Department of Numbers

Rhode Island Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Rhode Island was $938 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent was $917 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Rhode Island median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Rhode Island rental vacancy rates, Rhode Island rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Rhode Island.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Rhode Island (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Rhode Island Median Gross Rent $938 +0.86% +6.59%

Rhode Island Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Rhode Island peaked in real terms in 2006 at $972 and is now $34 (3.50%) lower. From a recent low of 880.0 in 2012, real median gross rent has now increased by $58 (6.59%). Average gross rent for Rhode Island peaked in real terms in 2006 at $953 and is now $36 (3.78%) lower. From a recent low of 871.0 in 2012, real average gross rent has now increased by $46 (5.28%).

Real Gross Rent in Rhode Island: Median, Average, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Rhode Island

Date US Median Rhode Island Median Rhode Island Average
2015 $959 $938 $917
2014 $930 $930 $911
2013 $898 $911 $905
2012 $886 $880 $871
2011 $887 $891 $905
2010 $901 $914 $913
2009 $905 $956 $935
2008 $920 $949 $934
2007 $874 $919 $898
2006 $883 $972 $953
2005 $858 $913 $889

Rhode Island Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Rhode Island was 6.43% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Rhode Island

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Rhode Island 6.43% +0.25% +0.91%

Trends in Rhode Island Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Rhode Island peaked in 2010 at 9.47%. Since then it has fallen by 3.04% to 6.43%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2012 post peak low of 5.52%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.91%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Rhode Island, US

Rental vacancy rate in Rhode Island

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Rhode Island

Date US Rhode Island
2015 5.85% 6.43%
2014 6.32% 6.18%
2013 6.49% 6.98%
2012 6.77% 5.52%
2011 7.40% 5.80%
2010 8.17% 9.47%
2009 8.43% 6.80%
2008 7.86% 7.42%
2007 7.87% 7.77%
2006 7.70% 7.25%
2005 7.74% 6.82%

Rhode Island Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Rhode Island, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Rhode Island, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.38% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Rhode Island Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Rhode Island 19.38% -1.04% +0.07%

Trends in Rhode Island Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Rhode Island household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 20.42%. Since then it has fallen by 1.04% to 19.38%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Rhode Island, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Rhode Island

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Rhode Island

Date US Rhode Island
2015 20.63% 19.38%
2014 20.89% 20.42%
2013 20.78% 19.71%
2012 20.65% 19.31%
2011 20.70% 19.58%
2010 20.50% 19.93%
2009 20.12% 19.73%
2008 19.00% 18.31%
2007 18.66% 18.59%
2006 18.90% 19.45%
2005 18.89% 18.07%

Renter Fraction in Rhode Island

You can calculate the renter fraction in Rhode Island in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Rhode Island as a fraction of total Rhode Island households. In 2015 40.95% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Rhode Island Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Rhode Island 40.95% -0.25% +0.94%

Trends in the Rhode Island Renter Fraction

The Rhode Island household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 41.20% and is now 0.25% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Rhode Island, US

Fraction of renters in Rhode Island

History of Rhode Island Renter Fraction

Date US Rhode Island
2015 36.97% 40.95%
2014 36.90% 41.20%
2013 36.50% 39.61%
2012 36.09% 40.01%
2011 35.42% 39.42%
2010 34.65% 39.22%
2009 34.13% 36.59%
2008 33.36% 37.58%
2007 32.80% 36.40%
2006 32.73% 37.01%
2005 33.10% 37.29%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.