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The Town of Burrillville, established in 1730, was incorporated in 1806.

The first European settlers arrived in Burrillville in the late 17TH Century. For many decades after, and throughout the 18TH Century, farming was the predominant occupation of the inhabitants, who cleared most of the town's forested lands for their fields and pastures.

Burrillville's natural features, landscape, and waterways have played an important role in the town's development. During the first half of the 19TH Century, the town's larger waterways - the Chepachet, Clear, Pascoag, and Branch River system were harnessed to power the textile mills, which formed the nuclei for more than a dozen hamlets and villages. The textile industry remained active into the 20TH Century, but gradually the mills ceased operating; many were torn down or destroyed by fire and never rebuilt.

Improved transportation facilities, and a changing economy have resulted in most of the townspeople working outside of the town. As a result, it has become a bedroom community. The former mill villages are no longer dependent on the mill fortunes, and most of these settlements survive as lovely and pleasant residential communities.

General Demographic Characteristics

Population: The population count for The Town of Burrillville as of April 1, 2000, was 15,796. This represented a -2.67% decrease (434 persons) from the 1990 population of 16,230.
Rank: In 2000 Burrillville ranks 24th in population among Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns.
Median Age: In 2000 the median age of the population in Burrillville was 37.5.
Age Distribution: In 2000, 74.4% or 11,753 persons residing in Burrillville were 18 years of age or older. 11,150 were 21 and over, 2,091 were 62 and over, and 1,800 were 65 and over.

Population Density: The 2000 population density of Burrillville is 284 persons per square mile of land area. Burrillville contains 55.56 square miles of land area (143,908,049 Sq. meters) (35,560.73 acres) and 1.58 square miles of water area (4,097,389 square meters) (1,011.2 acres).

Housing Units: The total number of housing units in the The Town of Burrillville as of April 1, 2000, was 5,821. This represented an increase of 70 units from the 5,751 housing units in 1990.
Of the 5,821 housing units 262 were vacant. 127 of the vacant units were for seasonal of recreational use.

Households: In 2000, there are 5,559 households in Burrillville with an average size of 2.75 persons. Of these, 4,253 were family households with an average family size of 3.15 persons.

 

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