On the surface, Connecticut and Rhode Island may seem very similar. However, there are plenty of differences between these two New England states.
In this article, we’ll compare the pro and cons of living in both Connecticut and Rhode Island. By the end, you should have a good idea of which state is a better fit for you.
Cost of Living: Connecticut vs Rhode Island
When comparing the cost of living in Connecticut to Rhode Island, you’ll find that they are nearly identical. The price of groceries, housing, median home prices, transportation, and utilities are very similar across the board in both states.
The main difference is the cost of healthcare does seem to be more expensive in Connecticut. According to recent studies, Rhode Island health care costs are 15% below the national average, while Connecticut’s are nearly 20% above the national average. And as someone who has lived in CT for most of their life, I can attest to that.
Taxes: CT vs RI
When it comes to taxes, CT and RI are very similar once again. The state income tax in Rhode Island ranges from 3.75% to 5.99%, while the Connecticut state income tax rate ranges from 3% to 6.99%.
Once you factor in real-estate taxes, vehicle taxes, and sales taxes they are still roughly the same, however, Connecticut is a little bit higher. This is mainly due to CT’s insanely high property taxes.
Weather: RI vs CT
The weather in Rhode Island and Connecticut isn’t much different, if at all. Summertime temperatures hover in the 80s for both states, while winter temperatures stay in the high teens. The spring and fall seasons see mild weather in the 60s.
If you compare Hartford to Providence, the cities have the same amount of rain and snow throughout the year, plus the summer highs and winter lows are equal.
Entertainment: Rhode Island vs Connecticut
Neither Connecticut nor Rhode Island are known as entertainment hubs, but there’s still plenty to do in each state. Both places have casinos, hiking trails, breweries, wineries, marinas, and beaches.
Rhode Island’s beaches are usually considered better than CT beaches because they aren’t shielded by Long Island (this causes the waves to be smaller). However, Connecticut’s ski resorts are certainly better than what’s available in RI.
Both states have very average nightlife, with Providence and New Haven being the best bar cities respectively. Connecticut also has closer proximity to New York City, while Rhode Island is closer to Boston.
I would argue that the main difference between Connecticut and Rhode Island is the traffic. Connecticut is a much bigger state with extremely crowded highways. It can take several hours to drive from Hartford to Stamford.
On the other hand, Rhode Island is much small, so everything is within a 30-minute drive. The population is much lower too, so there are fewer cars on the road.
Another difference between the two states is the school systems. Connecticut is generally considered to have a better education system with colleges like UConn, Yale, and Sacred Heart. Rhode Island only has one comparable school, which is Brown University.
Which State is Better? – Final Thoughts
Connecticut vs Rhode Island, which state is a better place to live? Deciding between living in Rhode Island and Connecticut is a really tough choice. They both have a lot in common.
I would say that Connecticut has the edge over Rhode Island if you have kids since the school systems are better overall. Connecticut is also closer to New York, so living in southern CT gets you faster access to NYC.
The main case for Rhode Island is that there’s virtually no traffic compared to Connecticut. Everything is easier to get to so you don’t have to spend hours sitting in your car.