Maine Population 2017


At the very northeastern tip of the United States is the state of Maine: a land known for its mountainous terrain and rocky coastline on which there is perhaps the one thing that Maine is famous for outside of its own country -- the Maine Lobster. Maine is also the 41st most populated state in the US, with an estimated population of 1.3 million in 2016.

The varying landscape results in a very sparsely populated territory but in terms of pure numbers, the 2010 Census revealed that there were 1,328,361 people living in Maine. A further estimate in 2011 suggested that those numbers had decreased slightly to 1,328,188, making Maine the 41st most populous state in the country.

As a result of that fluctuation, the population of Maine in 2016 is a little hard to pinpoint, but current estimates show there are now 1,329,328 people living in the state, a slight rise from the last Census. Maine currently has one of the slowest population growth rates in the country of only 0.03%, which ranks 48th out of 50.

Maine Population Density

Maine has a current population density of just 43.1 people per square mile, which makes it the least densely populated state in New England, the American northeast and the eastern seaboard, as well as all states with an Atlantic coastline and those states east of the Mississippi River.

The Greater Portland metropolitan area is the most densely populated in the state and claims 40% of Maine's total population. Much of Maine is comprised of uninhabited lands in remote parts of its interior.

Maine Population Chart

Maine Population History

Its location at the edge of the new world means that the earliest recorded population figures were healthier and more stable than they may have been in other parts of the country.

The first set of available figures date back to 1790 and at the time, the population of Maine was recorded at a healthy 96,540. The following two censuses resulted in population increases of over 50%, and by 1810, it was shown that 228,705 people resided in the state.

From this point, the changes in population fluctuated somewhat but the overall picture was one of healthy growth. By the time the 20th century rolled in, Maine’s population had grown to a figure of 694,466. Further rises followed and in the present day, the population of Maine in 2016 has edged past 1.3 million.

Maine Population Projections

Occasional decreases in the overall numbers within the state, as well as one of the slowest population growth rates in the US, mean that it is relatively difficult to judge the exact population of Maine in the future. In terms of population and growth, this is one of the least remarkable states in the union, and while the overall picture is one of growth, only the 2020 census will give a more accurate picture.

It is projected that Maine's population will peak in 2020 at 1.332 million people, and then fall beyond that to 1.326 million. It's also estimated that the age composition in the state will change dramatically, as 26% of the population currently consists of people under 19. By 2030, it's estimated that this group will make up just 21% of the population. Meanwhile, the population over 65 continues to grow.

Population Data via US Census

Maine Growth Rate

Maine State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 1,324,688 -0.07%
2019 1,325,616 -0.07%
2018 1,326,544 -0.07%
2017 1,327,472 -0.07%
2016 1,328,400 -0.07%
2015 1,329,328 -0.07%
2014 1,330,256 0.11%
2013 1,328,778 -0.01%
2012 1,328,888 0.05%
2011 1,328,257 -0.01%
2010 1,328,361 0.41%
2000 1,274,923 0.38%
1990 1,227,928 0.88%
1980 1,124,660 1.26%
1970 992,048 0.23%
1960 969,265 0.59%
1950 913,774 0.76%
1940 847,226 0.61%
1930 797,423 0.38%
1920 768,014 0.34%
1910 742,371 0.67%
1900 694,466 0.49%
1890 661,086 0.19%
1880 648,936 0.35%
1870 626,915 -0.02%
1860 628,279 0.75%
1850 583,169 1.51%
1840 501,793 2.31%
1830 399,455 2.96%
1820 298,335 2.69%
1810 228,705 4.19%
1800 151,719 4.62%
1790 96,540 0.00%

Maine Facts

Maine Population in 2017 Source: Jeffrey B. Ferland

  • The earliest inhabitants of Maine were descendents of hunters from the Ice Age.
  • It is believed that the land that is now Maine was discovered by Vikings approximately 1,000 years ago.
  • Over nine-tenths of the land of Maine is covered with forests -- making the state the most forested in the country.
  • About 40 million pounds of lobster are caught off the coast of Maine each year. This is about 90% of the country's lobster supply.
  • The state has over 5,000 miles of coastline.
  • York was the first city incorporated in the US back in 1642.

Maine Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Maine Population Growth Rate by County

When looking at the population trends among counties in Maine, data shows that the majority of counties have experienced population declines since 2010, with the exception of some of the state's southernmost counties, which reported minor growth. In total, just five counties in Maine experienced population growth between the time of the US Census in 2010 and estimates taken by the Census Bureau in 2015. Of these five counties, Cumberland had the highest growth rate of 3.03%. Trailing behind are York County at 2.01%, Waldo County at 0.87%, Hancock County at 0.53% and Knox County at 0.35%.

On the other end of the spectrum, there were multiple counties that showed declining populations, particularly in the northermost counties. Aroostock County posted the biggest loss of 4.31%. Its neighbor, Washinton County, saw a decrease of 3.65% and Piscataquis saw a decrease in population of 3.51%. Other counties moving south also saw smaller losses, including Somerset, Oxford, and Lincoln.

Population Pyramid

To compare Maine to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Outside of Quebec, Maine has the highest number of French speakers in North America. In fact, nearly 24% of the state’s native residents put their ancestry down as French Canadian or French. Maine also has the highest percentage of non-Hispanic Whites of any state in the country, with 89% of all births in Maine to two non-Hispanic white parents. Maine's population of non-Hispanic whites is estimated to be over 96%. Only two other states have white populations this high. Just 10 states in total, including Maine, have non-Hispanic white populations that exceed 90%.

The most common ancestries in the state are:

  • 23.9% French or French-Canadian
  • 21.6% English
  • 17.8% Irish
  • 9.4% American
  • 8.5% German
  • 5.8% Italian

It's believed that most people who cite American as their ancestry are of primarily English descent, although they may have ancestry that has been in the area for so long, sometimes since the 1600s, that they choose to identify as just American.

Languages Spoken in Maine

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 1,261,144 100
English 1,189,544 94.32
French 45,350 3.6
Spanish 11,600 0.92
German 3,415 0.27
Cushite 2,055 0.16
Chinese 1,955 0.16
Passamaquoddy 785 0.06
Portuguese 675 0.05
Dutch 435 0.03

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Maine. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Maine Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 91
BachelorsDegree 28
Disabled 12
NoHealthInsurance 12
LaborForceTotal 64
LaborForceFemale 60
FoodServiceSales 2,901,347
HealthCareRevenue 10,297,043
ManufacturerShipments 16,044,543
MerchantWholesalesSales 12,961,262
RetailSales 21,521,714
RetailSalesPerCapita 16,192
MeanWorkTravelTime 24
MedianHouseholdIncome 48,804
PerCapitaIncome 27,332
PovertyPercentage 14

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Maine for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.3% and the labor force participation rate is 63.6%.

Maine Business

NonemployerEstablishments 111,777
AllFirms 139,570
MenOwnedFirms 79,243
WomenOwnedFirms 42,067
MinorityOwnedFirms 4,339
NonminorityOwnedFirms 131,322
VeteranOwnedFirms 15,689
NonveteranOwn 115,839

Maine Housing

HousingUnits 729,413
HousingUnits 721,830
OwnerOccupiedRate 71
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 173,600
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,348
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 474
MedianGrossRent 772
BuildingPermits 3,699
Households 553,086
PersonsPerHousehold 2
SameHouseOneYearAgo 86
NonEnglishAtHome 7
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts