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 (other than Stephen King of course) -- the Maine Lobster. Maine is also the 41st most populated state in the US.
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 has a current population density of just 43.1 people per square mile, over an area consisting of 35,380 square miles, 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 all of 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.
The median age of the population in Maine is 44 years of age, and the states male to female ratio is approximately 51% female to 49% male.
When it comes to religious preferences, Maine has 60% of its population affiliated with a Christian based faith, 7% affiliated with a non-Christian based faith, and 31% unaffiliated with any faith.
Although geographically separate, Maine was legally part of Massachusetts from early Colonial times until March 15, 1820, when it was admitted as a separate State. The far northern portion of Maine was in dispute with Canada until the present boundary was agreed to in 1842.
Census coverage included virtually all settled portions of Maine from 1790 on, with the Maine counties reported separately from those of Massachusetts Proper.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Maine was:
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 had edged past 1.3 million.
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.
There are approximately 38,695 native French speakers in Maine, about 3.06% of the state's population and one-third of the French speakers in New England as a whole. 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:
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.
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 northernmost counties. Aroostook County posted the biggest loss of 4.31%. Its neighbor, Washington 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.
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 83.08%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 37.13%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
94.1% of Maine residents speak only English, while 5.9% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 3.63% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Maine is Black, with 34.05% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Maine is White, with 12.12% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.52%. Among those working part-time, it was 12.96%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 20.15%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Maine
98.96% of Maine residents were born in the United States, with 63.44% having been born in Maine. 1.69% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.