- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A wide income gap exists between some Rhode Island communities, but poverty isn’t widespread in the state as it is elsewhere in the country, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The numbers, from the 2014 American Community Survey five-year estimates, found that Barrington is the richest community in the state, with a median household income of nearly $104,000 and a 2 percent poverty rate, The Providence Journal (http://bit.ly/21yn2Og ) reported.

The report showed that Central Falls, about 12 miles north of Barrington, is the poorest in the state with a median income of almost $29,000 and nearly 32 percent living in poverty.

The newspaper analyzed seven markers of economic standing, including marriage and college-degree attainment rates, and examined how the state’s 39 cities and towns measured up.

Barrington had the highest rate of married residents, at 64.4 percent and the highest rate of college graduates with 67.5 percent.

Andrew Bramson, of public policy think tank Providence Plan, said wide swaths of poverty typically extend from county to county in other parts of the country. In Rhode Island, he said, there are concentrated pockets of poverty, but also a diversity of economic statuses nearby.

“They all border directly with at least one community that has poverty below the state poverty rate,” he said. We have poverty, but we don’t have real swaths of poverty.”

According to the figures, the state has wide economic disparity within a small geography.

“Rhode Island is, in many ways, just a miniaturization of the entire country,” Bramson said.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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