Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol, Rhode Island is a small city with a population of approximately 22,000 people. It is located in the east of the state on Narragansett Bay, making it an attractive destination for both tourists and locals alike. Bristol has a humid continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The average temperature in July is 77 degrees Fahrenheit and the average temperature in January is 28 degrees Fahrenheit. See topbbacolleges for information about Bristol County, Rhode Island.

The city of Bristol was founded in 1681 by William Bradford and his followers from Plymouth Colony. In 1747 it was incorporated as a town, becoming one of the oldest communities in Rhode Island. Throughout its history, Bristol has been an important port city and commercial center. In recent years it has become known for its maritime heritage, with many historical sites and homes to explore.

Politics in Bristol are currently dominated by the Democratic Party. The mayor is Ellen Cibelli, who was elected in 2017 after serving as deputy mayor since 2009. The current members of the City Council are Mary Parella, Robert McDonough Jr., John Flanders Jr., Thomas Ruggiero Jr., Charles Aiken Sr., Roberta Trahan-Fonseca, and David Barboza Jr..

The economy of Bristol is mainly driven by tourism due to its beautiful location on Narragansett Bay and its many historic attractions. Other industries include manufacturing, healthcare, education, retail trade, financial services, construction, transportation & warehousing among others.

Education in Bristol is served by two public school districts: Bristol Warren Regional School District (BWRSD) which includes seven elementary schools; two middle schools; one high school; four special education programs; and three charter schools; as well as Mt Hope High School District which serves two elementary schools; one middle school; one high school; one special education program; and two alternative education programs. Additionally there are several private schools located within the city limits that offer various levels of instruction from preschool through college level courses.

Some popular landmarks around Bristol include Colt State Park which offers scenic views of Narragansett Bay along with walking paths and picnic areas; Blithewold Mansion & Gardens which features 45 acres of expansive gardens surrounded by beautiful architecture; Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall Of Fame which houses hundreds of artifacts related to yachting history including boats designed by legendary yacht designer Nathanael Herreshoff; Mount Hope Farm which offers tours through its historic grounds where George Washington once visited during his presidency; Independence Park which hosts events such as the annual Fourth Of July fireworks display over Narragansett Bay each year; Roger Williams Park Zoo that features over 150 species from around the world including tigers lions giraffes zebras gorillas kangaroos monkeys reptiles amphibians birds insects fish plants butterflies among others .

Bristol, Rhode Island

Population: 22,469. Estimated population in July 2020: 24,658 (+9.7% change)
Males: 10,834 (48.2%), Females: 11,635 (51.8%)

Bristol County

Median resident age: 38.2 years
Median household income: $43,689
Median house value: $157,100

Races in Bristol:

  • White Non-Hispanic (96.3%)
  • Hispanic (1.3%)
  • Two or more races (1.0%)
  • Black (0.6%)

Ancestries: Portuguese (36.8%), Italian (21.2%), Irish (14.2%), English (10.5%), French (8.5%), German (4.8%).

Elevation: 75 feet

Land area: 10.1 square miles


Bristol, Rhode Island is a small town located on the Narragansett Bay in the eastern part of the state. It is home to about 23,000 people and is known for its historic architecture and beautiful views of the bay. The population of Bristol is diverse, with a large number of Portuguese-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Italian-Americans. The cost of living in Bristol is relatively low compared to other parts of Rhode Island and New England. The median home price in Bristol is $203,800, which is lower than Providence and other nearby cities. Renting an apartment in Bristol costs around $1,000 per month for a one bedroom apartment. Taxes are also relatively low with property taxes being around 1.35%. Groceries and other necessities are also reasonably priced with most items costing less than they would in more expensive areas. Overall, Bristol offers an affordable cost of living while still providing access to urban amenities such as restaurants, shops, parks, entertainment venues and more.

For population 25 years and over in Bristol

  • High school or higher: 74.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.3%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 10.2%
  • Unemployed: 4.7%
  • Mean travel time to work: 24.0 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Bristol town

  • Never married: 28.7%
  • Now married: 54.6%
  • Separated: 0.8%
  • Widowed: 8.5%
  • Divorced: 7.4%

13.9% Foreign born (12.4% Europe).

Population change in the 1990s: +833 (+3.9%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Bristol:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Bristol:

  • THEODORE FRANCIS GREEN STATE (about 11 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Abbreviation: PVD)
  • GENERAL EDWARD LAWRENCE LOGAN INTL (about 50 miles; BOSTON, MA; Abbreviation: BOS)
  • MARTHAS VINEYARD (about 51 miles; VINEYARD HAVEN, MA; Abbreviation: MVY)

Other public-use airports nearest to Bristol:

  • QUONSET STATE (about 12 miles; NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI; Abbreviation: OQU)
  • NEWPORT STATE (about 12 miles; NEWPORT, RI; Abbreviation: UUU)
  • DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE HELISTOP (about 13 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Abbreviation: RI9)

Amtrak station near Bristol:

  • 15 miles: PROVIDENCE (100 GASPEE ST.). Services: ticket office, fully wheelchair accessible, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, snack bar, ATM, paid short-term parking, paid long-term parking, call for car rental service, taxi stand, public transit connection.

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/Universities in Bristol:

  • ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY (Full-time enrollment: 3,007; Location: ONE OLD FERRY RD; Private, not-for-profit; Website:; Offers Master’s degree)
  • ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW (Full-time enrollment: 305; Location: TEN METACOM AVE; Private, not-for-profit; Website:

Other colleges/universities with over 2000 students near Bristol:

  • BRISTOL COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 10 miles; FALL RIVER, MA; Full-time enrollment: 3,497)
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND (about 13 miles; WARWICK, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,650)
  • NEW ENGLAND INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (about 13 miles; WARWICK, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,419)
  • BROWN UNIVERSITY (about 14 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 7,460)
  • JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY (about 14 miles; Providence, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,218)
  • RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN (about 14 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,086)
  • RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (about 16 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 6,208)


Public high school in Bristol:

  • MT. HOPE HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,200; Location: 199 CHESTNUT STREET; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Bristol:

  • GUITERAS SCHOOL (Students: 285; Location: 35 WASHINGTON STREET; Grades: KG – 05)
  • REYNOLDS SCHOOL (Students: 250; Location: 235 HIGH STREET; Grades: KG – 05)
  • COLT-ANDREWS SCHOOL (Students: 207; Location: 570 HOPE STREET; Grades: 03 – 05)
  • ROCKWELL SCHOOL (Students: 178; Location: 1225 HOPE STREET; Grades: PK – 03)
  • BYFIELD SCHOOL (Students: 164; Location: 220 HIGH STREET; Grades: KG – 02)

Private primary/middle schools in Bristol:

  • OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL SCHOOL (Students: 229; Location: 127 STATE STREET; Grades: PK – 8)
  • ST ELIZABETH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Students: 182; Location: 10 MONROE AVENUE; Grades: PK – 8)
  • SEA SIDE NURSERY SCHOOL (Students: 27; Location: 19 VERNDALE CIRCLE; Grades: PK – KG)


Library in Bristol:

  • ROGERS FREE LIBRARY (Operating income: $290,008; Location: 525 HOPE STREET; 49,075 books; 1,330 audio materials; 759 video materials; 140 serial subscriptions)