Economic Brief: Demographic Winter has Arrived for Majority of Maine’s Counties


by Scott Moody

Just last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest change in population data for Maine by county (excel) between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2011.  From the state-level data, Maine’s net natural population growth, which is births minus deaths, over this time-period was only 180 people.  However, when examined at the county-level, the  bad news grows even gloomier with 10 out of 16 counties showing negative net natural growth, meaning more deaths occur than births.

As shown in the table below, these counties include:

  • Aroostook (-147)
  • Franklin (-28)
  • Hancock (-134)
  • Kennebec (-35)
  • Knox (-34)
  • Lincoln (-99)
  • Oxford (-115)
  • Piscataquis (-65)
  • Waldo (-12)
  • Washington (-106)

Somerset County was in a unique position where births exactly equaled deaths.  The counties with the strongest net natural growth were Cumberland (345) and Androscoggin (345).

In terms of overall population growth, some of these counties with negative net natural growth were able to overcome them with strong in-migration from other areas—such as Franklin and Knox.  Nonetheless, in-migration can be fickle and cannot be relied on for consistent yearly growth.  As Demographic Winter continues to set in, it will become increasingly harder to maintain population and economic growth.


  1. What happened to the Facebook like interface ?? Why the step backwards ??? Strange…Anyways , back to the story of a dying state..Not surprised one bit…Maine is the oldest state and has adnormally high number of folks over 60 who like it this way..Both Dems and so called Republicans..No change , no developement , anything from ‘away” is only here to rape us and send our money out of state I want to return to the 50’s old farts…LOL…And yea I’m over 50 so I can say that…LOL..

  2.  Don’t
    you understand, Maine? We are killing our children. When you say, or
    hear that we have to protect against “unintended pregnancies” and that
    we must prevent “unwanted pregnancies” you are talking about children.
    Our children. Our future.


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