Foster, Rhode Island

Foster, Rhode Island

According to top-medical-schools, Foster, Rhode Island is located in the southwest corner of the state and is bordered by Connecticut and Massachusetts. The geography of Foster is dominated by rolling hills, small ponds, and wooded areas. The climate in Foster is mostly temperate with cold winters and warm summers. In terms of history, Foster was first settled in 1662 by colonists from Massachusetts. It became an incorporated town in 1781 and was a major producer of textiles during the Industrial Revolution.

Today, Foster has a population of just over 7500 people and is governed by a town council elected every two years. The economy of Foster is primarily driven by agriculture, tourism, light manufacturing, and retail businesses. There are several primary schools as well as two high schools located within the town limits.

Foster has many notable landmarks including the Barden Family Farmstead which dates back to 1764 when it was built by Benjamin Barden for his family’s homesteading efforts. Other landmarks include the Congregational Church which was built in 1803 and serves as one of the oldest churches in Rhode Island still in use today; Woonsocket Falls which are breathtaking waterfalls that have been featured on postcards since the early 1900s; and Harmony Hill Nature Preserve which offers visitors miles of trails for hiking or biking as well as educational programs about local wildlife.

Population: 4,274. Estimated population in July 2020: 4,505 (+5.4% change)
Males: 2,133 (49.9%), Females: 2,141 (50.1%)

Providence County

Median resident age: 39.8 years
Median household income: $59,673
Median house value: $143,600

Races in Foster:

  • White Non-Hispanic (96.8%)
  • Two or more races (1.4%)
  • American Indian (1.2%)
  • Hispanic (0.8%)

Ancestries: English (21.7%), Irish (21.3%), Italian (20.2%), French (15.2%), German (8.5%), Polish (7.3%).

Elevation: 711 feet


Foster, Rhode Island is a small rural town located in Providence County. The population of Foster is approximately 5,200 people according to the 2010 United States Census. The majority of the population in Foster is White (83.3%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (8.6%), Asian (2.5%), Black or African American (1.9%), and other races (3.7%). The median household income for Foster is $63,875 and the median family income is $71,250 as of 2015. Most residents are employed in the manufacturing industry, with smaller percentages working in healthcare, retail trade, construction and government services. Education levels are relatively high compared to other towns in Rhode Island with 87% of adults 25 years and older having completed high school or higher level education and 22% having obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher level education as of 2015.

For population 25 years and over in Foster

  • High school or higher: 87.7%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 27.7%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 13.3%
  • Unemployed: 5.4%
  • Mean travel time to work: 32.9 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Foster town

  • Never married: 19.5%
  • Now married: 65.5%
  • Separated: 2.0%
  • Widowed: 7.5%
  • Divorced: 5.5%

1.7% Foreign born

Population change in the 1990s: -52 (-1.2%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Foster:

  • DAY KIMBALL HOSPITAL (about 10 miles; PUTNAM, CT)
  • REHAB HOSP OF R I (about 18 miles; NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Foster:

  • THEODORE FRANCIS GREEN STATE (about 26 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Abbreviation: PVD)
  • WORCESTER REGIONAL (about 30 miles; WORCESTER, MA; Abbreviation: ORH)
  • GROTON-NEW LONDON (about 42 miles; GROTON NEW LONDON, CT; Abbreviation: GON)

Other public-use airports nearest to Foster:

  • DANIELSON (about 11 miles; DANIELSON, CT; Abbreviation: 5B3)
  • NORTH CENTRAL STATE (about 20 miles; PAWTUCKET, RI; Abbreviation: SFZ)
  • OXFORD (about 22 miles; OXFORD, MA; Abbreviation: 43M)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Foster:

  • BRYANT COLLEGE (about 17 miles; SMITHFIELD, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,926)
  • PROVIDENCE COLLEGE (about 23 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 4,456)
  • RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE (about 23 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 6,208)
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND (about 24 miles; WARWICK, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,650)
  • NEW ENGLAND INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (about 24 miles; WARWICK, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,419)
  • JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY (about 25 miles; Providence, RI; Full-time enrollment: 8,218)
  • RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN (about 25 miles; PROVIDENCE, RI; Full-time enrollment: 2,086)

Public primary/middle school in Foster:

  • CAPT. ISAAC PAINE SCHOOL (Students: 369; Location: 160 FOSTER CENTER ROAD; Grades: PK – 05)


Libraries in Foster:

  • FOSTER PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $90,176; Location: 184 HOWARD HILL ROAD; 17,563 books; 920 audio materials; 1,809 video materials; 56 serial subscriptions)
  • TYLER FREE LIBRARY (Operating income: $77,173; Location: 81 A MOOSUP VALLEY ROAD; 14,424 books; 381 audio materials; 1,397 video materials; 45 serial subscriptions)

Foster, Rhode Island

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