Maine’s population increased by roughly 34,000 people, or 2.6 percent, over the last decade, far less than the national growth rate of 7.4 percent, according to U.S. Census data released Monday.

The official 2020 population for Maine is 1,362,359, up from 1,328,361 at the 2010 census. The state is now the 42nd most populous.

The United States population, meanwhile, increased to about 331.5 million, from 308.7 million 10 years ago, although that’s the second-slowest population growth ever recorded in census history.

Maine grew at a slower pace than every other New England state except Connecticut (0.9 percent). Massachusetts gained the most of any New England state, about 482,000, or an increase of 7.4 percent.

Much of the country’s growth was in the south and west. Texas, for instance, gained just shy of 4 million people, a population increase of 16 percent, while  Florida added 2.7 million residents for an increase of 14.6 percent. Just three states – Illinois, Mississippi and West Virginia – have fewer people than 10 years ago.

The 2020 Census is the 24th decennial census, a requirement enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The once-in-a-decade process of counting every American was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and by former President Donald Trump’s attempted interference last year, including a failed push to include a citizenship question on the census form.


Over the last several decades, Maine’s population growth has consistently lagged behind the nation’s. From 2000 to 2010, the increase was 4.2 percent in Maine, compared to 9.7 percent nationally. From 1990 to 2000, Maine gained just 3.8 percent, compared to 13.2 percent nationally. And from 1980 to 1990, Maine’s increase of 9.2 percent was only slightly less than the national rate of 9.8 percent.

Census data is used by governments, nonprofit groups and others to inform critical services and set funding, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

“We use the data to make sure the economy is working for everyone,” she said during a news conference Monday.

More detailed demographic data will not be released until the summer, but Monday’s state-level population counts will reshape the country’s political landscape slightly. Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are apportioned by population, which means some states that increased population will gain seats in Congress while other will lose seats.

Texas will gain two seats in the House, while Florida, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each gain one.

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each will lose one House seat.


Maine, which has two House districts, remains unchanged.

Based on the new U.S. population, the average congressional district is now home to just over 761,000 people.

Maine and other states will use the population counts to redraw their congressional district lines so that each district contains roughly that many people, but that process is certain to be delayed since the redistricting data is already one month behind schedule.

Maine’s Constitution says new district maps must be finalized by the Legislature by June 11 of the year following the census count, unless the state supreme court steps in.

Following the 2010 Census, Maine’s 1st Congressional District became more progressive, while the 2nd Congressional District gained more conservative voters.

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