Located only 33 miles from one another in the very small state of Rhode Island, it’s no surprise that Providence and Newport are often compared to one another for the purposes of moving. Many want to know the advantages and disadvantages of Providence vs. Newport living – thankfully, we’re here to answer that tough question on your behalf!
Providence is the state capitol and most populous city of Rhode Island, sometimes called the “Renaissance City” or the “Divine City”. As one might expect of a city settled by the English at the dawn of the 17th century, it is jam-packed with history in ways that cities on the other side of the continent are not. Providence is known for being one of the first industrial cities in the United States, its friendly culture, and sophistication.
Newport, meanwhile, is often called the “City by the Sea”, and only has 1/8th the population of her sister city. Located on Aquidneck Island, the beautiful seaside city was founded only a year after Providence, so both have quite storied histories! Newport is known for its beauty, both in landscape and in architecture new and old, shopping, attractions, and culture.
Both Providence and Newport are fantastic places to live, so it’s easy to understand why many struggle to choose between the two when moving to Rhode Island. With our guide to the ins and outs of both Providence and Newport, that choice will be made much, much easier!
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Pros & Cons of Living in Providence vs. Newport
Below is our short summary of the positives and negatives of Providence vs. Newport living. See what works and doesn’t work for you when it comes to these two areas.
Living in Providence Pros
There are a number of pros to living in Providence:
- Significant economic opportunities when compared to Newport
- Much more solid transportation system
- Significantly more affordable than the competitor
Living in Providence Cons
However, there are some things to consider before moving to Providence:
- Significantly more crime than Newport
- More traffic and congestion
- Not as many notable attractions
Living in Newport Pros
Newport has many pros for a prospective resident:
- Beautiful architecture and seaside location
- Famous for its wide variety of notable and cultured attractions
- Crime almost non-existent when compared to Providence
Living in Newport Cons
However, Newport, too, has its own problems:
- Property prices and general cost of living is higher than in Providence
- Lack of job opportunities vs. Providence
- Seaside location means chillier winters
Comparisons between Providence and Newport
See our breakdown of the nitty-gritty of the differences between Providence vs. Newport, with everything from demographics to transportation.
Providence vs. Newport Populations & Demographics
Providence is a much larger city than Newport by a factor of almost eight. The city of Providence has a population of 189,697, spread out over 18.4 miles at a population density of 10,300 people per square mile. The median age in Providence is 32.7, and the median household income of the city is $60,970. 33.6% of Providence’s population is foreign-born, with 68% of them coming from Latin America. Hispanics are the largest demographic in Providence, at 45% of the population. 33.9% of Providence’s population has bachelor’s degrees or higher educational achievements, which is the average for that area.
Meanwhile, Newport is much smaller in terms of population. Newport has a population of 25,322, spread amongst 7.7 miles of the city at a population density of 3,300, much lower than Providence. The average age in Newport is slightly older, at 35.2, and the median household income is somewhat higher, at $77,092. The primary ethnic demographic in Newport is Whites, making up 77% of the population. 6.8% of Newport’s population is foreign-born, with 40% of them coming from Latin America. 54.8% of Newport’s population has a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, making them significantly better educated than Providence.
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Cost of Living in Providence vs. Newport
When it comes to the strengths and weaknesses between the two cities, the cost of living will be an important factor, as Newport will generally be more expensive than Providence. As it is something of a more “elite” city and has far more access to beautiful seaside properties, Newport will cost more as a result of higher housing prices.
The cost of living index for Providence is approximately 15% higher than the national average, with the Providence median home price being $291,200. Newport, meanwhile, has a cost of living index approximately 33% higher than the national average and a median home price of $529,900, nearly double that of Providence. A family of four living in Providence will need to make $88,117 a year to live, while a similar family living in Newport will need to make $98,768, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Providence vs. Newport Crime Rates
When it comes to crime rates, Newport is significantly safer than Providence. However, Providence’s crime problems are not nearly as bad as some other cities of its size, and simple best practices will likely alleviate most of your problems there.
Providence has a total crime rate of 2,901 crimes per 100,000 people, a rate 23.7% higher than the national average. Providence’s property crime is 23.3% higher than the national average, while its violent crime is 25.3% higher. While these are not stellar numbers, Providence’s crime problems are relatively tame compared to other similar city centers in the United States.
Newport, meanwhile, has much lower crime rates than Providence. Newport has a total crime rate of 1,835 crimes per 100,000 people annually, which is 21.8% lower than the national average. The city’s violent crime rate is 21.1% lower than the national average, while the property crime rate is 21.9% lower than the national average.
Providence and Newport Things to Do & Places to Eat
Both Providence and Newport have many attractions, things to do, and restaurants, all of which are worth taking a look at! Check out just a few of both cities’ offerings below.
In Providence, those looking for things to do won’t want to miss the Roger Williams Park Zoo. 40 acres in total, it includes a proper, beautiful park, a carousel, and a petting zoo, with animals from wallabies to turtles to elephants. The Waterplace Park provides installations for art exhibits and stages for concerts and acts as a center of the local Providence community.
Looking for places to eat while living in Providence? Andino’s Italian Restaurant provides only the very best and most authentic Italian cuisine to Providence residents. Troop, meanwhile, offers an eclectic variety of street foods and cocktails with inspiration from all over the world.
Newport is also well-known for its wealth of attractions and things to do. Why not go to The Breakers, and see one of the most impressive palatial Victorian-era mansions in Newport via a house tour? Alternatively, take a visit to the Fort Adams State Park, a park set in a 19th century fortress.
Looking for restaurants in Newport? The Brick Alley Pub is a classic Newport eatery that serves everything from lobster to nachos to vintage wines, set in a beautiful historic building. In a similar vein is the Red Parrot Restaurant, a fine eatery focusing on seafood and steaks.
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Jobs in Providence vs. Newport
Being the larger city with more concentration of big employers, Providence has a leg up on Newport when it comes to economic matters. However, you’ll be able to find plenty of work in both cities!
The average salary in Providence is $71k, while the average hourly rate is $20.97. The most popular jobs in Providence are Software Engineer, Project Manager, and Operations Manager, while the most popular employers in the city are Brown University, Thundermist Health Center, and Lifespan, Inc.
Meanwhile, the average salary in Newport is $66k, with the average hourly rate being $20.31. The most popular positions of employment in Newport are Carpenter, Registered Nurse, and Customer Service Representative, while the most popular employers are Newport Hospital, Mclaughlin Research Corporation, and Lifespan Health.
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Providence vs. Newport Transportation & Location
Both Newport and Providence are located in counties that share their name (Newport County, Providence County), which makes things much easier to remember! The distance from Providence, RI to Newport, RI is 33.5 miles, a drive that is around 40 minutes in ideal conditions.
Getting around in either Providence or Newport won’t be a problem at all! Providence has excellent public transportation services, while Newport is very walkable! See our breakdown below.
Providence is bisected by the I-95 in the center, running north to south. The city is served by rail by Amtrak and MBTA Commuter Rail, and in public transportation matters like buses by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority. It is also worth mentioning the Port of Providence, which is the second-largest deep water port in New England and is a primary source of Providence’s economic activity.
Newport, meanwhile, is supremely walkable. If walking isn’t your thing, RIPTA provides service to Newport just as they do with Providence. All this is to say that you won’t struggle to get around Newport!
Whether you decide upon Providence or Newport, you’re going to need moving help. There’s nothing better during a move than having a crew of trained professionals – so call Correira Brothers today! Our Rhode Island moving company is ready and prepared to make your move easy! Call now at 401-648-6683 or fill out our online form for a free quote!