mi.) 1.19 
Water Area (sq. mi.) 0.08 
Elevation (ft.) 89 
Time Zone UTC-5 (Eastern Standard Time) 

*Data collected from Census.gov 

The History of Central Falls, RI 

The history of Central Falls is rooted in several conflicts including “Nine Men’s Misery.” This conflict occurred when Captain Michael Pierce and the Plymouth troops were ambushed by the Narragansett tribe in 1676. During the conflict, the Narragansett tribe took nine men as prisoner and later tortured them before their death in Cumberland, Rhode Island.  

However, the story of modern-day Central Falls started in the 18th century when Capt. Stephen Jenks built a small blacksmith shop on the banks of the Blackstone River. This blacksmith shop attracted other individuals and eventually became the hub of a small community. This community supported several other businesses including a chocolate maker that inspired the community’s first name: Chocolateville.  

Today, Central Falls supports a suburban mix of families and young professionals. Some residents commute to nearby Providence for work. Most residents in Central Falls rent their homes.  

Is it Expensive to live in Central Falls?  

A study conducted by BestPlaces.net found that the cost of living in Central Falls is 4.5% higher than the United States average. The study also found that the cost of living in Central Falls is 6.1% lower than the average cost of living in Rhode Island.  

The table below looks at the cost of living in Central Falls and compares it to the cost of living in several cities with comparable populations.  

City State Cost of Living* 
Mill Creek WA 152.9 
East Northport NY 143.7 
Pickerington  OH 101.5 
Old Jamestown MO 91.6 
Central Falls RI 104.5 

*Data sourced from BestPlaces.net 

Health and housing costs in Central Falls were also significantly lower than the United States averages. Miscellaneous, transportation and utility costs were the most expensive costs in Central Falls. Miscellaneous costs in Central Falls were estimated to be 24.7% higher than miscellaneous costs around the nation, while transportation costs were estimated to be 15.5% higher.  

Is Central Falls, RI, a Safe Place to Live?  

According to AreaVibes.com, Central Falls is a relatively safe place to live. The city’s overall crime grade is a C-, while the city’s total crime rate and property crime rate are both lower than the national average. Violent crimes are 18% more likely to occur in Central Falls than other cities around the United States.  

What are the Pros of Living in Central Falls 

First, by living in Central Falls, residents will be able to access an endless array of attractions within a short drive. The city is not only close to Boston, MA and other major cities, but Central Falls is also located near several outdoor recreation sites.  Lincoln Woods State Park, Snake Den State Park and River Island Park are a few of the popular parks in the Central Falls area.  

Second, Central Falls is also a very diverse city. It was even ranked as the 4th most diverse suburb in Rhode Island by Niche.com. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Central Falls was the only majority-minority area in Rhode Island. In this report, 60.31 percent of residents in Central Falls identified as Hispanic or Latino. The largest groups within this percentage were Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans and Colombians.  

Finally, Central Falls is a hotspot for food and culinary experiences. Popular food types in the city include everything from American to Colombian, El Salvadorian and Mexican cuisines.  

What are the Cons of Living in Central Falls 

The largest con of life in Central Falls is the area’s higher than average cost of living. Central Falls is 4.5% more expensive when compared to the average cost of living in the United States. However, when compared to Rhode Island as a whole, Central Falls is relatively affordable.  

Housing costs in Central Falls are also significantly less expensive than the average costs in Rhode Island. The median home cost in the United States is $291,700, while the median in Rhode Island is $375,800 and the median in Central Falls is $253,900.  

    Moving to Rhode Island  

    Ready to move to Rhode Island? If so, continue to keep us in mind for all your storage needs.  

    Store Space offers affordable self-storage solutions throughout Rhode Island and elsewhere across the United States. Better yet, getting started renting with us is as easy as completing a Touchless Rental online or over the phone.  

    If you are looking for secure and affordable storage elsewhere in the country, use our storage location finder for the Store Space facility nearest to you.

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