Central Falls, Rhode Island

Central Falls is a small city located in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has an estimated population of 19,376 people according to the 2019 census. The city covers an area of 1.29 square miles and is located near the Blackstone River.

The climate in Central Falls is humid continental which brings mild summers and cold winters. Average temperatures range from 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months. Precipitation is relatively consistent throughout the year, with an average of 48 inches annually.

Central Falls has a rich history dating back to 1636 when it was part of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. In 1895, it became part of Rhode Island when it was incorporated as a city. Central Falls has been home to many famous figures such as world-renowned author H.P Lovecraft and former governor Bruce Sundlun who served from 1991-1995.

The economy of Central Falls is largely based on manufacturing and services with some small retail stores scattered throughout the city limits. The largest employers are Hasbro Toy Company, Amica Insurance Company, and United Natural Foods Incorporated (UNFI).

Central Falls offers its students three elementary schools (James L McGuire School, Leila B Smith Elementary School and Broad Street Elementary School), one middle school (Central Falls Middle School), one high school (Central High School), and a career technical center (Blackstone Valley Prep High School). All five schools are operated by the Central Falls School District and serve over 3,000 students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Notable landmarks in Central Falls include Dexter Training Ground Park which consists of 33 acres of open space including walking trails, a pond, picnic tables, basketball courts, playgrounds and more; Slater Mill which is a historic museum complex; World War II Memorial Park; and Ten Mile River Greenway which runs along the Blackstone River for over 6 miles offering views of wildlife habitats along its path.

Central Falls, Rhode Island

Population: 18,928. Estimated population in July 2020: 19,159 (+1.2% change)
Males: 9,404 (49.7%), Females: 9,524 (50.3%)

Providence County

Median resident age: 30.2 years
Median household income: $22,628
Median house value: $88,800

Races in Central Falls:

  • Hispanic (47.8%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (40.0%)
  • Other race (28.4%)
  • Two or more races (7.4%)
  • Black (5.8%)
  • American Indian (1.0%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: Portuguese (8.6%), French (6.9%), French Canadian (6.9%), Subsaharan African (5.5%), Irish (5.2%), United States (4.7%).

Elevation: 100 feet

Land area: 1.2 square miles


Central Falls, Rhode Island is a small city located in the northern part of the state. It has a population of 19,376 people according to the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The demographics of Central Falls are diverse, with a majority of the population being Hispanic or Latino (67%), followed by White (14%), African American (10%), and Asian (6%).

When it comes to living costs, Central Falls is more affordable than other parts of Rhode Island, with median home prices averaging $128,000 and median rent at $981 per month as of 2020. The cost of living in Central Falls is also lower than the national average; groceries and healthcare are especially affordable in comparison to other states. Despite its relatively low cost of living, however, Central Falls still has higher poverty rates than most other cities in Rhode Island; approximately 33% of its residents live below the poverty line.

To combat this issue, many organizations have worked to develop programs that help low-income families in Central Falls access food and housing assistance services. These include organizations such as United Way RI, which works to provide resources for health care access and economic stability for all state residents; Catholic Charities Providence Diocese’s Food Pantry Program; and House of Hope CDC’s Homeownership Program which helps families become homeowners through financial counseling and homebuyer education classes.

For population 25 years and over in Central Falls

  • High school or higher: 49.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 5.7%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 1.9%
  • Unemployed: 8.2%
  • Mean travel time to work: 20.9 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Central Falls city

  • Never married: 34.3%
  • Now married: 42.8%
  • Separated: 4.9%
  • Widowed: 7.7%
  • Divorced: 10.2%

35.1% Foreign born (24.9% Latin America, 5.7% Europe, 3.5% Africa).

Population change in the 1990s: +1,173 (+6.6%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Central Falls:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Central Falls:

  • THEODORE FRANCIS GREEN STATE (about 13 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Abbreviation: PVD)
  • LAURENCE G HANSCOM FLD (about 41 miles; BEDFORD, MA; Abbreviation: BED)
  • GENERAL EDWARD LAWRENCE LOGAN INTL (about 42 miles; BOSTON, MA; Abbreviation: BOS)

Other public-use airports nearest to Central Falls:

  • DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE HELISTOP (about 6 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Abbreviation: RI9)
  • NORTH CENTRAL STATE (about 7 miles; PAWTUCKET, RI; Abbreviation: SFZ)
  • NORFOLK (about 16 miles; NORFOLK, MA; Abbreviation: 32M)

Amtrak station near Central Falls:

  • 5 miles: PROVIDENCE (100 GASPEE ST.). Services: ticket office, fully wheelchair accessible, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, snack bar, ATM, paid short-term parking, paid long-term parking, call for car rental service, taxi stand, public transit connection.

According to andyeducation, Rhode Island has the following colleges and schools:

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Central Falls:

  • BROWN UNIVERSITY (about 5 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 7,460)
  • RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (about 5 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 6,208)
  • PROVIDENCE COLLEGE (about 5 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 4,456)
  • JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY (about 5 miles; Providence, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,218)
  • RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN (about 5 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,086)
  • BRYANT COLLEGE (about 9 miles; SMITHFIELD, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,926)
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND (about 14 miles; WARWICK, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,650)


Public high school in Central Falls:

  • CENTRAL FALLS SR HIGH (Students: 911; Location: 24 SUMMER STREET; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Central Falls:

  • CALCUTT MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 881; Location: 112 WASHINGTON STREET; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • VETERANS MEMORIAL ELEMENTARY (Students: 489; Location: 150 FULLER AVENUE; Grades: KG – 05)
  • ELLA RISK SCHOOL (Students: 470; Location: 949 DEXTER STREET; Grades: 01 – 05)
  • ROBERTSON SCHOOL (Students: 237; Location: 135 HUNT STREET; Grades: 01 – 05)
  • ALAN SHAWN FEINSTEIN SCHOOL (Students: 234; Location: 405 BROAD STREET; Grades: 01 – 05)
  • G. HAROLD HUNT SCHOOL (Students: 216; Location: 14 KENDALL STREET; Grades: PK – KG)
  • COWDEN STREET SCHOOL (Students: 193; Location: 325 COWDEN STREET; Grades: KG – 01)

Private primary/middle school in Central Falls:

  • ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON ACADEM (Students: 261; Location: 909 LONSDALE AVENUE; Grades: PK – 8)


Library in Central Falls:

  • CENTRAL FALLS FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $289,262; Location: 205 CENTRAL STREET; 41,104 books; 358 audio materials; 1,174 video materials; 51 serial subscriptions)