For geographic and demographic information on the villages of Kingston, Wakefield, and Peacedale, which are part of South Kingstown, please see the articles Kingston and Wakefield-Peacedale. The site of the deadly Great Swamp Fight during King Phillip's War in 1675 is located in South Kingstown.
There are several villages within the town, most notably: Wakefield, Peace Dale, Kingston, West Kingston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,921 people, 9,268 households, and 6,394 families residing in the town. The population density was 489.0 people per square mile (188.8/km²). There were 11,291 housing units at an average density of 197.8/sq mi (76.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.11% White, 1.57% African American, 1.61% Native American, 3.08% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.
There were 9,268 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 19.8% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $56,325, and the median income for a family was $67,912. Males had a median income of $50,519 versus $31,087 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,827. About 3.1% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
The elementary school students are split into schools based on where they live. Wakefield Elementary School students live in the general area of Wakefield. Matunuck Elementary School students are from Matunuck, East Matunuck, Green Hill, Perryville, and Snug Harbor. Peace Dale Elementary School students are from the general location of Peace Dale, and stretching to some of Wakefield and Saunderstown. West Kingston Elementary School students are from Kingston and West Kingston.
Before a redistricting of schools in 2001, all students attended a single junior high called South Kingstown Junior High School. It was composed of seventh and eighth grades and students from all the towns elementary schools were sent there. The middle schools of South Kingstown, Curtis Corner Middle School and Broad Rock Middle School, were a later creation due to population growth and each contain three grades: sixth, seventh and eighth. Wakefield, Matunuck, and students from the now closed South Road generally go to Curtis Corner Middle School, while Peace Dale and West Kingston go to Broad Rock Middle School. BRMS opened in 2001 and their mascot is the Coyotes. CCMS is the former junior high school, and is home of the Cougars.
High school students attend South Kingstown High School, consisting of grades 9-12. Approximately 1400 students attend SKHS. SKHS students are noted for excellence in academics, athletics and the arts. The students, parents, faculty, staff and administration work diligently to maintain and meet high standards and expectations. Acclaimed author of Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri attended SKHS.
SKHS is the home of the Rebels, a successful Division 1 athletics department (with the exception of its football team, which is Division 2) particularly renowned for its used to be nationally-ranked men's soccer team, which made it to the RI State finals in 2007
The SKHS music department consists of various vocal and instrumental groups, all of which have been recognized in national competitions. The most well-known group is eSKape, the music department's selective jazz vocal ensemble. Under the direction of Dianne Rebelo (February 15, 1955- July 4, 2008), eSKape has placed 1st and 2nd in its respective category in the past five years at the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival, one of the most respected and competitive school music competitions in the United States.
Like many high schools in Rhode Island, because the state has such a large Italian-American population, SKHS has a thriving Italian program within its foreign language department. SKHS Italian students consistently place top in the state in the RI division of the National Italian Exam, many who even go on to place nationally.
Every year, the current junior class puts on a production called SKpades, a variety show traditionally combining a parody of a popular television show or movie along with skits poking fun at the teachers, students, and various aspects of life at SKHS. Recent themes have included The Godfather, 007, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Recent SKpades have been particularly unique because they were not based on films or TV shows; the class of 2007's theme was "The Rebel Awards," loosely based on the Academy Awards. Then the comedic elements, acting, and production quality of the show peaked the following year as the class of 2008's theme was "Superheroes." The movie theme was recently attempted to be brought back by the class of 2009, whose show was somewhat based on "Alice in Wonderland." SKpades has been going on for over 50 years and is easily the most beloved tradition at SKHS, as well as one of the most popular annual events in the SK community.