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 Place 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
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.
When you look at the numbers, Brewer is far and away, the best place in Maine. The crime rate is very low, and so are the unemployment numbers. Only 3rd of Brewer residents are without a job, which is very low.
Plus, the children in Brewer schools receive a ton of support, financially. And when you feel so cozy in your backyard, you’re never out of things to do. It’s basically a little gem tucked away in Maine.
If you live in South Portland, you probably know how great it is already.
South Portland has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($56,250). And the crime is really, really low (9th lowest in Maine).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
Hallowell has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Maine. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Hallowell is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Hallowell residents to work is significantly higher than average.
Saco is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 4th best place in Maine?
Homes are priced around $232,200 and residents have the 18th shortest commute in Maine.
Bath had the 4th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (5.3%) and the 10th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.
Bath is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.
Rockland comes in at a close 6th. They have the 14th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 12th highest median income as well, which means the people in Rockland are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 11th best in the state.
In Portland, everyone loves to call Portland home! The median home value is the 1st highest in Maine.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 8th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Pine Tree State.
Westbrook makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Maine mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 6.2% of folks are jobless, you can bet Westbrook residents are glad to live where they do.
Things can’t get much better than in the town of Caribou. The crime is the 2nd lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Caribou make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $88,900 and households make $35,635 which is good for 18th in Maine.
Gardiner is another great city in Maine with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.
Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Gardiner. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”
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 2018.
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:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Maine