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Narragansett, Rhode Island

Narragansett, Rhode Island
The Towers in Narragansett
The Towers in Narragansett
Official seal of Narragansett, Rhode Island
Location of Narragansett in Washington County, Rhode Island
Location of Narragansett in Washington County, Rhode Island
Coordinates: 41°26′4″N 71°27′45″W / 41.43444°N 71.46250°W / 41.43444; -71.46250
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • Total37.8 sq mi (97.8 km2)
 • Land14.1 sq mi (36.6 km2)
 • Water23.6 sq mi (61.2 km2)
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total14,532
 • Density1,028/sq mi (397.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
02874 (Saunderstown), 02882 (Narragansett)
Area code401
FIPS code44-48340[1]

Narragansett is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 14,532 at the 2020 census.[3] However, during the summer months the town's population more than doubles to near 34,000.[4] The town of Narragansett occupies a narrow strip of land running along the eastern bank of the Pettaquamscutt River (aka Narrow River) to the shore of Narragansett Bay. It was separated from South Kingstown in 1888 and incorporated as a town in 1901.

For geographic and demographic information on the village of Narragansett Pier, which is part of Narragansett, see the article on Narragansett Pier.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.8 square miles (98 km2), of which, 14.1 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 23.6 square miles (61 km2) of it (62.56%) is water.

The following villages and neighborhoods are wholly or partially located in Narragansett: Saunderstown (shared with North Kingstown), South Ferry, Bonnet Shores, Narragansett Pier, Point Judith, Galilee, Great Island, Salt Pond, Mettatuxet, and Jerusalem (shared with South Kingstown).


Climate data for Narragansett, Rhode Island
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 38
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 22
Record low °F (°C) −6
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.66
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7
Source: [5]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[6][7]

2020 census

The 2020 United States census counted 3,308 people, 1,596 households, and 954 families in Narragansett Pier. The population density was 927.4 per square mile (358.1/km2). There were 2,310 housing units at an average density of 647.6 per square mile (250.0/km2).[8][9] The racial makeup was 92.08% (3,046) white or European American (91.54% non-Hispanic white), 1.03% (34) black or African-American, 0.48% (16) Native American or Alaska Native, 1.84% (61) Asian, 0.06% (2) Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, 0.94% (31) from other races, and 3.57% (118) from two or more races.[10] Hispanic or Latino of any race was 2.0% (66) of the population.[11]

Of the 1,596 households, 10.0% had children under the age of 18; 38.0% were married couples living together; 36.7% had a female householder with no spouse or partner present. 41.9% of households consisted of individuals and 20.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.[8] The average household size was 2.0 and the average family size was 2.5.[12] The percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher was estimated to be 42.3% of the population.[13]

9.9% of the population was under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 15.4% from 25 to 44, 30.6% from 45 to 64, and 33.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 110.6 males.[8] For every 100 females ages 18 and older, there were 113.2 males.[8]

The 2016-2020 5-year American Community Survey estimates show that the median household income was $79,056 (with a margin of error of +/- $16,106) and the median family income was $125,357 (+/- $25,707). Males had a median income of $52,738 (+/- $15,287) versus $20,882 (+/- $20,090) for females.[14] The median income for those above 16 years old was $31,056 (+/- $18,353).[15] Approximately, 8.2% of families and 17.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.0% of those ages 65 or over.[16][17]

2000 census

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,361 people, 6,846 households, and 3,847 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,156.5 inhabitants per square mile (446.5/km2). There were 9,159 housing units at an average density of 647.4 per square mile (250.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.84% White, 0.75% African American, 0.90% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.

There were 6,846 households, out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. Of all households 27.2% were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 17.3% under the age of 18, 19.6% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,363, and the median income for a family was $67,571. Males had a median income of $45,436 versus $31,759 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,194. About 4.9% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over. In 2010, Narragansett was estimated to have 2,743 people in poverty; college students represented 71% of that group, and in comparison, statewide college students make up only 13.7 percent of the total population in poverty. This large college factor, in a relatively small community, has a profound impact on the overall poverty rate.[4]

From September through May the town is home to many students from the University of Rhode Island located in nearby Kingston.


Scarborough State Beach
Waves crashing on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean, visible from the Seawall of Narragansett.

Narragansett is known for its summer recreation and beaches.[18] Fishermen's Memorial State Park, located near Galilee, contains a former military fort (Fort Greene) and a campground.

Three beaches in Narragansett that are most famous are:

  • Narragansett Town Beach[19] is located in the center of Narragansett, though it charges a fee—whereas other local (state funded) beaches charge for parking only. Unlike state-funded beaches, it is self-sustaining and is not supported by the tax payers' money. There is a $10.00 charge to park ($15.00 on the weekends/holidays) and a daily $10.00 admission fee to enter onto the beach.
  • Scarborough State Beach: The Scarborough Beach Complex comprises two separate areas, the North and South. Each has a pavilion, showers, 75 picnic tables, boardwalk and observation tower. There is a small fee for parking if a spot on nearby streets can not be found. Parking on nearby streets can result in vehicles being towed (especially during the summer months). This beach sits next to a local sewage treatment plant.
  • Roger Wheeler State Beach[20] and Salty Brine State Beach[21] are both located in Point Judith, which is the southernmost point of Narragansett. Both beaches are protected by the breakwater that protects the port of Galilee. A new pavilion at Salty Brine State Beach opened in the summer of 2010, complete with concessions, and a wind turbine. The wind turbine was destroyed after a storm in March 2017.[22]


Narragansett operates its own Pre-K through 12 educational system with three schools: Narragansett Elementary School, Narragansett Pier Middle School, and Narragansett High School. The Narragansett High School principal, Mr. Daniel F. Warner, was voted the 2008 Principal of the Year. The South County Museum is located within the town. The Narragansett Bay Campus of the University of Rhode Island is located in Narragansett.


Narragansett has prohibited more than three college students from living together per housing unit.[23]

Water supply

The town is served by two drinking water organizations divided into four systems:

  • The Town of Narragansett Water Division – which purchases its water from external sources:
    • North End Suez – which purchases its water from Suez Water, a private company in South Kingstown with wells drawing from the Mink Brook Aquifer[24]
    • North End North Kingston – which purchases its water from Town of North Kingstown which has wells drawing from the Hunt Annaquatucket-Pettaquamscutt (HAP) aquifer system[25]
    • Point Judith – which purchases its water from Suez Water[26]
  • Suez Water also has direct retail customers in Narragansett.


Top employers

According to Narragansett's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[27] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Town of Narragansett 448
2 University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay Campus 245
3 Stop & Shop 225
4 The Dunes Club 180
5 VNS Home Health Service 150
6 Environmental Protection Agency 160
7 DeWal Industries 120
8 George's of Galilee 100
9 National Marine Fisheries Service 70

Places of worship

  • St. Thomas More Church (Roman Catholic)
  • St. Veronica Chapel (Roman Catholic)
  • St. Mary Star of the Sea Church (Roman Catholic)
  • St. Peter By-the-Sea Church (Episcopal)
  • Calvary Bible Church (Nondenominational)
  • First Baptist Church of Narragansett
  • South Ferry Church (Baptist, no regular services)
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Narragansett Ward
  • Generation Church (nondenominational)
  • Congregation Beth David (Jewish conservative)

National Register of Historic Places

The Towers, which pass over Ocean Road along Rhode Island Sound, is Narragansett's most famous landmark.

Thirteen different buildings and districts in Narragansett are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:[28]

Notable people

In popular culture

  • Narragansett is mentioned in Chapter LI of Theodore Dreiser's The Titan.
  • Several episodes in the television cartoon show Family Guy, which takes place in Rhode Island, feature the Narragansett Beach, most notably A Fish out of Water.
  • In the 1973 movie The Sting, the Narragansett horse race track is one of those mentioned in the background while performing the con for the mob boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw); this track, while well known in the period, was actually in Pawtucket, RI.
  • In the 1993 movie Coneheads, Prymatt Conehead, portrayed by Jane Curtin, receives a fake ID where it is mentioned she was born in Narragansett, RI.
  • Several scenes from the 2000 movie Me, Myself & Irene, starring Jim Carrey, were filmed in the Great Island area of Narragansett.

See also


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "Growth in cities drove RI population increase in 2020 Census".
  4. ^ MSN weather records and averages for Narragansett, RI
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  7. ^ a b c d "US Census Bureau, Table DP1: PROFILE OF GENERAL POPULATION AND HOUSING CHARACTERISTICS". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  8. ^ "Gazetteer Files". Retrieved December 30, 2023.
  9. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table P1: RACE". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  10. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table P2: HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  11. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S1101: HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  12. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S1501: EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  13. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S1903: MEDIAN INCOME IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (IN 2020 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS)". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  14. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S2001: EARNINGS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS (IN 2020 INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS)". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  15. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S1701: POVERTY STATUS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  16. ^ "US Census Bureau, Table S1702: POVERTY STATUS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS OF FAMILIES". Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  17. ^ "Narragansett Ri tourism,vacation rental,restaurants". Narragansett Ri tourism,vacation rental,restaurants. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  18. ^ "Narragansett Town Beach". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  19. ^ Roger Wheeler State Beach Archived March 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Salty Brine State Beach Archived March 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ NEWS, CRYSTAL BUI, NBC 10 (March 14, 2017). "Wind turbine at Narragansett beach collapses in storm". Retrieved March 23, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ Naylor, Donita. "Narragansett gives initial OK to housing limit: 3 students per unit". The Providence Journal. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  23. ^ "NARRAGANSETT WATER DEPT-NORTH END Consumer RI1858429 (Source of Supply- SUEZ Water) Confidence Report – 2021". Town of Narragansett. 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  24. ^ "NARRAGANSETT WATER DEPT-NORTH END RI1858429 (Source of Supply- North Kingstown) Consumer Confidence Report – 2021". Town of Narragansett. 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  25. ^ "NARRAGANSETT WATER SYSTEM-POINT JUDITH Consumer Confidence Report – 2021". Town of Narragansett. 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  26. ^ "Town of Narragansett CAFR". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  27. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  28. ^ D’Auria, Peter (May 9, 2021). "Narragansett council handed Fulop a defeat in parking battle. Then the mayor lashed out at the media". The Jersey Journal.
  29. ^ Duguay, Rob (December 8, 2015). "Interview: Now Christmas collaborators, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo find common musical ground". Vanyaland. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
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Narragansett, Rhode Island
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