Is being in an area that’s growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?
Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Portland and Lewiston, while others want peace and quiet like in Gardiner and Belfast, thank you very much.
But today we’re going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts — over the past five years, which cities in Maine have the grown the fastest.
After getting knee deep in the Census’s American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Pine Tree State that have people climbing over each other to get in.
These are the 10 fastest growing cities in Maine for 2019 according to the most recent census data:
- Westbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ellsworth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Saco (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waterville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- South Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Belfast (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Biddeford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lewiston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Auburn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
If you happen to be a resident of Westbrook, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on our list.
If you’re surprised–and you’re wondering why these places are kind of a big deal–keep reading. We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in Maine are growing like weeds–but first, a bit about our methodology.
How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Pine Tree State
To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the begining of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:
- Population in 2017
- Population in 2010
- Growth rate from 2010 to 2017 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)
We ranked all 19 Maine cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.
The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Pine Tree State.
And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:
[Population 2017 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]
Population: 18,156 Population 2010: 17,314
Growth Rate: 4.86%
Absolute Growth: 842
More on Westbrook: Homes For Sale | Data
Westbrook is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States and a suburb of Portland. The population was 17,494 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.
Population: 7,916 Population 2010: 7,555
Growth Rate: 4.78%
Absolute Growth: 361
More on Ellsworth: Homes For Sale | Data
Ellsworth is a city in and the county seat of Hancock County, Maine, United States. The 2010 Census determined it had a population of 7,741. Ellsworth was Maine’s fastest growing city from 2000–2010, with a growth rate of nearly 20 percent. With historic buildings and other points of interest, Ellsworth is popular with tourists.
Population: 19,127 Population 2010: 18,398
Growth Rate: 3.96%
Absolute Growth: 729
More on Saco: Homes For Sale | Data
Saco /sko/ is a city in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 18,482 at the 2010 census. It is home to Ferry Beach State Park, Funtown Splashtown USA, Thornton Academy, as well as General Dynamics Armament Systems (also known by its former name, Saco Defense), a subsidiary of the defense contractor General Dynamics. Saco sees much tourism during summer months, due to its amusement parks, Ferry Beach State Park, and proximity to Old Orchard Beach.
Population: 16,374 Population 2010: 15,777
Growth Rate: 3.78%
Absolute Growth: 597
More on Waterville: Homes For Sale | Data
Waterville is a city in Kennebec County of the U.S. state of Maine, United States, on the west bank of the Kennebec River. Home to Colby College and Thomas College, the population was 15,722 at the 2010 census. Waterville is also the latter of the cities which make up the Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.
5. South Portland
Population: 25,431 Population 2010: 24,804
Growth Rate: 2.53%
Absolute Growth: 627
More on South Portland: Homes For Sale | Data
South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state, incorporated in 1898. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Due to South Portland’s close proximity to air, marine, rail, and highway transportation options, the city has become a center for retail and industry in the region.
Population: 66,715 Population 2010: 66,138
Growth Rate: 0.87%
Absolute Growth: 577
More on Portland: Homes For Sale | Data
Portland is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maine, with a population of 66,937 as of 2016. This makes it the fourth least populous city in the U.S. to be the most populous in its state. The Greater Portland metropolitan area is home to over half a million people, more than one-third of Maine’s total population. The Old Port district is frequented by tourists, while Portland Head Light is also a destination. The city seal depicts a phoenix rising from ashes, which is a reference to the recoveries from four devastating fires. Portland was named after the English Isle of Portland, and the city of Portland, Oregon, was in turn named after Portland, Maine.
Population: 6,680 Population 2010: 6,691
Growth Rate: -0.16%
Absolute Growth: -11
More on Belfast: Homes For Sale | Data
Belfast is a city in Waldo County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,668. Located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Penobscot Bay, Belfast is the county seat of Waldo County. The seaport has a wealth of antique architecture in several historic districts, and remains popular with tourists.
Population: 21,413 Population 2010: 21,490
Growth Rate: -0.36%
Absolute Growth: -77
More on Biddeford: Homes For Sale | Data
Biddeford is a city in York County, Maine, United States. It is the principal commercial center of York County. The population was 21,277 at the 2010 census. Twin city of Saco, Biddeford includes the resort community of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point. The town is the site of the University of New England and the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival. First visited by Europeans in 1616, it is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States.
Population: 36,211 Population 2010: 36,684
Growth Rate: -1.29%
Absolute Growth: -473
More on Lewiston: Homes For Sale | Data
Lewiston (English pronunciation: /lustn/, French pronunciation: /lust/; officially the City of Lewiston, Maine) is the second largest city in Maine and the most central city in Androscoggin County. The city borders the coastal sideways of the Gulf of Maine and is south of Augusta, the state’s capital and north of Portland, the cultural hub of Maine. It is one-half of the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Statistical Area, commonly referred to as “L.A.” or “L-A.” Lewiston exerts a significant impact upon the diversity, religious variety, commerce, education, and economic power of Maine. It is known for a relatively low cost of living, substantial access to medical care, and an extremely low violent crime rate. While the dominant language spoken in the city is English, it is home to the largest French-speaking population in the United States (by populate) while it is second to St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, in percentage of speakers.
Population: 22,941 Population 2010: 23,279
Growth Rate: -1.45%
Absolute Growth: -338
More on Auburn: Homes For Sale | Data
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 23,055 at the 2010 census. Auburn and Lewiston (directly across the Androscoggin River from each other) are known locally as the Twin Cities or Lewiston–Auburn (L–A).
These Places Grew Up So Fast, You Know?
So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in Maine are led by Westbrook which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.
It’ll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We’ll be here to let you know!
For more Maine reading, check out:
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maine
- 10 Safest Places In Maine
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Maine
Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In Maine