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Old 01-29-2017, 10:14 AM
 
5,426 posts, read 2,825,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
I feel like I'm pretty uniquely qualified to address this, having moved to Rhode Island around three years ago. Apologies in advance, because this is going to be long.

Before I came here, I had the same point of view as you do -- even though I'd lived most of my life less than three hours from the state line; in fact, I grew up on Long Island, which shares a maritime border with Rhode Island -- and it was in part that good reputation that inspired me to make the move.

Once I got here, though, I realized that there are two local Rhode Island reputations. The first is the same as the national one (insofar as Rhode Island even has a national reputation): scenic, charming, historic. The second, though, is that Rhode Island is a post-industrial state whose best days are long behind it. I would disagree strongly with that characterization, but there is truth behind it. Despite its history as a summer home for the very wealthy and sailing mecca, Rhode Island is at its heart a blue-collar state whose economy has for centuries revolved around manufacturing, and the factories that once employed a large percentage of the state's population are, like factories everywhere, now gone. Though the state has rebounded significantly, it was just a few years ago that we had the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

I hate to make this political, but it's really unavoidable: Those blue-collar workers who have struggled due to a changing economy are the same type of people, often historically Democratic voters, who just handed Donald Trump the election in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In fact, my county, Kent County -- home to the state's second-largest city, largely working-class Warwick -- went for the Republicans for the first time since 1984. But especially with a growing minority population in what was once a very white state, they're still not a large enough voting bloc to win any real power -- every statewide elected official is a Democrat. So there's a large and probably growing amount of political dissatisfaction.

If all that weren't enough to make a lot of people say they hate living here, Rhode Island has always suffered from little-brother syndrome. If there's anything people know about us, they know we're the smallest state in the country. I thought that was oddly attractive when I was thinking about moving here, but a lot of people don't see it that way. We have two neighbors: Connecticut and Massachusetts. The parts of Connecticut that border Rhode Island actually have some of the same issues I just laid out -- and you'll notice it appears on the bad list as well -- but overall it's the fourth-wealthiest state and is home to the most sought-after suburbs of New York, America's greatest city. Meanwhile, Rhode Island's population centers butt up against Massachusetts, the fifth-wealthiest state, where gleaming Boston beckons close enough for an easy day trip, but not quite close enough to easily commute. Boston is one of the most desirable metro areas in the country, and it hurts to be essentially its lower-rent exurbs. Here's an example of how. You hear a lot of people in Rhode Island complain about how bad our public schools are. Now, our public schools actually aren't that bad -- if you look at national rankings, they're firmly in the middle of the pack. But Massachusetts -- and in particular, Metro Boston -- has arguably the best schools in the country. Having to compare yourself to that gets pretty demoralizing.

Speaking personally, I still don't feel any worse about Rhode Island than I did when I moved here. I think it's a hugely underrated state and a terrific place to live, assuming you're in a good position to find a good job. In fact, I still can't think of another state that hits all the points on my wishlist as completely as Rhode Island does. But I now understand why it ends up at the bottom of lists like this one.

By the way, for the Texan who's curious about Rhode Island, you may appreciate this local T-shirt:
That's ultimately the most important thing, isn't it? How a particular place hits YOUR list points. Not someone else's list, or a stats-generated theoretical list for general perusal, but YOUR list. Yet you are not so blinded as to understand why other people don't feel the same.

If everybody chose according to their own priorities AND abilities (jobs, COL, climate, degree of urbanity, environmental preferences, etc), there would be more happy people, period. Why are people so eager to let someone else choose what is "best" for them? Makes no sense.

This is one of the best posts I have read on C-D! Reps coming your way.

Oh, yeah--great T-shirt!
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Lil Rhodey
679 posts, read 463,958 times
Reputation: 938
I love living in Rhode Island. I didn't always, but I was born and raised here. It took a couple of decades of living elsewhere to come to appreciate it. Its come a long way since I left. Especially Providence. It's not perfect, no place is, but it's definitely a beautiful and unique place to live. And the location can't be beat.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,060 posts, read 3,384,906 times
Reputation: 7710
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
I feel like I'm pretty uniquely qualified to address this, having moved to Rhode Island around three years ago. Apologies in advance, because this is going to be long.

Before I came here, I had the same point of view as you do -- even though I'd lived most of my life less than three hours from the state line; in fact, I grew up on Long Island, which shares a maritime border with Rhode Island -- and it was in part that good reputation that inspired me to make the move.

Once I got here, though, I realized that there are two local Rhode Island reputations. The first is the same as the national one (insofar as Rhode Island even has a national reputation): scenic, charming, historic. The second, though, is that Rhode Island is a post-industrial state whose best days are long behind it. I would disagree strongly with that characterization, but there is truth behind it. Despite its history as a summer home for the very wealthy and sailing mecca, Rhode Island is at its heart a blue-collar state whose economy has for centuries revolved around manufacturing, and the factories that once employed a large percentage of the state's population are, like factories everywhere, now gone. Though the state has rebounded significantly, it was just a few years ago that we had the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

I hate to make this political, but it's really unavoidable: Those blue-collar workers who have struggled due to a changing economy are the same type of people, often historically Democratic voters, who just handed Donald Trump the election in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In fact, my county, Kent County -- home to the state's second-largest city, largely working-class Warwick -- went for the Republicans for the first time since 1984. But especially with a growing minority population in what was once a very white state, they're still not a large enough voting bloc to win any real power -- every statewide elected official is a Democrat. So there's a large and probably growing amount of political dissatisfaction.

If all that weren't enough to make a lot of people say they hate living here, Rhode Island has always suffered from little-brother syndrome. If there's anything people know about us, they know we're the smallest state in the country. I thought that was oddly attractive when I was thinking about moving here, but a lot of people don't see it that way. We have two neighbors: Connecticut and Massachusetts. The parts of Connecticut that border Rhode Island actually have some of the same issues I just laid out -- and you'll notice it appears on the bad list as well -- but overall it's the fourth-wealthiest state and is home to the most sought-after suburbs of New York, America's greatest city. Meanwhile, Rhode Island's population centers butt up against Massachusetts, the fifth-wealthiest state, where gleaming Boston beckons close enough for an easy day trip, but not quite close enough to easily commute. Boston is one of the most desirable metro areas in the country, and it hurts to be essentially its lower-rent exurbs. Here's an example of how. You hear a lot of people in Rhode Island complain about how bad our public schools are. Now, our public schools actually aren't that bad -- if you look at national rankings, they're firmly in the middle of the pack. But Massachusetts -- and in particular, Metro Boston -- has arguably the best schools in the country. Having to compare yourself to that gets pretty demoralizing.

Speaking personally, I still don't feel any worse about Rhode Island than I did when I moved here. I think it's a hugely underrated state and a terrific place to live, assuming you're in a good position to find a good job. In fact, I still can't think of another state that hits all the points on my wishlist as completely as Rhode Island does. But I now understand why it ends up at the bottom of lists like this one.

By the way, for the Texan who's curious about Rhode Island, you may appreciate this local T-shirt:

Makes sense about the whole deindustrialisation thing. Beautiful states like Michigan get tainted reputations because of that. I feel like Rhode Island is the kind of place that can really make up for it with tourism, though. All that ocean front, there's a lot of potential!

I've seen that shirt on Amazon before, its cute! I'd like to visit Rhode Island partly for the novelty of being in such a tiny state. Funny enough where I live now is the closest I've been to a state line; about 45 minutes. Texas is so huge that in so many places it will take a quarter of day to just reach the next state. And Florida's so long, it'd take about 6-7 hours just to reach Georgia and close to half a day to reach Alabama, from Miami.
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:22 PM
 
1,586 posts, read 1,540,553 times
Reputation: 2356
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
Makes sense about the whole deindustrialisation thing. Beautiful states like Michigan get tainted reputations because of that. I feel like Rhode Island is the kind of place that can really make up for it with tourism, though. All that ocean front, there's a lot of potential!
Yeah, I've said before that Rhode Island needs to do more with its tourism infrastructure. The only genuine tourist destination in the state is Newport (and a spectacular tourist destination it is). Providence is getting there, but it's got some more work to do; I think Portland, Maine's Old Port district would be a great model there. Block Island and Watch Hill (famously the summer home to Taylor Swift) attract tourists, but on a comparatively small scale. I think the state would be smart to pick a relatively underpopulated place on the water, like Charlestown, and pour some money into building it out. Of course, a lot of locals would tell you the charm of places like Charlestown is that they're not built out, but that's not making any money!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
And Florida's so long, it'd take about 6-7 hours just to reach Georgia and close to half a day to reach Alabama, from Miami.
Off topic, but one of my favorite geographical facts is that the drive from Pensacola, Florida, to Cincinnati is two hours shorter than the drive from Pensacola to Key West.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,855 posts, read 2,982,689 times
Reputation: 3399
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulevardofdef View Post
I see a very strong correlation between this list and population density. Of the top 12 states where people "love where they live," 10 are in the bottom half of the U.S. for density. Meanwhile, of the 10 lowest-ranked states, seven are in the top half for density.

What's more, states at the very bottom of the density rankings are clustered at the top of the satisfaction rankings. Alaska, Wyoming and Montana are all in the top four lowest-density states and are also in the top four on the Huffington Post list.

There's no way any of this is a coincidence.

What I take from this is that basically, Americans don't like living in close quarters with other people. Personally, I like living in dense places. Truth is there are only a couple of states at the top of that list that I'd ever consider living in, while I'd live in a bunch on the bad list. When I was looking to move a couple of years ago, I came up with something I call the Burrito Rule: Can you easily get a burrito at 10 p.m.? If not, I don't want to live there. I don't imagine a lot of the people who gushed about living in Wyoming can get a burrito at 10 p.m.

In fact, I do live in the one that finished dead last, and often think about how it's the perfect state for me. It's dense, beautiful, historic, by the water, everything you need is nearby, near lots of other great places within an easy drive, very affordable for the region, still lots of nature around, the people tend to have a worldview I'm comfortable with, the politics agree with me. What's not to like?
Love this post. I just think people that live in wide open spaces tend to be happier, more content in life, older, and have no need for human interaction.

Many of us love to live in densely populated cities (like me), but grow resentful of our neighbors, government, etc. I don't know why we do it sometime, but I can't see myself living in the country.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,256 posts, read 541,956 times
Reputation: 1981
I'm a Michigan native - I LOVE it there and can't wait to move back!

I live in Mississippi now (6-1/2 years) - I dislike it VERY much, mainly due to the climate and culture.

The only states I could see myself living from that list of "top states" are New Hampshire and Minnesota. NH is absolutely beautiful.

Last edited by SouthernProper; 08-29-2017 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:17 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,820 posts, read 12,326,456 times
Reputation: 4768
A lot of people in West Virginia love where they live and the only reason people leave is for jobs. And most people who leave WV for work can't wait to move back to the mountains when they retire. It is definitely a very magical state with some of the most down to Earth, hospitable people and a truly laid back way of life.

I used to live in Maryland and hated it and can imagine why most people in New Jersey hate living there. Those are terrible places with high taxes, crime, illegal immigration and goverment overregulation destroying jobs.

I like living in Louisiana.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:08 PM
 
1,060 posts, read 1,931,653 times
Reputation: 1755
I live in NH and love it, I grew up in CT and hated it. Living in these two states and hearing the general consensus of people around me (most people I know in NH like or Love NH) (most people I know in CT hate it, but stick around for family or jobs), there seems to be truth to this list.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:37 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,735 posts, read 9,027,441 times
Reputation: 11107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kar54 View Post
Apologies if this has been posted prior, but ran across this and it looked like an interesting topic. Loving the places you currently live. Below is a Huffpo listing where "Residents In These States Love Where They Live". Curious regarding the forum's thoughts regarding the listings below. Comments, agreements, exceptions? Do you love where you currently live?

The top states:
1. Montana - 77 percent
1. Alaska - 77 percent
3. Utah - 70 percent
4. Wyoming - 69 percent
5. Texas - 68 percent
5. Hawaii - 68 percent
7. New Hampshire - 67 percent
8. North Dakota - 66 percent
9. Colorado - 65 percent
10. Vermont - 61 percent
10. Oregon - 61 percent
10. Minnesota - 61 percent

The bottom states:
1. Rhode Island - 18 percent
2. Illinois - 19 percent
3. Mississippi - 26 percent
4. Louisiana - 27 percent
5. Michigan - 28 percent
5. New Mexico - 28 percent
5. New Jersey - 28 percent
8. Maryland - 29 percent
8. Missouri - 29 percent
10. Connecticut - 31 percent

Interesting article:

Residents In These States Love Where They Live | HuffPost
Not surprised to see Montana at the top. People there romanticize their state way too much. It's interesting that I've lived in #1 and #4 and thought both of them SUCKED. They are fun to visit though. I currently live in #8 and love it.

Last edited by NDak15; 09-01-2017 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:59 AM
 
1,073 posts, read 1,226,526 times
Reputation: 1100
I'd agree that Michigan people generally hate it here. There's a lot of boosters who love it loudly but to me it always rings a little hollow. Like "Come on, guys, it's not THAT bad." I don't consider that a ringing endorsement.

I'd note that those states with high levels of satisfaction seem to be rural, isolated places. Montana and Alaska likely attract people who want to live there. I reckon they're so isolates you work hard to get out, leaving mostly people who moved there for isolation or low taxes.

Whereas places like Michigan aren't attracting those sorts of rich isolationists or adventurers.
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