Top Ten Most Expensive ME Cities
|7||Cumberland & Chebeagu...|
Antiquity has left its mark on Maine. Ice-Age glaciers changed what had been the relatively smooth line of the Atlantic coast into a jagged one, with numerous inlets, harbors, bays and peninsulas. This rugged coastline - 3,500 miles long - as well as the more than 2,000 islands and a similar number of lakes created by the last glacier, are a picturesque draw for tourists, who are "mainstays" of the modern Maine economy.
As with all states - indeed, all nations - Maine's early economy was closely linked to its geography. Fishing was its first industry and, with more than 80% of its land forested, lumbering also became a major component in the economy. (The first sawmill in America began operating in 1623 on the Piscataqua River.) Abundant timber and, specifically, great stands of tall white pines for masts, grew not far from the harbors and this fostered a robust shipbuilding industry which peaked in the 19th century.
The retreating glacier also contributed to the creation of over 5,000 rivers and streams. The more powerful of these - St. John, Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Saco - were especially well-suited to providing power for manufacturing. As a result, textiles, leather, and paper became important products in the Maine economy.
Maine's short growing season and relatively poor soil has not been hospitable to agriculture. However, savvy Maine farmers have focused on producing those things better suited to their lands, such as poultry, eggs, and dairy products. And when the Aroostook Railroad was completed in 1894, the cultivation of potatoes in far-northern Aroostook County was boosted to greater success. Other leading crops are blueberries, apples, and hay. Today, 98% of the U.S. crops of low-bush blueberries are produced in Maine.
The fishing industry in Maine has declined markedly in recent years, a situation exacerbated by differences between four groups: fishermen, scientists, environmentalists and government. Bright spots in the fading industry include lobster fishing - valued at nearly $300 million a year - and the growing practice of aquaculture or "water farming." Among the seafood farmed in Maine are cod, Atlantic salmon, scallops, oysters, and blue mussels, as well as freshwater fish such as rainbow and brown trout.
Burial grounds for Maine's earliest inhabitants - descendants of the hunters of the Ice Age - are believed to date back to 3000 B.C., long before the appearance of the Micmacs and Abnakis. The Abnakis, especially, became involved in the French fur trade and, later, the French and Indian War. And although Maine was once inhabited by numerous Native American tribes, today only the Passamaquoddies and the Penobscots remain.
The first European settlement in Maine was at Popham in 1607, but the settlers perished in the cruel winters and history credits Jamestown, Virginia, with being the first permanent settlement in America. By the beginning of the 18th century, only a few Maine settlements still endured and Massachusetts had bought up and administered much of the land. At the end of the American Revolution, Maine residents began campaigning for statehood and in 1819, Massachusetts finally agreed. However, Maine's admission to the Union became an issue tied to the very institution most Mainers abhorred - slavery. The infamous "Missouri Compromise" required that Missouri be admitted as a slave state if Maine were admitted as a free state. Finally, in 1820, Maine was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
Contemporary Maine has more non-Hispanic white residents than any state in the union and, at 22.8%, the second-highest percentage of residents claiming French or French Canadian heritage. Other ancestries represented in the state are English, Irish, Polish, German, Scottish, and Italian.
Maine's Population in 2009 was reported at 1,327,836, ranking it 40th in the nation. Median family income, in 2005 inflation-adjusted dollars, was $52,338, placing Maine in 32nd position among the other states.
As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, Maine real estate values are slightly lower than national values. For example, the 2009 median value of homes in Maine was $155,300, while the nationwide median was $167,500. And according to the Maine Real Estate Information System, while the number of sales has mirrored the national trend and has declined, Maine's real estate prices are slowly picking up again. The median sales price of Maine homes has increased 2.51% over last year.
|NUMBER OF HOMES AND APARTMENTS||557,219|
|MAINE HOME OWNERSHIP|
|% OWNER OCCUPIED||73.93%|
|% RENTER OCCUPIED||26.07%|
|TYPE OF MAINE HOMES|
|SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED||68.19%|
|ROWHOUSES AND ATTACHED HOMES||2.30%|
|SMALL APARTMENT BUILDINGS||11.35%|
|COMPLEXES OF HIGH RISE APARTMENTS||8.84%|
|SIZE OF MAINE HOMES|
|5 OR MORE BEDROOMS||3.71%|
|AGE OF MAINE HOMES|
|NEWER HOMES (2000 OR LATER)||9.24%|
|ESTABLISHED, BUT NOT OLD HOMES (1970-1999)||42.54%|
|WELL-ESTABLISHED, OLD HOMES (1940-1969)||20.73%|
|HISTORIC (1939 OR BEFORE)||27.49%|
|MAINE REAL ESTATE INFORMATION||DETAILS|
|MEDIAN HOME VALUE||$169,121|
|MEDIAN RENTAL PRICE||$736|
|HOME VALUE RANGE|
|$0 - $49,000||8.35%|
|$49,001 - $99,000||13.66%|
|$99,001 - $197,000||37.83%|
|$197,001 - $296,000||22.00%|
|$296,001 - $394,000||9.27%|
|$394,001 - $493,000||3.63%|
|$493,001 - $739,000||3.14%|
|$739,001 - $986,000||0.98%|
|PEOPLE OF MAINE||DETAILS|
|UNDER 5 YEARS||5.23%|
|5 TO 17||15.43%|
|18 TO 24||8.74%|
|25 TO 34||10.89%|
|35 TO 54||29.36%|
|55 TO 64||14.46%|
|65 YEARS AND OVER||15.88%|
|EDUCATION ATTAINMENT OF ADULTS|
|HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES||89.78%|
|MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME||$49,171|
|PER CAPITA INCOME||$25,406|
|INDIVIDUALS BELOW POVERTY LEVEL||12.65%|
|INDUSTRIES PEOPLE WORK IN||Education (26.12%)
Professional, scientific, and technical services (8.19%)
Public Service (4.21%)
Information Technology (2.03%)
|BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN||1.18%|
|AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE||0.65%|
|NATIVE HAWAIIAN AND OTHER PACIFIC ISLANDERS||0.03%|
|SOME OTHER RACE ALONE||0.32%|
|TWO OR MORE RACES||1.58%|
|HISPANIC OR LATINO (OF ANY RACE)||1.27%|
|ETHNICITIES PRESENT||English (16.63%)
Other groups (8.86%)
French Canadian (6.61%)
|LANGUAGES SPOKEN||English (92.86%)
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