Department of Numbers

Rhode Island Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Rhode Island was $948 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent was $949 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Rhode Island median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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 (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Rhode Island Median Gross Rent $948 -0.21% +2.71%

Rhode Island Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Rhode Island peaked in real terms in 2006 at $985 and is now $37 (3.76%) lower. From a recent low of 892.0 in 2012, real median gross rent has now increased by $56 (6.28%). Average gross rent for Rhode Island peaked in real terms in 2006 at $965 and is now $16 (1.66%) lower. From a recent low of 883.0 in 2012, real average gross rent has now increased by $66 (7.47%).

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
2016 $981 $948 $949
2015 $972 $950 $929
2014 $942 $942 $923
2013 $910 $923 $917
2012 $898 $892 $883
2011 $898 $903 $917
2010 $912 $926 $925
2009 $916 $969 $947
2008 $932 $961 $947
2007 $885 $931 $910
2006 $895 $985 $965
2005 $869 $925 $900

Rhode Island Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Rhode Island was 4.57% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Rhode Island

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Rhode Island 4.57% -1.86% -2.41%

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 4.90% to 4.57%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Rhode Island, US

Rental vacancy rate in Rhode Island

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Rhode Island

Date US Rhode Island
2016 5.89% 4.57%
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 18.77% in 2016 according to the ACS.

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

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Rhode Island 18.77% -0.61% -0.93%

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 1.65% to 18.77%.

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
2016 20.43% 18.77%
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 2016 41.97% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Rhode Island Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Rhode Island 41.97% +1.02% +2.36%

Trends in the Rhode Island Renter Fraction

At 41.97%, the 2016 household based renter fraction in Rhode Island was at its highest 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
2016 36.88% 41.97%
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.