BURRILLVILLE – Data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the town of Burrillville saw its population jump by the largest percentage over the past eight years out of every community in Rhode Island.
The town’s growth is part of a population shift northward, according to the data, with many of Rhode Island’s coastal communities decreasing in size, while historically smaller towns in the Blackstone Valley gain residents.
Burrillville’s population grew by 4.93 percent from 2010 to 2018, from 15,953 to 16,740 residents.
Nearby Cumberland experienced the second-highest percentage increase at 4.4 percent, growing from 33,511 to 34,977 residents.
Neighboring North Smithfield experienced a 4.3 percent growth, from 11,971 to 12,485 people.
In fact, all of the top five towns for total population growth over the past eight years were northern communities, with Lincoln and Glocester completing the list.
Statewide, by comparison, population grew by only .4 percent over the same timeframe.
Towns to decrease in size included Newport, Warwick, Barrington, North Kingstown, Narragansett and Bristol, with the latter topping the list at -3.4 percent.
Communities experiencing moderate growth between 1 and 2 percent included Smithfield, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, Johnston and North Providence.
Coventry’s population stayed nearly the same growing by less than a tenth of a percentage point.
The data put the state’s total population at 1,057,315 as of July 1, 2018. The state is second only to New Jersey in terms of density.
The most recent population estimates will soon be replaced by data collected next year as part of the 2020 Census.