What is the cost of living in Rhode Island?

1 min readLast updated November 27, 2023by Rachel Carey

From tax rates to healthcare costs, this article takes you through everything you need to know about the cost of living in Rhode Island.

If Rhode Island is at the top of your list, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.     


  • Rhode Island's cost of living is 13% higher than the national average. 

  • As of March 2023, the average home value in Rhode Island is estimated to be around $413,948.

  • The average monthly cost of utilities in Rhode Island is around $439. 

  • You can expect to pay around $390 a month for groceries and food in Rhode Island.

  • Speak to a financial advisor about getting and staying on top of your finances.

What is the average cost of living in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is home to just over 1 million people.  

The cost of living in the state is higher than the national average, with Providence, Rhode Island's cost of living is 13% higher than the national average.  

According to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 38th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. 

How much does housing cost in Rhode Island?

As of March 2023, the average home value in Rhode Island is estimated to be around $413,948, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.  

It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data: 

CityAverage Home Value
Providence $348,621
Warwick $349,653
Cranston $376,319
Pawtucket $328,188
East Providence $358,238

The average price of rental apartments nationwide is $1,702. The average rent for an apartment in Providence is $2,483. 

How much do utilities cost in Rhode Island?

Utility costs play a significant role in Rhode Island's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $439.  

UtilityAverage cost in Rhode Island
Energy bill $130.40
Monthly water bill $32
Internet $20
Natural gas $95
Phone bill $114
Streaming $48.25

How much do groceries and food cost in Rhode Island?

When it comes to groceries and food costs, Rhode Island generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.   

According to Zippia, those in Providence pay $390 on average each month.   

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.   

How much is transportation in Rhode Island?

Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact Rhode Island's overall cost of living.  

According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $4,400. 

Gas prices in Rhode Island are typically in and around the national average. Rhode Island was below the national average at the time of writing. These prices fluctuate over time.   

It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.  

How much is healthcare in Rhode Island?

Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.  

The specific healthcare costs in Rhode Island can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates. 

MIT estimates:  

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,568
One adult, one child $9,026
One adult, two children $9,036
Two adults (one working), no children $7,069
Two adults (one working), one child $9,036
Two adults (one working), two children $8,961
Two adults (two working), no children $7,069
Two adults (two working), one child $9,036
Two adults (two working), two children $8,961

Check out the average cost of health insurance in the US here.

How much does childcare in Rhode Island?

Families in Rhode Island currently pay around $10,165 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.   

However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.  

How much tax will I pay in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s state income tax rate ranges between 3.75% and 5.99% 

Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:

StateIncome Tax Rates (Range)
Rhode Island 3.75% to 4.75%
Massachusetts 5%
Connecticut 3% to 6%
New York 4% to 8.82%
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75%

The state sales tax rate in Rhode Island is 7%. However, it is important to note that certain items may be exempt from sales tax or subject to a different tax rate. Additionally, local sales taxes may be imposed by individual cities or municipalities. 

You could also check out the complete guide to taxes in Rhode Island here.

The bottom line 

The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Rhode Island can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think. 

It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in Rhode Island. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning. 

Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.