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West Warwick, Rhode Island
War Memorial Park West Warwick
War Memorial Park West Warwick
Coat of arms of West Warwick, Rhode Island
The Center of Rhode Island
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Location in Kent County and the state of Rhode Island.
Coordinates: 41°42′N 71°31′W / 41.700°N 71.517°W / 41.700; -71.517
CountryUnited States
StateRhode Island
 • Town CouncilWard 1 – Maribeth Williamson (Democrat)
Ward 2 – David Gosselin, Jr. (Democrat)
Ward 3 – Jason K. Messier (Independent)
Ward 4 – Jason E. Licciardi (Independent)
Ward 5 – Mark Bourget (Republican)
 • Total8.1 sq mi (21.0 km2)
 • Land7.9 sq mi (20.5 km2)
 • Water0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)
Elevation269 ft (82 m)
 • Total31,012
 • Density3,918/sq mi (1,512.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code401
FIPS code44-78440[2]
GNIS feature ID1220060[1]

West Warwick is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 31,012 at the 2020 census.[3]

West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, making it the youngest town in the state.[4] Prior to 1913, the town, situated on the western bank of the Pawtuxet River, was the population and industrial center of the larger town of Warwick. The town split because local Democratic politicians wanted to consolidate their power and isolate their section of town from the Republican-dominated farmland in the east.[5]


The area that is now the town of West Warwick was the site of some of the earliest textile mills in the United States situated along the banks of the north and south branches of the Pawtuxet River.[4] These small mill villages of the Pawtuxet River Valley  [Wikidata] would play an important role in the early development of the textile industry in North America. Lippitt Mill, founded in 1809 by Revolutionary War hero Christopher Lippitt, was one of the first mills in the area.[6]

The 1810 Lippitt Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of the earliest textile mills in Rhode Island.[7] It was founded in 1809 and the current dam was constructed in 1889. The Mill is one of the earliest textile mills in Rhode Island and is one of the oldest American textile mills still used for manufacturing.[6] Another mill center, River Point, is located at the junction of the North and South branches of the Pawtuxet River, and is home to several mills which have been converted to residences, and which make up the Royal Mill Complex. The Original Bradford Soap Works, located in the Valley Queen Mill, dates back to the 1800s and is still in use today.[8]

The Station, a nightclub and music venue on Cowesett Avenue, was destroyed in a fire on February 20, 2003 that killed 100 people and injured 230 others.[9] The fire occurred during a concert by the rock band Great White, when a pyrotechnic display ignited packing foam that had been used to soundproof the building.[9] The site where the Station once stood was turned into a permanent memorial, Station Fire Memorial Park, which was opened in May 2017.[10]

In 2010, a massive rainfall caused the Pawtuxet River to rise to 21 feet, which is 12 feet above flood stage which caused flooding through much of the town.


John F. Horgan Elementary School

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.0 km2), of which, 7.9 square miles (20.5 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) of it (2.22%) is water.

The following villages are located in West Warwick:[11]

The town is bordered by the city of Warwick on the east, the town of Coventry on the west, the city of Cranston on the North, and town of East Greenwich on the south.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[16][17]
Historic Centerville Mill

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 29,581 people, 12,498 households, and 7,698 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,728.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,439.7/km2). There were 13,186 housing units at an average density of 1,662.1 per square mile (641.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 93.78% White, 1.11% African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.10% of the population.

There were 12,498 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.4% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 10 females there were 9.97 males. For every 10 females age 18 and over, there were 9.93 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $39,505, and the median income for a family was $47,674. Males had a median income of $35,128 versus $26,720 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,250. About 9.2% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.9% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.


West Warwick has a council-manager form of government. There are five town councilors, one for each of the town's wards. Each is elected to a two-year term.

In the Rhode Island Senate, West Warwick is split in its representation between Democrats Adam J. Satchell (District 9) and Hanna M. Gallo (District 27). At the federal level, West Warwick is included in Rhode Island's 2nd congressional district and is currently represented by Democrat Seth Magaziner.

In terms of presidential politics, West Warwick has been a reliably Democratic stronghold in most elections; however, in 2016, Donald Trump became the first Republican to carry the town, albeit narrowly and with a plurality, in three decades.

West Warwick town vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2020 46.38% 6,493 51.67% 7,234 0.02% 274
2016 47.56% 5,724 46.03% 5,540 6.41% 772
2012 37.45% 4,332 60.14% 6,956 2.41% 279
2008 38.08% 4,735 60.11% 7,475 1.81% 225
2004 40.42% 4,654 57.84% 6,660 1.74% 200
2000 31.34% 3,365 63.34% 6,801 5.32% 571
1996 22.64% 2,434 62.58% 6,727 14.78% 1,589
1992 28.02% 3,792 45.32% 6,134 26.66% 3,609
1988 46.20% 5,288 53.42% 6,114 0.38% 43

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: West Warwick, Rhode Island
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: West Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "West Warwick, RI A New Vision for a New Century". West Warwick. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  5. ^ Ed T Staystork was a legendary right-handed lumber jack, the original Blue Ox West Warwick, Rhode Island -- Past.
  6. ^ a b "LIPPITT MILL COMPLEX". Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  7. ^ "NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Notice to the Press". West Warwick RI, A New Vision for a NewCentury. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Botelho, Jessica A (February 17, 2023). "20 years later: 100 people killed, 230 others hurt in nation's 4th-largest nightclub fire". WJAR. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  10. ^ "Memorial Park Opens at Site of Rhode Island Nightclub Fire That Killed 100". NBC News. May 21, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "Town of West Warwick". Government of Rhode Island. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  12. ^ a b Historic and Architectural Resources of West Warwick, Rhode Island: A Preliminary Report (PDF), Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1987 [1979], retrieved February 5, 2024
  13. ^ a b c d "Villages". Mill Town. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  14. ^ "Coventry Roots: Harris". Coventry, RI Patch. May 27, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  15. ^ Westcott Smith, David (June 23, 2018). "Three Samplers from Westcott, Rhode Island" (PDF). Society of Stukely Westcott Descendants of America. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  16. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  17. ^ Snow, Edwin M. (1867). Report upon the Census of Rhode Island 1865. Providence, RI: Providence Press Company.
  18. ^ "Rhode Island Board of Elections: Previous Election Results". Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Guide to the Robert Emmet Quinn papers 1936-1975" (PDF). Brown University. Retrieved April 27, 2014.