The Neighborhoods

The Neighborhoods
Click here to read the Olneyville Neighborhood Health Action Plan.

Our activities are primarily focused on the Olneyville and Elmwood neighborhoods.


Olneyville had a population of 5,559 people living in 1,891 households in 2010, according to Census data.  The neighborhood is very diverse. Hispanics comprise 59% of the neighborhood in 2010, and the Hispanic population has increased by an estimated 15% since 2000 – a continuation of the growth of that population since 1990.  In terms of race (which is tracked and estimated separately from Hispanic ethnicity), about 37% of the population is estimated to be white, 14.8% African American, 3.7% Asian, 3.5% Native American, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 41% multiracial or other race alone. Incomes are low in Olneyville. The ACS estimated median household income in Olneyville was $32,795 in 2010, compared to a state median of $52,254.

Olneyville’s land uses are nearly as diverse as its people, including a mix of industrial and commercial uses, a variety of housing typologies, and civic uses such as schools and churches, as well as parks and green space along the Woonasquatucket River and several pocket parks.


Elmwood is a densely populated, ethnically diverse neighborhood on Providence’s South Side. The area was primarily farmland until the Industrial Revolution, when Elmwood developed into a middle-class residential neighborhood. Following the construction of Interstate 95 along the neighborhood’s southern border in the 1950s, the neighborhood’s middle-class residents left in large numbers and its built environment fell into disrepair. Today, the neighborhood is home to 11,533 individuals living in 3,611 households. Elmwood is a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, with 57% of residents identifying as such. 23% of its residents are African-American, and the area also is home to a significant Southeast Asian immigrant population. Elmwood is a young neighborhood; 35% of its residents are under the age of 18, compared to 26% citywide. It is also one of the poorer neighborhoods in Providence, with 28% of families living below the poverty line and a median family income of $24,743, versus a citywide median of $32,058.

Despite its economic challenges, Elmwood is a community with considerable assets. The neighborhood is home to four parks and a network of community gardens. It also contains the Elmwood Historic District, established in 1980 to preserve the neighborhood’s stock of beautiful Victorian homes. There are two thriving and well-travelled commercial corridors within Elmwood, along Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue, full of restaurants, shops, schools, and churches.

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