Where are the best places in the state of Maine?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Pine Tree State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Maine.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 20 places in Maine, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Brewer (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- South Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hallowell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Saco (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bath (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rockland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Portland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Westbrook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Caribou (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Gardiner (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Brewer if you’re thinking of moving to Maine — it’s the best the Pine Tree State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Maine.
For more Maine reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Maine
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maine
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Maine
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Augusta with a population of 18,691 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 2,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 20 cities, 72 towns, and 26 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Maine
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Maine across a number of criteria from one to 20, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Maine”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Maine? That would be Brewer.
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Maine.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Brewer at the end of the cul-de-sac.
The Town of Brewer consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let’s see why Brewer ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Brewer are the 10th most expensive in the state of Maine, with the average home worth a whopping $160,800. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Brewer if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Brewer residents have the 3rd highest income in the state, and the 7th lowest crime numbers in Maine.
Let’s take a look at why South Portland is a great place to call home for 2019.
There’s low crime in South Portland, and the residents here are gainfully employed (6.2% unemployment rate).
You can make South Portland your home for only $229,400 which won’t be too hard on a $56,250 household salary.
Hallowell is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 3rd best place in Maine?
Homes are priced around $198,900 and residents have the 9th shortest commute in Maine.
Saco comes in 4th in our best places to live in Maine analysis.
Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (1st overall) and crime rate (4th overall), Saco is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.
Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Saco in our lists for years to come.
Looks like little Bath might be a hidden gem in Maine. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($164,600) and crime is really low (10th lowest in the state).
Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.
Rockland had the 14th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (6.3%) and the 6th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Rockland is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
The Town of Portland might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Portland isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $248,000 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Maine.
If Portland can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.7% is the 8th highest in the state.
Westbrook comes in at a close 8th. They have the 12th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 8th highest median income as well, which means the people in Westbrook are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 6th best in the state.
Caribou is known for having a great education system and has the 6th shortest commute time.
Additionally, the unemployment rate in Caribou is the 2nd lowest in Maine and the median income is the 18th highest in the state.
Gardiner is another gem in Pine Tree State. The unemployment rate here is 8th lowest in the entire state at 5.7%. Other factors that make Gardiner so desirable is the solid education and home prices.
Homes are valued at $132,600, and parents earn a combined $49,569 a year
There’s nothing like the American dream.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Maine
If you’re looking at areas in Maine with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Brewer made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Maine for 2019.
Best Towns To Live In Maine
- Falmouth Foreside (Pop. 1,637)
- Cumberland Center (Pop. 2,475)
- Falmouth (Pop. 2,018)
- Hampden (Pop. 3,727)
- Berwick (Pop. 2,329)
- York Harbor (Pop. 2,885)
- Boothbay Harbor (Pop. 1,000)
- Kittery Point (Pop. 1,078)
- Freeport (Pop. 1,527)
- Kennebunkport (Pop. 1,089)
Best Small Towns To Live In Maine
- Littlejohn Island (Pop. 95)
- Cousins Island (Pop. 659)
- Newcastle (Pop. 625)
- Castine (Pop. 899)
- Standish (Pop. 457)
- Southwest Harbor (Pop. 850)
- Naples (Pop. 532)
- Alfred (Pop. 755)
- Woodland (Pop. 939)
- Bowdoinham (Pop. 604)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Maine according to the data:
- Waterville (Pop. 16,134)
- Bangor (Pop. 32,491)
- Augusta (Pop. 18,691)
For more Maine reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Maine
- 10 Safest Places In Maine
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Maine
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Maine