Introduction to Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol, Rhode Island, in Bristol county, is 6 miles W of Fall River, Massachusetts (center to center) and 48 miles S of Boston, Massachusetts.The town benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Providence - Fall River - Warwick metropolitan area. Bristol contains a population of approximately 22,469.

Bristol History

The area now known as the town of Bristol was the site of the first battle of King Philip's War of 1675. In fact, Mount Hope was King Philip’s base of operations. The town, which was named after Bristol, England, was permanently settled in 1680 and became a part of the Plymouth Colony. Later on, it was sold to four Boston investors, and in 1747, it was ceded to Rhode Island. The town was bombarded twice by the British Navy during the American Revolutionary War. It also served as one of five capitals of Rhode Island until 1854.

Bristol and Nearby Attractions

  • Colt State Park
  • Bristol Art Museum
  • Mystic Aquarium
  • Buttonwood Park Zoo
  • Haffenreffer Indian Museum
  • Blithewold Mansion & Gardens

Things To Do In Bristol

While in Bristol, people may visit the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, Juniper Trail Beach, Colt State Park, and Veterans Park, all of which are nearby. A variety of exhibits are displayed at Mount Hope Farm Museum, Bristol Historical and Preservation Society Museum, Linden Place Museum, and Coggeshall Farm Museum. Bristol Golf Club and Fairlawn Golf Course offer opportunities to play golf. Buttonwood Park Zoo, Roger Williams Park Zoo, and Fall River Carousel are among other notable attractions near Bristol.

Bristol Transportation

Air transportation is available from Theodore Francis Green State Airport.

Bristol Higher Education

Roger Williams University is located in Bristol. Brown University, Bryant College, and Rhode Island College are located nearby.


Total Population 22,364
Male Share of the Population 48.1%
Female Share of the Population 51.9%
Senior Citizens 18.8%
Employed Population 16+ 10,672
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 47%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 37%
Median Earnings25+ $42,089
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $26,307
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,129


Median Family Income $82,763
% Above Poverty Level 90.2%
% Below Poverty Level 9.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 25 minutes
% Working from Home 4.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 6.9%
% Using Public Transportation 1.3%


People Living Alone 29%
Median Gross Rent $950
Median House Value $307,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 10.5%
US/American 0.2%
English 11%
Irish 19.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bristol Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 6 miles W of Fall River, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 48 miles S of Boston, Massachusetts
County Bristol
Metro Area Providence - Fall River - Warwick
Standard Zip Codes 02809
Phone Area Codes 401
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.676
Longitude -71.277

Bristol Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 8.5 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 37 F
Apr Temp 39 to 58 F
Jul Temp 64 to 83 F
Oct Temp 43 to 63 F
Annual Precip 46.4 inches
Distance 12.8 miles
Jan Temp 23 to 38 F
Apr Temp 39 to 54 F
Jul Temp 64 to 78 F
Oct Temp 48 to 62 F
Annual Precip 46 inches
Distance 20 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 38 F
Apr Temp 37 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 42 to 63 F
Annual Precip 49.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Barrington 16,280 $132,000
Middletown 16,057 $80,954
Portsmouth 17,361 $100,359
Tiverton 15,818 $84,536
Warren 10,532 $72,805
Warwick 81,855 $82,937

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bristol Public Libraries

Rogers Free Library
Bristol, Rhode Island
(401) 253-6948

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More Information for Librarians

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Bristol High Schools

Serves 1,200 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.1

Additional Details
Bristol Colleges
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Bristol Graduate Schools
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Career and College Resources

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Info for Bristol Government Officials

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