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State of Maine
"The Pine Tree State"
"Vacationland" [1]
(Latin for "I lead", "I guide", or "I direct")
Anthem: "State of Maine"
Maine in United States.svg
Map of the United States with Maine highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehood District of Maine (Massachusetts)
Admitted to the Union March 15, 1820 (23rd)
Capital Augusta
Largest city Portland
Largest metro Greater Portland
   Governor Janet Mills (D)
   Senate President Troy Jackson (D) [nb 1]
Legislature Maine Legislature
   Upper house Senate
   Lower house House of Representatives
Judiciary Maine Supreme Judicial Court
U.S. senators Susan Collins (R)
Angus King (I)
U.S. House delegation 1. Chellie Pingree (D)
2. Jared Golden (D) (list)
  Total35,385 sq mi (91,646 km2)
  Land30,862 sq mi (80,005 km2)
  Water4,523 sq mi (11,724 km2)  13.5%
Area rank 39th
  Length320 mi (515 km)
  Width205 mi (330 km)
600 ft (180 m)
Highest elevation5,270 ft (1,606.4 m)
Lowest elevation0 ft (0 m)
  Rank 42nd
  Density43.8/sq mi (16.9/km2)
  Density rank 38th
   Median household income
$56,277 [4]
  Income rank
Demonym(s) Mainer
   Official language None [nb 3]
   Spoken language
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (EDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 code US-ME
Trad. abbreviation Me.
Latitude42° 58′ N to 47° 28′ N
Longitude66° 57′ W to 71° 5′ W
Maine state symbols
Flag of Maine.svg
Seal of Maine.svg
Living insignia
Bird Black-capped chickadee
Cat breed Maine Coon
Crustacean Lobster
Fish Landlocked Atlantic salmon
Flower White pine cone
Insect Honey bee
Mammal Moose
Tree Eastern white pine
Inanimate insignia
Beverage Moxie [11]
Food Blueberry pie Whoopie pie
Fossil Pertica quadrifaria
Gemstone Tourmaline
Soil Chesuncook soil series
State route marker
MA Route 11.svg
State quarter
2003 ME Proof.png
Released in 2003
Lists of United States state symbols

Maine ( /mn/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the northeasternmost state in the Northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 13th least densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is located in New England, bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. Maine is the only state to border only one other state, is the easternmost among the contiguous United States, and is the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes.


Maine is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways; and its seafood cuisine, especially lobster and clams. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including coastal areas. [12] Maine's most populous city is Portland, and its capital is Augusta.

For thousands of years after the glaciers retreated during the last Ice Age, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory that is now Maine. At the time of European arrival, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area. The first European settlement in the area was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons. The first English settlement was the short-lived Popham Colony, established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate, deprivations, and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail.

As Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements had survived. Loyalist and Patriot forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution. During the War of 1812, the largely undefended eastern region of Maine was occupied by British forces with the goal of annexing it to Canada via the Colony of New Ireland, but returned to the United States following failed British offensives on the northern border, mid-Atlantic and south which produced a peace treaty that was to include a pro-British Indian barrier state on the Michigan peninsula. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820 when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820, under the Missouri Compromise, it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.


There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name "Maine", but the most likely is that early explorers named it after the former province of Maine in France. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed for English settlers in 1665 when the English King's Commissioners ordered that the "Province of Maine" be entered from then on in official records. [13] The state legislature in 2001 adopted a resolution establishing Franco-American Day, which stated that the state was named after the former French province of Maine. [14]

Other theories mention earlier places with similar names or claim it is a nautical reference to the mainland. [15] Captain John Smith, in his "Description of New England" (1614) [16] laments the lack of exploration: "Thus you may see, of this 2000. miles more then halfe is yet vnknowne to any purpose: no not so much as the borders of the Sea are yet certainly discouered. As for the goodnes and true substances of the Land, wee are for most part yet altogether ignorant of them, vnlesse it bee those parts about the Bay of Chisapeack and Sagadahock: but onely here and there wee touched or haue seene a little the edges of those large dominions, which doe stretch themselues into the Maine, God doth know how many thousand miles;" Note that his description of the mainland of North America is "the Maine". The word "main" was a frequent shorthand for the word "mainland" (as in "The Spanish Main") [17]

Attempts to uncover the history of the name of Maine began with James Sullivan's 1795 "History of the District of Maine." He made the unsubstantiated claim that the Province of Maine was a compliment to the queen of Charles I, Henrietta Maria, who once "owned" the Province of Maine in France. Maine historians quoted this until the 1845 biography of that queen by Agnes Strickland [18] established that she had no connection to the province; further, King Charles I married Henrietta Maria in 1625, three years after the name Maine first appeared on the charter. [19] A new theory put forward by Carol B. Smith Fisher in 2002 postulated that Sir Ferdinando Gorges chose the name in 1622 to honor the village where his ancestors first lived in England, rather than the province in France. "MAINE" appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 in reference to the county of Dorset, which is today Broadmayne, just southeast of Dorchester. [19] [20]

The view generally held among British place name scholars is that Mayne in Dorset is Brythonic, corresponding to modern Welsh "maen", plural "main" or "meini".[ citation needed ] Some early spellings are: MAINE 1086, MEINE 1200, MEINES 1204, MAYNE 1236. [21] Today the village is known as Broadmayne, which is primitive Welsh or Brythonic, "main" meaning rock or stone, considered a reference to the many large sarsen stones still present around Little Mayne farm, half a mile northeast of Broadmayne village. [22] [23]

The first known record of the name appears in an August 10, 1622 land charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, English Royal Navy veterans, who were granted a large tract in present-day Maine that Mason and Gorges "intend to name the Province of Maine". Mason had served with the Royal Navy in the Orkney Islands, where the chief island is called Mainland, a possible name derivation for these English sailors. [13] In 1623, the English naval captain Christopher Levett, exploring the New England coast, wrote: "The first place I set my foote upon in New England was the Isle of Shoals, being Ilands[ sic ] in the sea, above two Leagues from the Mayne." [24] Initially, several tracts along the coast of New England were referred to as Main or Maine (cf. the Spanish Main). A reconfirmed and enhanced April 3, 1639, charter, from England's King Charles I, gave Sir Ferdinando Gorges increased powers over his new province and stated that it "shall forever hereafter, be called and named the PROVINCE OR COUNTIE OF MAINE, and not by any other name or names whatsoever ..." [19] [25] Maine is the only U.S. state whose name has only one syllable. [26] [27]


Maine State House, designed by Charles Bulfinch, built 1829-1832 Maine state capitol.jpg
Maine State House, designed by Charles Bulfinch, built 1829–1832
Misty Morning, Coast of Maine
Arthur Parton (1842-1914). Between 1865 and 1870, Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn Museum - Misty Morning, Coast of Maine - Arthur Parton - overall.jpg
Misty Morning, Coast of Maine
Arthur Parton (1842–1914). Between 1865 and 1870, Brooklyn Museum

The original inhabitants of the territory that is now Maine were Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, including the Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, Penobscot, Androscoggin, and Kennebec. During the later King Philip's War, many of these peoples would merge in one form or another to become the Wabanaki Confederacy, aiding the Wampanoag of Massachusetts & the Mahican of New York. Afterwards, many of these people were driven from their natural territories, but most Maine's tribes continued, unchanged, until the American Revolution. Before this point, however, most of these people were considered separate nations. Many had adapted to living in permanent, Iroquois-inspired settlements, while those along the coast tended to be semi-nomadic—traveling from settlement to settlement on a yearly cycle. They would usually winter inland & head to the coasts by summer. [28] [29]

European contact with what is now called Maine started around 1200 CE when Norwegians interacted with the native Penobscot in present-day Hancock County, most likely through trade[ citation needed ]. About 200 years earlier, from the settlements in Iceland and Greenland, Norwegians first identified America and attempted to settle areas such as Newfoundland, but failed to establish a permanent settlement. Archeological evidence suggests that Norwegians in Greenland returned to North America for several centuries after the initial discovery to trade and collect timber, with the most relevant evidence being the Maine Penny, an 11th-century Norwegian coin found at a Native American dig site in 1954. [30]

The first European settlement in Maine was in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, led by French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons. His party included Samuel de Champlain, noted as an explorer. The French named the entire area Acadia, including the portion that later became the state of Maine. The Plymouth Company established the first English settlement in Maine at the Popham Colony in 1607, the same year as the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. The Popham colonists returned to Britain after 14 months. [31]

The French established two Jesuit missions: one on Penobscot Bay in 1609, and the other on Mount Desert Island in 1613. The same year, Claude de La Tour established Castine. In 1625, Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour erected Fort Pentagouet to protect Castine. The coastal areas of eastern Maine first became the Province of Maine in a 1622 land patent. The part of western Maine north of the Kennebec River was more sparsely settled and was known in the 17th century as the Territory of Sagadahock. A second settlement was attempted in 1623 by English explorer and naval Captain Christopher Levett at a place called York, where he had been granted 6,000 acres (24 km2) by King Charles I of England. [32] It also failed.

Central Maine was formerly inhabited by the Androscoggin tribe of the Abenaki nation, also known as Arosaguntacook. They were driven out of the area in 1690 during King William's War. They were relocated to St. Francis, Canada, which was destroyed by Rogers' Rangers in 1759, and is now Odanak. The other Abenaki tribes suffered several severe defeats, particularly during Dummer's War, with the capture of Norridgewock in 1724 and the defeat of the Pequawket in 1725, which significantly reduced their numbers. They finally withdrew to Canada, where they were settled at Bécancour and Sillery, and later at St. Francis, along with other refugee tribes from the south. [33]

The province within its current boundaries became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1652. Maine was much fought over by the French, English, and allied natives during the 17th and 18th centuries, who conducted raids against each other, taking captives for ransom or, in some cases, adoption by Native American tribes. A notable example was the early 1692 Abenaki raid on York, where about 100 English settlers were killed and another estimated 80 taken hostage. [34] The Abenaki took captives taken during raids of Massachusetts in Queen Anne's War of the early 1700s to Kahnewake, a Catholic Mohawk village near Montreal, where some were adopted and others ransomed. [35] [36]

1798 map of Maine Maine 1798.jpg
1798 map of Maine

After the British defeated the French in Acadia in the 1740s, the territory from the Penobscot River east fell under the nominal authority of the Province of Nova Scotia, and together with present-day New Brunswick formed the Nova Scotia county of Sunbury, with its court of general sessions at Campobello. American and British forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, with the British occupying eastern Maine in both conflicts via the Colony of New Ireland. [38] [39] The territory of Maine was confirmed as part of Massachusetts when the United States was formed following the Treaty of Paris ending the revolution, although the final border with British North America was not established until the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842.

Maine was physically separate from the rest of Massachusetts. Long-standing disagreements over land speculation and settlements led to Maine residents and their allies in Massachusetts proper forcing an 1807 vote in the Massachusetts Assembly on permitting Maine to secede; the vote failed. Secessionist sentiment in Maine was stoked during the War of 1812 when Massachusetts pro-British merchants opposed the war and refused to defend Maine from British invaders. In 1819, Massachusetts agreed to permit secession, sanctioned by voters of the rapidly growing region the following year. Formal secession and formation of the state of Maine as the 23rd state occurred on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise, which geographically limited the spread of slavery and enabled the admission to statehood of Missouri the following year, keeping a balance between slave and free states. [40] [41] [42]

Maine's original state capital was Portland, Maine's largest city, until it was moved to the more central Augusta in 1832. The principal office of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court remains in Portland.

The 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under the command of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, prevented the Union Army from being flanked at Little Round Top by the Confederate Army during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Four U.S. Navy ships have been named USS Maine, most famously the armored cruiser USS Maine (ACR-1), whose sinking by an explosion on February 15, 1898 precipitated the Spanish–American War.


A map of Maine and surrounding regions National-atlas-maine.png
A map of Maine and surrounding regions

To the south and east is the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and northeast is New Brunswick, a province of Canada. The Canadian province of Québec is to the northwest. Maine is the northernmost state in New England and the largest, accounting for almost half of the region's entire land area. Maine is the only state to border exactly one other American state (New Hampshire).

Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in its extreme points and in its geographic center. The town of Lubec is the easternmost organized settlement in the United States. Its Quoddy Head Lighthouse is also the closest place in the United States to Africa and Europe. Estcourt Station is Maine's northernmost point, as well as the northernmost point in New England. (For more information see extreme points of the United States.)

Maine's Moosehead Lake is the largest lake wholly in New England, since Lake Champlain is located between Vermont, New York and Québec. A number of other Maine lakes, such as South Twin Lake, are described by Thoreau in The Maine Woods (1864). Mount Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, which extends southerly to Springer Mountain, Georgia, and the southern terminus of the new International Appalachian Trail which, when complete, will run to Belle Isle, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Machias Seal Island and North Rock, off the state's Downeast coast, are claimed by both Canada and the American town of Cutler, and are within one of four areas between the two countries whose sovereignty is still in dispute, but it is the only one of the disputed areas containing land. Also in this easternmost area in the Bay of Fundy is the Old Sow, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.

Maine is the least densely populated U.S. state east of the Mississippi River. It is called the Pine Tree State; over 80% of its total land is forested or unclaimed, [43] the most forest cover of any U.S. state. In the wooded areas of the interior lies much uninhabited land, some of which does not have formal political organization into local units (a rarity in New England). The Northwest Aroostook, Maine unorganized territory in the northern part of the state, for example, has an area of 2,668 square miles (6,910 km2) and a population of 10, or one person for every 267 square miles (690 km2).

Maine is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. The land near the southern and central Atlantic coast is covered by the mixed oaks of the Northeastern coastal forests. The remainder of the state, including the North Woods, is covered by the New England-Acadian forests. [44]

Maine has almost 230 miles (400 km) of coastline (and 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of tidal coastline). [45] [46] West Quoddy Head, in Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of land in the 48 contiguous states. Along the famous rock-bound coast of Maine are lighthouses, beaches, fishing villages, and thousands of offshore islands, including the Isles of Shoals which straddle the New Hampshire border. There are jagged rocks and cliffs and many bays and inlets. Inland are lakes, rivers, forests, and mountains. This visual contrast of forested slopes sweeping down to the sea has been summed up by American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay of Rockland and Camden, Maine, in "Renascence":

The coast of Maine near Acadia National Park A beach in maine on a clear day.jpg
The coast of Maine near Acadia National Park
Boothbay Harbor Boothbay Harbor, summer morning at low tide.jpg
Boothbay Harbor
All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.

Geologists describe this type of landscape as a "drowned coast", where a rising sea level has invaded former land features, creating bays out of valleys and islands out of mountain tops. [47] A rise in land elevation due to the melting of heavy glacier ice caused a slight rebounding effect of underlying rock; this land rise, however, was not enough to eliminate all the effect of the rising sea level and its invasion of former land features.

Much of Maine's geomorphology was created by extended glacial activity at the end of the last ice age. Prominent glacial features include Somes Sound and Bubble Rock, both part of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Carved by glaciers, Somes Sound is considered to be the only fjord on the eastern seaboard and reaches depths of 175 feet (50 m). The extreme depth and steep drop-off allow large ships to navigate almost the entire length of the sound. These features also have made it attractive for boat builders, such as the prestigious Hinckley Yachts.

Bubble Rock, a glacial erratic, is a large boulder perched on the edge of Bubble Mountain in Acadia National Park. By analyzing the type of granite, geologists discovered that glaciers carried Bubble Rock to its present location from near Lucerne, 30 miles (48 km) away. The Iapetus Suture runs through the north and west of the state, being underlain by the ancient Laurentian terrane, and the south and east underlain by the Avalonian terrane.

Acadia National Park is the only national park in New England. Areas under the protection and management of the National Park Service include: [48]


Autumn in Stratton Stratton Flagstaff Lake Maine 262258633.jpg
Autumn in Stratton
Koppen climate map of Maine Maine Koppen.svg
Köppen climate map of Maine
Winter in Bangor Bangor Maine.JPG
Winter in Bangor

Maine has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb), with warm and sometimes humid summers, and long, cold and very snowy winters. Winters are especially severe in the Northern and Western parts of Maine, while coastal areas are moderated slightly by the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in marginally milder winters and cooler summers than inland regions. Daytime highs are generally in the 75–80 °F (24–27 °C) range throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in the high 50s °F (around 15 °C). January temperatures range from highs near 30 °F (−1 °C) on the southern coast to overnight lows averaging below 0 °F (−18 °C) in the far north. [49]

The state's record high temperature is 105 °F (41 °C), set in July 1911, at North Bridgton. [50] Precipitation in Maine is evenly distributed year-round, but with a slight summer maximum in northern/northwestern Maine and a slight late-fall or early-winter maximum along the coast due to "nor'easters" or intense cold-season rain and snowstorms. In coastal Maine, the late spring and summer months are usually driest—a rarity across the Eastern United States. Maine has fewer days of thunderstorms than any other state east of the Rockies, with most of the state averaging less than 20 days of thunderstorms a year. Tornadoes are rare in Maine, with the state averaging fewer than four per year, although this number is increasing. Most severe thunderstorms and tornadoes occur in the Sebago Lakes & Foothills region of the state. [51] Maine rarely sees the effect of tropical cyclones, as they tend to pass well east and south or are greatly weakened by the time they reach Maine.

In January 2009, a new record low temperature for the state was set at Big Black River of −50 °F (−46 °C), tying the New England record. [49]

Annual precipitation varies from 909 mm (35.8 in) in Presque Isle, to 1,441 mm (56.7 in) in Acadia National Park. [52]

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Maine [53]
LocationJuly (°F)July (°C)January (°F)January (°C)
Portland 78/5926/1531/13−0/−10
Lewiston 81/6127/1629/11−2/−12
Bangor 79/5726/1427/6−2/−14
Augusta 79/6026/1527/11−2/−11
Presque Isle 77/5525/1320/1−6/−17



Historical population
1790 96,540
1800 151,71957.2%
1810 228,70550.7%
1820 298,33530.4%
1830 399,45533.9%
1840 501,79325.6%
1850 583,16916.2%
1860 628,2797.7%
1870 626,915−0.2%
1880 648,9363.5%
1890 661,0861.9%
1900 694,4665.0%
1910 742,3716.9%
1920 768,0143.5%
1930 797,4233.8%
1940 847,2266.2%
1950 913,7747.9%
1960 969,2656.1%
1970 992,0482.4%
1980 1,124,66013.4%
1990 1,227,9289.2%
2000 1,274,9233.8%
2010 1,328,3614.2%
2019 (est.)1,344,2121.2%
Source: 1910–2010 [54]
2018 estimate [55]
Maine population density map Maine population map.png
Maine population density map

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Maine was 1,344,212 on July 1, 2019, a 1.19% increase since the 2010 United States Census. [55] The state's population density is 41.3 people per square mile, making it the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi River. As of 2010, Maine was also the most rural state in the Union, with only 38.7% of the state's population living within urban areas. [56] As explained in detail under "Geography", there are large tracts of uninhabited land in some remote parts of the interior of the state, particularly in the North Maine Woods.

The mean population center of Maine is located in Kennebec County, just east of Augusta. [57] The Greater Portland metropolitan area is the most densely populated with nearly 40% of Maine's population. [58] This area spans three counties and includes many farms and wooded areas; the 2016 population of Portland proper was 66,937. [59]

Maine has experienced a very slow rate of population growth since the 1990 census; its rate of growth (0.57%) since the 2010 census ranks 45th of the 50 states. [60] The modest population growth in the state has been concentrated in the southern coastal counties; with more diverse populations slowly moving into these areas of the state. However, the northern, more rural areas of the state have experienced a slight decline in population in recent years. [61]

According to the 2010 Census, Maine has the highest percentage of non-Hispanic whites of any state, at 94.4% of the total population. In 2011, 89.0% of all births in the state were to non-Hispanic white parents. [62] Maine also has the second-highest residential senior population. [63]

The table below shows the racial composition of Maine's population as of 2016.

Maine racial composition of population [64]
RacePopulation (2016 est.)Percentage
Total population1,329,923100%
White 1,260,47694.8%
Black or African American 16,3031.2%
American Indian and Alaska Native 8,0130.6%
Asian 14,6431.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 2110.0%
Some other race 3,1510.2%
Two or more races 27,1262.0%

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 1.5% of Maine's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (0.4%), Puerto Rican (0.4%), Cuban (0.1%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (0.6%). [64] The five largest ancestry groups were: English (20.7%), Irish (17.3%), French (15.7%), German (8.1%), and American (7.8%). [65]

People citing that they are American are of overwhelmingly English descent, but have ancestry that has been in the region for so long (often since the 1600s) that they choose to identify simply as Americans. [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71]

Maine has the highest percentage of French Americans of any state. Most of them are of Canadian origin, but in some cases have been living there since prior to the American Revolutionary War. There are particularly high concentrations in the northern part of Maine in Aroostook County, which is part of a cultural region known as Acadia that goes over the border into New Brunswick. Along with the Acadian population in the north, many French came from Quebec as immigrants between 1840 and 1930.

The upper Saint John River valley area was once part of the so-called Republic of Madawaska, before the frontier was decided in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. Over a quarter of the population of Lewiston, Waterville, and Biddeford are Franco-American. Most of the residents of the Mid Coast and Down East sections are chiefly of British heritage. Smaller numbers of various other groups, including Irish, Italian and Polish, have settled throughout the state since the late 19th and early 20th century immigration waves.

Birth data

Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live births by single race/ethnicity of mother
Race 2013 [72] 2014 [73] 2015 [74] 2016 [75] 2017 [76] 2018 [77]
White:11,950 (93.5%)11,842 (93.2%)11,805 (93.6%).........
> Non-Hispanic White 11,774 (92.1%)11,654 (91.8%)11,563 (91.7%)11,484 (90.4%)10,958 (89.1%)11,022 (89.5%)
Black 455 (3.6%)450 (3.5%)473 (3.7%)411 (3.2%)545 (4.4%)546 (4.4%)
Asian 253 (2.0%)248 (1.9%)186 (1.5%)192 (1.5%)219 (1.8%)202 (1.6%)
American Indian 118 (0.9%)158 (1.2%)143 (1.1%)97 (0.7%)88 (0.7%)99 (0.8%)
Hispanic (of any race)172 (1.3%)200 (1.6%)251 (2.0%)238 (1.9%)229 (1.9%)224 (1.8%)
Total Maine12,776 (100%)12,698 (100%)12,607 (100%)12,705 (100%)12,298 (100%)12,311 (100%)


Maine does not have an official language, [5] but the most widely spoken language in the state is English. The 2000 Census reported 92.25% of Maine residents aged five and older spoke only English at home. French-speakers are the state's chief linguistic minority; census figures show that Maine has the highest percentage of people speaking French at home of any state: 5.28% of Maine households are French-speaking, compared with 4.68% in Louisiana, which is the second highest state. [78] Although rarely spoken, Spanish is the third-most-common language in Maine, after English and French. [79]


Religion in Maine (2014) [80]
No religion
Other faith
Don't know
Other Christian

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), [81] the religious affiliations of Maine in 2010 were:

The Catholic Church was the largest religious institution with 202,106 members, the United Methodist Church had 28,329 members, the United Church of Christ had 22,747 members

In 2010, a study named Maine as the least religious state in the United States. [82]


Stereoscopic view "Lobster pots ready for placing" ~ 1928 TotallyFreeImages com-280902-Standard-preview.jpg
Stereoscopic view "Lobster pots ready for placing" ~ 1928
Bath Iron Works naval shipbuilding Biw aerial.jpg
Bath Iron Works naval shipbuilding

Total employment 2016

Total employer establishments 2016

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Maine's total gross state product for 2010 was $52 billion. [84] Its per capita personal income for 2007 was $33,991, 34th in the nation. As of May 2018, Maine's unemployment rate is 3.0% [85]

Old port area of Portland Old Port area of Portland, ME.jpg
Old port area of Portland

Maine's agricultural outputs include poultry, eggs, dairy products, cattle, wild blueberries, apples, maple syrup, and maple sugar. Aroostook County is known for its potato crops. Commercial fishing, once a mainstay of the state's economy, maintains a presence, particularly lobstering and groundfishing. While lobster is the main seafood focus for Maine, the harvest of both oysters and seaweed are on the rise. In 2015, 14% of the Northeast's total oyster supply came from Maine. In 2017, the production of Maine's seaweed industry was estimated at $20 million per year. The shrimp industry of Maine is on a government-mandated hold. With an ever-decreasing Northern shrimp population, Maine fishermen are no longer allowed to catch and sell shrimp. The hold began in 2014 and is expected to continue until 2021. [86] Western Maine aquifers and springs are a major source of bottled water.

Maine's industrial outputs consist chiefly of paper, lumber and wood products, electronic equipment, leather products, food products, textiles, and bio-technology. Naval shipbuilding and construction remain key as well, with Bath Iron Works in Bath and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Brunswick Landing, formerly Naval Air Station Brunswick, is also in Maine. Formerly a large support base for the U.S. Navy, the BRAC campaign initiated the Naval Air Station's closing, despite a government-funded effort to upgrade its facilities. The former base has since been changed into a civilian business park, as well as a new satellite campus for Southern Maine Community College. [87]

Maine is the number one U.S. producer of low-bush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium). Preliminary data from the USDA for 2012 also indicate Maine was the largest blueberry producer of the major blueberry producing states, with 91,100,000 lbs. [88] This data includes both low (wild), and high-bush (cultivated) blueberries: Vaccinium corymbosum. The largest toothpick manufacturing plant in the United States used to be located in Strong, Maine. The Strong Wood Products plant produced 20 million toothpicks a day. It closed in May 2003.

Tourism and outdoor recreation play a major and increasingly important role in Maine's economy. The state is a popular destination for sport hunting (particularly deer, moose and bear), sport fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, boating, camping and hiking, among other activities.

Historically, Maine ports played a key role in national transportation. Beginning around 1880, Portland's rail link and ice-free port made it Canada's principal winter port, until the aggressive development of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the mid-1900s. In 2013, 12,039,600 short tons passed into and out of Portland by sea, [89] which places it 45th of U.S. water ports. [90] Portland Maine's Portland International Jetport was recently expanded, providing the state with increased air traffic from carriers such as JetBlue and Southwest Airlines.

Maine has very few large companies that maintain headquarters in the state, and that number has fallen due to consolidations and mergers, particularly in the pulp and paper industry. Some of the larger companies that do maintain headquarters in Maine include Fairchild Semiconductor in South Portland; IDEXX Laboratories, in Westbrook; Hannaford Bros. Co. in Scarborough; TD Bank in Portland; L.L.Bean in Freeport; and Cole Haan in Yarmouth. Maine is also the home of the Jackson Laboratory, the world's largest non-profit mammalian genetic research facility and the world's largest supplier of genetically purebred mice.


Maine has an income tax structure containing two brackets, 6.5 and 7.95 percent of personal income. [91] Before July 2013 Maine had four brackets: 2, 4.5, 7, and 8.5 percent. [92] Maine's general sales tax rate is 5.5 percent. The state also levies charges of 9 percent on lodging and prepared food and 10 percent on short-term auto rentals. [93] Commercial sellers of blueberries, a Maine staple, must keep records of their transactions and pay the state 1.5 cents per pound ($1.50 per 100 pounds) of the fruit sold each season. All real and tangible personal property located in the state of Maine is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. The administration of property taxes is handled by the local assessor in incorporated cities and towns, while property taxes in the unorganized territories are handled by the State Tax Assessor.


Maine has a long-standing tradition of being home to many shipbuilding companies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Maine was home to many shipyards that produced wooden sailing ships. The main function of these ships was to transport either cargos or passengers overseas. One of these yards was located in Pennellville Historic District in what is now Brunswick, Maine. This yard, owned by the Pennell family, was typical of the many family-owned shipbuilding companies of the time period. Other such examples of shipbuilding families were the Skolfields and the Morses. During the 18th and 19th centuries, wooden shipbuilding of this sort made up a sizable portion of the economy.



Portland International Jetport KPWM Aerial Wiki.jpg
Portland International Jetport

Maine receives passenger jet service at its two largest airports, the Portland International Jetport in Portland, and the Bangor International Airport in Bangor. Both are served daily by many major airlines to destinations such as New York, Atlanta, and Orlando. Essential Air Service also subsidizes service to a number of smaller airports in Maine, bringing small turboprop aircraft to regional airports such as the Augusta State Airport, Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, Knox County Regional Airport, and the Northern Maine Regional Airport at Presque Isle. These airports are served by regional providers such as Cape Air with Cessna 402s, PenAir with Saab 340s, and CommutAir with Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft.

Many smaller airports are scattered throughout Maine, serving only general aviation traffic. The Eastport Municipal Airport, for example, is a city-owned public-use airport with 1,200 general aviation aircraft operations each year from single-engine and ultralight aircraft. [94]


The Penobscot Narrows Bridge, carrying U.S. Route 1 and Maine State Route 3 over the Penobscot River Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory.jpg
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge, carrying U.S. Route 1 and Maine State Route 3 over the Penobscot River

Interstate 95 (I-95) travels through Maine, as well as its easterly branch I-295 and spurs I-195, I-395 and the unsigned I-495 (the Falmouth Spur). In addition, U.S. Route 1 (US 1) starts in Fort Kent and travels to Florida. The eastern terminus of the eastern section of US 2 starts in Houlton, near the New Brunswick, Canada border to Rouses Point, New York, at US 11. US 2A connects Old Town and Orono, primarily serving the University of Maine campus. US 201 and US 202 flow through the state. US 2, Maine State Route 6 (SR 6), and SR 9 are often used by truckers and other motorists of the Maritime Provinces en route to other destinations in the United States or as a short cut to Central Canada.



A southbound Downeaster passenger train at Ocean Park, Maine, as viewed from the cab of a northbound train Amtrak downeaster ocean park 2005.jpg
A southbound Downeaster passenger train at Ocean Park, Maine, as viewed from the cab of a northbound train

The Downeaster passenger train, operated by Amtrak, provides passenger service between Brunswick and Boston's North Station, with stops in Freeport, Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, and Wells. The Downeaster makes five daily trips. [95]


Freight service throughout the state is provided by a handful of regional and shortline carriers: Pan Am Railways (formerly known as Guilford Rail System), which operates the former Boston & Maine and Maine Central railroads; St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad; Maine Eastern Railroad; Central Maine and Quebec Railway; and New Brunswick Southern Railway.

Law and government

The Maine Constitution structures Maine's state government, composed of three co-equal branches—the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The state of Maine also has three Constitutional Officers (the Secretary of State, the State Treasurer, and the State Attorney General) and one Statutory Officer (the State Auditor).

The legislative branch is the Maine Legislature, a bicameral body composed of the Maine House of Representatives, with 151 members, and the Maine Senate, with 35 members. The Legislature is charged with introducing and passing laws.

The executive branch is responsible for the execution of the laws created by the Legislature and is headed by the Governor of Maine (currently Janet Mills). The Governor is elected every four years; no individual may serve more than two consecutive terms in this office. The current attorney general of Maine is Aaron Frey. As with other state legislatures, the Maine Legislature can by a two-thirds majority vote from both the House and Senate override a gubernatorial veto. Maine is one of seven states that do not have a lieutenant governor.

The judicial branch is responsible for interpreting state laws. The highest court of the state is the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The lower courts are the District Court, Superior Court and Probate Court. All judges except for probate judges serve full-time, are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Legislature for terms of seven years. Probate judges serve part-time and are elected by the voters of each county for four-year terms.


Maine is divided into political jurisdictions designated as counties. Since 1860 there have been 16 counties in the state, ranging in size from 370 to 6,829 square miles (958 to 17,700 km2).

Maine counties
County nameCounty seatYear foundedPopulation
2010 Census
2017 Estimate [96]
Percent of totalArea (sq. mi.)Percent of total
Androscoggin Auburn 1854107,702107,6518.11%4971.44%
Aroostook Houlton 183971,87067,6535.41%6,82919.76%
Cumberland Portland 1760281,674292,50021.20%1,2173.52%
Franklin Farmington 183830,76829,9882.32%1,7445.05%
Hancock Ellsworth 178954,41854,4974.10%1,5224.40%
Kennebec Augusta 1799122,151121,8219.20%9512.75%
Knox Rockland 186039,73639,7902.99%1,1423.30%
Lincoln Wiscasset 176034,45734,2042.59%7002.03%
Oxford Paris 180557,83357,4394.35%2,1756.29%
Penobscot Bangor 1816153,923151,95711.59%3,55610.29%
Piscataquis Dover-Foxcroft 183817,53516,7731.32%4,37712.67%
Sagadahoc Bath 185435,29335,3922.66%3701.07%
Somerset Skowhegan 180952,22850,6263.93%4,09511.85%
Waldo Belfast 182738,78639,8322.92%8532.47%
Washington Machias 179032,85631,5932.47%3,2559.42%
York Alfred 1636197,131204,19114.84%1,2713.68%
Total counties: 16Total 2010 population: 1,328,361Total 2017 population: 1,335,907Total state area: 34,554 square miles (89,494 km2)

State and local politics

Gubernatorial election results [97]
Year Democratic Republican
1954 54.5%135,67345.5% 113,298
1956 59.2%180,25440.8% 124,395
1958 52.0%145,67348.0% 134,572
1962 49.9% 146,12150.1%146,604
1966 53.1%172,03646.9% 151,802
1970 50.1%163,13849.9% 162,248
1974 36.8% 132,21923.5% 84,176
1978 47.8%176,49334.4% 126,862
1982 61.9%281,06638.1% 172,949
1986 30.2% 128,74439.9%170,312
1990 44.1% 230,03846.7%243,766
1994 33.8% 172,95123.1% 117,990
1998 12.0% 50,50618.9% 79,716
2002 47.2%238,17941.5% 209,496
2006 38.1%209,92730.2% 166,425
2010 18.8% 109,38737.6%218,065
2014 43.4% 265,12548.2%294,533
2018 50.9%320,96243.2% 272,311
Presidential election results [97]
Year Democratic Republican
1952 33.8% 118,80666.1%232,353
1956 29.1% 102,46870.9%249,238
1960 43.0% 181,15957.1%240,608
1964 68.8%262,26431.1% 118,701
1968 55.3%217,31243.1% 169,254
1972 38.5% 160,58461.5%256,458
1976 48.1% 232,27948.9%236,320
1980 42.3% 220,97445.6%238,522
1984 38.8% 214,51560.8%336,500
1988 43.9% 243,56955.3%307,131
1992 38.8%263,42030.4% 206,504
1996 51.6%312,78830.8% 186,378
2000 49.1%319,95144.0% 286,616
2004 53.6%396,84244.6% 330,201
2008 57.7%421,92340.4% 295,273
2012 56.3%401,30641.0% 292,276
2016 47.8%357,73544.9% 335,593

In state general elections, Maine voters tend to accept independent and third-party candidates more frequently than most states. Maine has had two independent governors recently (James B. Longley, 1975–1979 and current U.S. Senator Angus King, 1995–2003). Maine state politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, are noted for having more moderate views than many in the national wings of their respective parties.

Maine is an alcoholic beverage control state.

On May 6, 2009, Maine became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage; however, the law was repealed by voters on November 3, 2009. On November 6, 2012, Maine, along with Maryland and Washington, became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box. [98]

Federal politics

In the 1930s, Maine was one of very few states which retained Republican sentiments. In the 1936 presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt received the electoral votes of every state other than Maine and Vermont; these were the only two states in the nation that never voted for Roosevelt in any of his presidential campaigns, though Maine was closely fought in 1940 and 1944. In the 1960s, Maine began to lean toward the Democrats, especially in presidential elections. In 1968, Hubert Humphrey became just the second Democrat in half a century to carry Maine, perhaps because of the presence of his running mate, Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, although the state voted Republican in every presidential election in the 1970s and 1980s.

Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election United States presidential election in Maine, 2016.svg
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election

Since 1969, two of Maine's four electoral votes have been awarded based on the winner of the statewide election; the other two go to the highest vote-getter in each of the state's two congressional districts. Every other state except Nebraska gives all its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state at large, without regard to performance within districts. Maine split its electoral vote for the first time in 2016, with Donald Trump's strong showing in the more rural central and northern Maine allowing him to capture one of the state's four votes in the Electoral College. [99]

Ross Perot achieved a great deal of success in Maine in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996. In 1992, as an independent candidate, Perot came in second to Democrat Bill Clinton, despite the long-time presence of the Bush family summer home in Kennebunkport. In 1996, as the nominee of the Reform Party, Perot did better in Maine than in any other state.

Maine has voted for Democratic Bill Clinton twice, Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won one of Maine's electoral votes with Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton winning the other three. Although Democrats have mostly carried the state in presidential elections in recent years, Republicans have largely maintained their control of the state's U.S. Senate seats, with Edmund Muskie, William Hathaway and George J. Mitchell being the only Maine Democrats serving in the U.S. Senate in the past fifty years.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans made major gains in Maine. They captured the governor's office as well as majorities in both chambers of the state legislature for the first time since the early 1970s. However, in the 2012 elections Democrats managed to recapture both houses of Maine Legislature.

Maine's U.S. senators are Republican Susan Collins and Independent Angus King. The governor is Democrat Janet Mills. The state's two members of the United States House of Representatives are Democrats Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.

Maine is the first state to have introduced ranked-choice voting in federal elections. [100]


Organized municipalities

An organized municipality has a form of elected local government which administers and provides local services, keeps records, collects licensing fees, and can pass locally binding ordinances, among other responsibilities of self-government. The governmental format of most organized towns and plantations is the town meeting, while the format of most cities is the council-manager form. As of 2013 the organized municipalities of Maine consist of 23 cities, 431 towns, and 34 plantations. Collectively these 488 organized municipalities cover less than half of the state's territory. Maine also has three Reservations: Indian Island, Indian Township Reservation, and Pleasant Point Indian Reservation. [101]

Unorganized territory

Unorganized territory (UT) has no local government. Administration, services, licensing, and ordinances are handled by the state government as well as by respective county governments who have townships within each county's bounds. The unorganized territory of Maine consists of more than 400 townships (towns are incorporated, townships are unincorporated), plus many coastal islands that do not lie within any municipal bounds. The UT land area is slightly over half the entire area of the State of Maine. Year-round residents in the UT number approximately 9,000 (about 1.3% of the state's total population), with many more people staying there only seasonally. Only four of Maine's sixteen counties (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Waldo and York) are entirely incorporated, although a few others are nearly so, and most of the unincorporated area is in the vast and sparsely populated Great North Woods of Maine. [102]

Most populous cities and towns

QuickFacts U.S. Census Maine Portland:

The 49 most populous cities and towns at the 2017 Census Estimate
South Portland
Presque Isle
Cape Elizabeth
Old Orchard Beach
Old Town
South Berwick

Throughout Maine, many municipalities, although each separate governmental entities, nevertheless form portions of a much larger population base. There are many such population clusters throughout Maine, but some examples from the municipalities appearing in the above listing are:


There are thirty institutions of higher learning in Maine. [104] These institutions include the University of Maine, which is the oldest, largest and only research university in the state. UMaine was founded in 1865 and is the state's only land grant and sea grant college. The University of Maine is located in the town of Orono and is the flagship of Maine. There are also branch campuses in Augusta, Farmington, Fort Kent, Machias, and Presque Isle. [105]

Bowdoin College is a liberal arts college founded in 1794 in Brunswick, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the state. Colby College in Waterville was founded in 1813 making it the second oldest college in Maine. [106] Bates College in Lewiston was founded in 1855 making it the third oldest institution in the state and the oldest coeducational college in New England. [107] The three colleges collectively form the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium and are ranked among the best colleges in the United States; often placing in the top 10% of all liberal arts colleges. [108] [109] [110]

Stevens Hall at the University of Maine in Orono UMaine StevensHall.jpg
Stevens Hall at the University of Maine in Orono

Maine's per-student public expenditure for elementary and secondary schools was 21st in the nation in 2012, at $12,344. [111]

The collegiate system of Maine also includes numerous baccalaureate colleges such as: the Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), Unity College, and Thomas College. There is only one medical school in the state, (University of New England's College of Osteopathic Medicine) and only one law school (The University of Maine School of Law).

Private schools in Maine are funded independently of the state and its furthered domains. Private schools are less common than public schools. A large number of private elementary schools with under 20 students exist, but most private high schools in Maine can be described as "semi-private".



Maine was a center of agriculture before it achieved statehood. Prior to colonization, Wabanaki nations farmed large crops of corn and other produce in southern Maine. [112] The state is a major producer of potatoes, wild blueberries, apples, maple syrup and sweet corn. Dairy products and chicken's eggs are other major industries. [113]

Maine has many vegetable farms and other small, diversified farms. In the 1960s and 1970s, the book "Living the Good Life" by Helen Nearing and Scott Nearing caused many young people to move to Maine and engage in small-scale farming and homesteading. These back-to-the-land migrants increased the population of some counties. [114]

Maine has a smaller number of commodity farms and confined animal feeding operations.

Maine is home to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and had 535 certified organic farms in 2019. [115]


Since the 1980s, the state has gotten a reputation for its local food and restaurant meals. Portland was named Bon Appetit magazine's Restaurant City of the Year in 2018. [116] In 2018, named Maine the 3rd most vegan state. [117]

Sports teams




The moose, the state mammal, as displayed at the Maine State Museum in Augusta Moose exhibit, Maine State Museum in Augusta IMG 2004.JPG
The moose, the state mammal, as displayed at the Maine State Museum in Augusta

State symbols

Maine State Quarter Maine quarter, reverse side, 2003.jpg
Maine State Quarter

Adapted from the Maine facts site. [118]

Notable people

A citizen of Maine is known as a "Mainer", [122] though the term is often reserved for those whose roots in Maine go back at least three generations. [123] The term "Downeaster" may be applied to residents of the northeast coast of the state. The term "Mainiac" is considered by some to be derogatory, but embraced with pride by others, [124] and is used for a variety of organizations and for events such as the YMCA Mainiac Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon. [125]

See also

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  1. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Governor, the President of the State Senate is first in line for succession.
  2. Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  3. Maine does not have an official language. [5] Both English and French are considered the de facto languages of the state. [6] [7] [8] French in particular is legally protected and recognized as Maine's minority language. [9] [10] Maine (along with Louisiana) is considered a part of the Francophone world and makes up the largest French-speaking population in the United States. [9]


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  2. "Katahdin 2". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey . Retrieved October 20, 2011.
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  11. "Title 1, §224: State soft drink".
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  14. "Journal of the Senate" (doc). State of Maine, HP1629, item 1, 123rd Maine State Legislature. March 6, 2002. Retrieved September 20, 2007. WHEREAS, the State of Maine is named after the Province of Maine in France ...
  15. Schroeder, Emily A. "Origin of Maine's Name". Maine State Library. Archived from the original on July 16, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2007.
  16. John Smith (1898). A Description of New England: Or, The Observations and Discoveries of Captain John Smith, (admiral of that Country), in the North of America, in the Year of Our Lord 1614, with the Success of Six Ships that Went the Next Year, 1615; with the Proof of the Present Benefit this Country Affords. G. P. Humphrey.
  18. Strickland, Agnes (1845). Lives of the Queens of England, Henrietta Maria. VIII. ISBN   978-0217842747.
  19. 1 2 3 Fisher, Carol B. Smith (February 26, 2002). "Who Really Named Maine?". Bangor Daily News. p. A8. Archived from the original on August 29, 2013.
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State government

U.S. government


Preceded by
List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union
Admitted on March 15, 1820 (23rd)
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 45°30′N69°00′W / 45.5°N 69°W / 45.5; -69