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Interactive: population change in Maine towns, 2010-2014

Southern Maine’s towns and cities grew in population between 2010 and 2014, the latest Census Bureau figures show, while northern Maine municipalities continued to shrink.

Nationally, the population grew 3.1 percent during the four years, to 318.9 million people. In Maine, overall population grew 0.2 percent to 1,330,089, a net gain of 2,728.

Among Maine’s 16 counties, only three – Cumberland, Waldo and York – increased population during the four-year period. Cumberland County was the state’s most populous county, with an estimated 287,797 people as of last July 1, and had the strongest population growth of 2.3 percent. York County grew 1.8 percent to 200,710, and Waldo County’s population grew 0.65 percent to 39,051. Maine’s smallest county in terms of population was Franklin County, with an estimated 30,296 people as of last July 1, according to the Census Bureau. The county lost 1.5 percent of its population since 2010.

Mouse over the map to explore town-by-town estimates. Or scroll down to explore different regions in greater detail.

 

Greater Portland

Portland grew from an estimated population of 66,194 on July 1, 2010 to an estimated 66,666 on July 1, 2014, an increase of just under 1 percent. Other cities in the southern part of the state also saw growth, including Saco (up 2.8 percent), Westbrook (up 2.3 percent) and South Portland (up 1.7 percent).

Maine's ten fastest-growing cities and towns

Town
2010 population
2010-2014 gain
Gorham
16,381
643
Scarborough
18,919
605
Windham
17,001
588
Falmouth
11,185
549
Saco
18,482
532
Portland
66,194
472
Waterville
15,722
460
S. Portland
25,002
422
Wells
9,589
420
Westbrook
17,494
392

The Census Bureau estimates that Cumberland and York Counties each gained 6,123 and 3,579 new residents, respectively, in the 2010 to 2014 period.

 

 

Greater Bangor and Northern Maine

In northern Maine, cities mostly had declining populations, including Presque Isle, where the population dropped 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2014, and Bangor, where the population declined 1.4 percent. Central Maine cities Lewiston and Auburn also posted population declines, although the decrease in both towns was less than 1 percent.

The Census Bureau estimates that Aroostook County as a whole lost 2,423 residents from 2010 to 2014. Penobscot County as a whole lost an estimated 509 residents in the 2010-2014 period.

In the Bangor area, population gains in the towns of Hermon, Ellsworth and Orono were largely offset by losses in the cities of Bangor and Brewer, which had a combined estimated loss of 636 residents in the 2010-2014 period.

Municipalities with the 5 largest population losses, 2010-2014

Town
2010 population
2010-2014 loss
Bangor
33,039
-471
Augusta
19,136
-431
Presque Isle
9,692
-375
Caribou
8,189
-318
Lewiston
8,514
-293

 

Small towns, big impact

Another view of the data looks at population gains and losses in terms of annual percentage rates, which gives an idea of population changes on a per-capita basis. This emphasizes the effects of population gains and losses in comparatively small towns. For instance, Hope, in Knox County, gained 123 new residents between 2010 and 2014 – that's more than 8 new residents for every 100 residents who lived in Hope in 2010.

By contrast, Portland's 472 new residents, in a city of 66,666, add up to a paltry 0.71% growth rate over four years.

5 fastest-growing towns, relative to current population

Town
2010 population
2010-2014 gain
2010-2014 growth rate
Waldo
762
66
8.66%
Hope
1,536
123
8.01%
Hermon
5,416
346
6.39%
Perry
889
52
5.85%
Falmouth
11,185
549
4.91%

Census estimates of population changes in such small towns are less statistically reliable than for larger towns, and so this list excludes towns with fewer than 500 residents, such as Burlington in Penobscot County, where the estimate of 44 new residents out of an estimated 407 would have yielded a 12.12% growth rate.

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