Student Survival Guide: Rhode Island by the numbers

Let's make a list!
By PHILIP EIL  |  September 25, 2013

WE'RE #1! But we're the third-worst drivers in the US, so we obviously get distracted by billboards.

We live in a BuzzFeed world.

It’s tough to say when, precisely, that ever-updating online listicle warehouse became our predominant news source. But between The Washington Post’s BuzzFeed-inspired “9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask” blog post, VICE UK’s “The 13 Shittiest BuzzFeed Lists” (“The Fiercest Moments from Beyoncé’s Halftime Show,” “12 Reasons Why Sam the Cat With Eyebrows Should Be Your New Favorite Cat”), and the news that BuzzFeed attracted 85 million unique visitors in August, it seemed to happen at some point this year

Rather than fight the trend, we at The Phoenix thought we’d indulge our own urge to rank and list every subject known to humankind. After all, Rhode Island isn’t immune; we’ve already been BuzzFeed-ified with the July 2013 article, “11 Awesome Facts You Never Knew About Rhode Island,” which, in turn, triggered “11 Actually Awesome Thingss About Rhode Island” from the political blog, and a Providence Journal takedown piece titled “BuzzFeed ‘Awesome Fact’ About Toothbrush and Toothpaste Sales in R.I. Turns Out to Be Awesomely Wrong.”

These days, when the air has turned crisp and everyone’s tweeting about #applepicking and #pumpkinspicelattes, we thought we’d drop a special Back-to-School themed, BuzzFeed-inspired batch of knowledge. Mind you, like the site that inspired us, this article is less concerned with methodology and absolute accuracy, and more interested with the fact that someone, somewhere actually once placed Rhode Island on a list of American states ranked by penis size.

So read on, fellow list lovers.


The good news is that Providence is the #1 Food City in the United States 1 . The bad news is we have the third worst drivers in the nation 2 .

The good news is that Providence is “New England’s Coolest City.” 3 The bad news is that we’re America’s eighth snobbiest city 4 , the 10th most miserable 5 , and the 11th worst town in which to have a baby 6 .

Depending on how you feel about Jesus Christ, it’s either good or bad news that we’re the fourth most post-Christian city in America 7 . But if you consider the fact that Rhode Island is dead last — #50 — when it comes to average duration of visits to 8 , then maybe we’re not so post-Christian, after all. (And what do these stats about Jesus and porn have to do with our #25 ranking — exactly in the middle of the pack — when it comes to penis size 9 ? You’re the college student; make that your next paper topic and report back to us.)

Speaking of statewide statistics, the prospects are pretty bleak when it comes employment once you graduate, since we’re the 49th most business-friendly state in the country 10 . This is perhaps due to our 46th-best State Business Tax Climate Index 11 . But then again, we’re 15th in per-capita personal income 12 , so you may end driving an Audi or a Range Rover over the 48th 13 and 47th 14 -best, respectively, roads and bridges in the nation. Our potholes, alone, are enough to make you turn to illicit drugs, which, apparently, a higher percentage of Rhode Islanders do than in any other state. 15

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