Where Everybody in Providence is Moving From

If you live in Providence and are beginning to feel like you’re at the center of a Bay Stater invasion, you’re not losing it. You’re absolutely right.

Over the last few years, 18,295 people have moved to Providence from outside Rhode Island, and about a third of those have come from Massachusetts.

Let’s put that into context. Between July 2015 and July 2016, the Providence metro area’s population grew from 1,612,574 to 1,614,750, a .13 percent increase, according to the latest census data. During that time, the population of Providence County, where the city is located, grew slightly faster, going from 632,488 to 633,673 people, a .19 percent increase. (The metro area includes Warwick and other places, so it has a larger population then the county does.)

At least some of the local population growth comes from births in the area, but Providence is also a destination for Americans seeking a new home. Another census study found that between 2011 and 2015, 24,007 people moved to Providence from elsewhere.

That same study also tells us where all those people are coming from. More than three quarters of domestic movers (76 percent, or 18,295 people) came from out of state, and 6,063 of those came from Massachusetts. The rest (24 percent, or 5,712) came from other places within Rhode Island.

Below are rankings for the top five counties of origin for movers to Providence County:

Movers outside of Rhode Island:

  1. Bristol County, MA (New Bedford): 1,948 movers
  2. Norfolk County, MA (New Salem): 1,172 movers
  3. Worcester County, MA (Worcester): 874 movers
  4. Middlesex County, MA (Cambridge): 581 movers
  5. Plymouth County, MA (Brockton): 459 movers

Movers from Rhode Island (Rhode Island has just five counties, so we can only list the top four here):

  1. Kent County: 2,773 movers
  2. Washington County: 1,217 movers
  3. Bristol County: 979 movers
  4. Newport County: 743 movers


Elizabeth Whalen