Cranston among best, Fall River among worst cities to live in

Photo courtesy of Garden City Center

(WPRI) — While one of Rhode Island’s biggest cities has been named one of the best 50 cities to live in by a business news website for the third year in a row, a city in Southeastern Massachusetts has been named one of the worst, and is very close to the bottom.

24/7 Wall Street, a Delaware-based financial news website, announced this week their rankings of America’s 50 best cities to live in, and the 50 worst cities.

Cranston ranked as the 34th best city to live in, city officials said Friday. “We are one of the few cities in the country to make the list for three years in a row,” Mayor Allan Fung said in a news release. He credited the work of his administration to improve city finances, promote an attractive business climate and enhanced quality of life.

24/7 Wall Street’s editors said it’s easy for Cranston residents to “take advantage of cultural venues in neighboring Providence… while enjoying some better living conditions in their home city,” as well as a quarter of Providence’s violent crime rate and a lower unemployment rate.

While the area may have a high cost of living, Cranston residents’ salaries are also relatively high, the review said, with the typical household earning nearly $62,000 a year, about $4,000 more than the statewide median income. Just over 32 percent of Cranston residents have at least a bachelor’s degree.

But Fall River, Massachusetts, was fifth from the bottom of the list. Household incomes there are only about half of the average income in the state, the reviewers said, and “a single dollar also has less purchasing power in the city as goods and services are roughly 19 percent more expensive in [Fall River] than they are across the country as a whole.”

Nearly 23 percent of Fall River residents live below the poverty line as well, the reviewers said, compared to 15-and-a-half percent for the entire country, and violent crime is also three times more common in Fall River than across the country.

Only just over 13 percent of Fall River residents have a bachelor’s degree.